After the Kiss

Terra Elan McVoy, Author
Terra Elan McVoy, Simon Pulse, $16.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-4424-0211-9
Reviewed on: 05/24/2010
Release date: 05/01/2010
Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-4424-0217-1
Paperback - 382 pages - 978-1-4424-0216-4
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McVoy's (Pure) roots are showing—in a good way. A love of language, literature, and the city of Atlanta, where she lives, pervades her sophomore novel, a thoughtfully wrought coming-of-age story. Camille, whose second-person narrative is light on punctuation and heavy on metaphor, has moved all over the country with her parents and is starting her final semester of high school in Atlanta. She tries to avoid creating attachments, but is having trouble getting over a boy in Chicago. Another senior, Becca, who tells her story in free verse, lives for her jock/poet boyfriend, Alec. Camille connects with and then kisses Alec at a party, unaware that he has a girlfriend. The aftershock of the kiss affects both girls, but this rich story also encompasses their struggles with family and friends, as well as their respective journeys of self-discovery. McVoy's prose is confident and adventurous— some of Becca's poems are styled after her favorite poets ("The only empress is the empress of gossip magazines")—and while not every stylistic gambit pays off, on the whole it's a fresh, observant story. Ages 14–up. (May)
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