Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Kiss Number 8
That is the background of the subplot, and more immediate in Amanda's life is her relationship with her school friends. Her best friend Cat is a tornado, sneaking out to clubs, drinking, carousing, and hooking up with boys. Her next door neighbors, Laura and Adam are more staid, though Adam has had a crush on her that is getting increasingly difficult to ignore or play off. As the book goes on, Amanda realizes that she does not really have any feelings for Adam but for Cat, and then things really go off the rails.
which was the style at the time. I was genuinely moved several times in reading Kiss Number 8, which is a testament to its characters and craft.
This excellent book was a collaboration between Colleen AF Venable and Ellen T. Crenshaw. Venable is a book designer and author who is known for her Eisner nominated Pet Shop Private Eye series. Crenshaw is an illustrator who has also contributed to The Nib. I enjoyed both their work and also getting to know more about them in the substantive Q&A that followed the story. Both creators speak about their work on this book in this interview.
All of the reviews I have read about this book have been glowing. Kirkus Review gave it a starred review that summed the book up as "A rare blend of tender and revolutionary." Publishers Weekly gave it another starred review that concluded, "A queer coming-of-age story that earns its powerful emotional impact." Dahlia Adler called it "a layered, funny, sharp-edged story of teen sexuality and family secrets." Alea Perez wrote, "Overall, Venable and Crenshaw do a wonderful job of using the characters to present teaching moments to readers without it feeling unnatural or patronizingly didactic." Andrew wrote that he was "happy to read an LGBTQ+ story that definitely had stakes and drama but did not have to end tragically or lack humor."
Kiss Number 8 was published by First Second, and they offer a preview and much more here.