Who I Kissed by: Janet Gurtler

Synopsis: She never thought a kiss could kill…
Samantha didn’t mean to hurt anyone.

She was just trying to fit in…and she wanted to make Zee a little jealous after he completely ditched her for a prettier girl. So she kissed Alex. And then he died—right in her arms.

Was she really the only person in the entire school who didn’t know about his peanut allergy? Or that eating a peanut butter sandwich and then kissing him would be deadly? Overnight Sam turns into the school pariah and a media sensation explodes. Consumed with guilt, abandoned by her friends, and in jeopardy of losing her swimming scholarship, she’ll have to find a way to forgive herself before anyone else will.

Thoughts: Who I Kissed by far exceeded any expectation I had for it. When you first read the synopsis you  feel like the book may revolve around nut allergies… but honestly it doesn’t. Is it a huge aspect of the book? Of course it is but, there were so many other aspects that I didn’t expect and I ended up loving them all. Who I Kissed not only brings awareness to allergies, but it’s an intense journey of a girl whose one decision changed her life but not for the worst.

Samantha Waxman lives for swimming and at her new school she can finally be someone and not live in the shadow of her “lesbian” rumor. Trying to fit in, she goes to her friend’s party and there finds herself hanging out with swim partner, crush, and sexy hunk, Zee. What she doesn’t expect is for Zee to hook up with someone right in front of her, but Sam decides to play his game right back and kisses his friend Alex. Then things take a turn for the worse, as Alex starts to have a breathing attack right in her arms and he dies on the way to the hospital. Sam then becomes the school prey and kids are blaming her for kissing Alex and not knowing about his peanut allergy. She starts to cave inside herself and even gives up swimming, but she’ll come soon to find that not everyone blames her and she ultimately needs to forgive herself.

Like I said before, this book is filled with so many things, other than the nut allergy, that I did not expect. There is a huge swimming aspect, family matters, betrayals, high school drama, romance, and forgiveness. The characters were another thing I absolutely loved. I wasn’t expecting for there to be such a wide array of characters and there were so many that stuck out like, Chloe, Taylor, her aunt, Casper, and Zee. Taylor was one of my favorites. She acted how a true best friend should always act to a friend and her quirky personality just helped even more. And, Zee as well I found myself loving from the first chapter and then falling for him even more by the end. Finally our main character Sam. She shows us a true struggle that honestly could happen to any one but, Sam also shows us the way to forgiveness and redemption and how to deal with things that are truly life changing.

In the end, I was actually pleasantly surprised with how the story ended. I wasn’t sure in which direction Janet would take the story, and I was so happy that it ended the way it did. This story is so brilliantly written and brings huge awareness to how you should be careful in your own daily life. There’s also a huge forgiveness aspect and how you need to learn to be able to forgive yourself first. If you were on the fence with Who I Kissed, honestly pick it up. It’s not just a big information gab thrown at you, but it’s a beautiful story that I think people should really take the time to read and enjoy.

– 5 out of 5 Splatters –
Huge thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for this review copy.

Published by Jena Freeth

30. Boy mom. Book lover. Fitness junkie. Shopaholic.

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