Split by a Kiss – Luisa Plaja

“Lucky Break
I am in a cupboard, and I’m snogging the coolest and most gorgeous boy in the whole school. And it’s a big school. And really, we’re kissing, not snogging. In a closet, not a cupboard. They don’t really have snogging or cupboards here – they would laugh and tell me those are dodgy British phrases.”
A week after moving to Massachusetts with her mum, Jo has got it good. She’s in with the “in-crowd” and the hottest guy in school has just chosen her for “seven minutes in heaven” a kissing game which involves going into the cupboard and going to whichever “base” you feel like going to. When Jake, the hot guy, behaves in a not so angelic way Jo has an option, go along with it and keep her cool friends or tell him where to get off and become “Jo the nerd”.  Her world is literally split in two.

Ok so, I’d heard this book be referred to as a “Sliding Doors for teens” before I read it and I couldn’t agree more… it was like Sliding Doors, which I LOVED btw, but it was so much better!
When Jo walks out of the cupboard with Jake she has the two options mentioned above. Instead of her going for one of them we see her world split in two, she becomes Jo the Cool and Jo the Nerd, switching between the two each chapter for our reading pleasure. I loved the way it was done, and the way you could tell which “Jo” was speaking because of the cute illustration at the beginning of each chapter and the change in font. That was very cool.
Jo seemed pretty cool to me as soon as I started reading the book. I loved how quirky and fun she was and when the world split I have to admit I didn’t really like Jo the Cool, I much preferred the nerd! But I still enjoyed seeing what life had in store for her as a popular girl and I loved the contrast, not only between Jo herself but also between the friends she made. I love it when an author goes into detail about the characters, so much so that there isn’t just one main character but lots of major character too and this is something that struck me about Split By A Kiss. There was Tori, and Albie, and David, and Rachel, and Chelsea, and Jo’s mum, and lets not forget Hailey! They all had their own stuff going on and I think that is worked so well as a way of telling the reader that problems are shared. Everyone has their own issues and things going on and being blind to this is not goo.d I think thats something Jo learnt the hard way.
All the way through this book I was shouting at Jo, I was telling her that she should do something or be with someone and I loved that it worked out. I shouldn’t have shouted at her though. I should have known she’d get to where she needed to be in the end and I loved this book for getting me so involved with the character. In fact it got me involved in all of the characters. I loved Tori, she was such a sweetie and you could tell there was more to her than being “the Ordinary One” in the popular crowd. I also loved David and Albie too, they were both totally my kinda guys and I wouldn’t say no to either of them! Lol
I loved that at the end of the story (don’t worry I wont spoil the ending for you..) you get to find out what happened after the end of the story… if you get me. That is just another example of the thought and detail that was put into creating the characters, you find out about all of them, not just Jo, and I was so happy that epilogue-y bit was in there!
The story really did make me glad I wasn’t brought up in America and didn’t have to set foot in an American High School… I really hope it’s not like that because the girls were awful, complete bitches, even the nice ones! And I wouldn’t have lasted five minutes! Kudos to Jo for seeing it out!
I loved the quirky differences that were pointed out between Americans and Brits, the difference in attitude, style and speech, it was cute the way it was done and I also loved the Biffy references. I used to love Buffy but haven’t watched it for years and this book has made me want to get back inot it so much!
Split by a kiss was unique and amazingly awesome. I loved the characters, the setting and the story line – both of them. It’s almost like the author had two brilliant ideas in mind and couldn’t work out which of them would work best so put them both in, but that’s ok because it works so well!
I think it’s fair to say that as far as contemporary fiction goes Luisa Playa is one of the queens. I loved this book and think she got teenage life down to a tee; I really can’t wait to see what else she has in store!
Split by a Kiss was published in 2008 by Corgi. Luisa is currently posting chapters of her new book, Diary of a Mall Girl, up weekly at Fiction Express. Thank you to Luisa for gifting a copy of this book to me.


  • Melissa

    I’ve had this one in my TBR for years. I had to even make sure If I really had it or just think i’d seen the cover laying around. Definitely going to have to pick it up, dust it off and read it. Thanks for the review.

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