Kiss Number 8, a graphic novel from writer Colleen AF Venable and illustrator Ellen T. Crenshaw, is a layered, funny, sharp-edged story of teen sexuality and family secrets.
Mads is pretty happy with her life. She goes to church with her family, and minor league baseball games with her dad. She goofs off with her best friend Cat, and has thus far managed to avoid getting kissed by Adam, the boy next door. It's everything she hoped high school would be… until all of a sudden, it's not.
Her dad is hiding something bigso big it could tear her family apart. And that’s just the beginning of her problems: Mads is starting to figure out that she doesn't want to kiss Adam… because the only person she wants to kiss is Cat.
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.10(d)|
|Age Range:||14 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Colleen AF Venable is an author, designer, and maker. Her graphic novel series Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye (illustrated by Stephanie Yue) was nominated for an Eisner for Best Publication for Kids. Her other books include Mervin the Sloth is About to Do the Best Thing in the World and Amy the Red Panda Writes the Best Story in the World, both illustrated by Ruth Chan.
Ellen T. Crenshaw is a cartoonist and illustrator for books, editorial, advertising, comics, and children's media. Her work appears in Beer Advocate Magazine and The Nib, and her other books include Test Your Baby and Test Your Toddler's IQ (both written by Rachel Federman). She lives with her husband and two dragons. Kiss Number 8 is her first graphic novel.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* I really enjoyed this story. First of all, I loved the framing of the main character Amanda not being sold on kisses due to earlier experiences with them (ranging from silly, innocent kisses when she was a small child to not liking the experiences she had as a teenager) and how this leads to kiss number 8, which changes everything since this kiss is with another girl. I thought that the book did a great job creating a variety of multifaceted characters and all of the reactions to Amanda grappling with her sexuality felt realistic. I may also be biased having grown up in a Catholic home and gone to a Catholic school for high school, but the portrayal of those spaces seemed particularly plausible to me, particularly the idea that more often the people, not the faith itself, are bigoted. I also enjoyed that not everyone in her new crew of friends was portrayed as being the greatest either. I think that this helped this feel like more of a true story and I also really appreciated the wide array of LGBTQ+ representation throughout the story instead of just isolating it to one piece. I also really appreciated the mystery about what her father was hiding throughout the story. It was a nice subplot and the fact that everything tied in nicely made for a really great read. I think that being able to show that these things are not all new and also that society often has a large impact on how we view them was beautifully done. I also was just happy to read an LGBTQ+ story that definitely had stakes and drama but did not have to end tragically or lack humor. Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up that I loved the illustration style of this graphic novel. It did a really great job helping to characterize the different characters in the story. It was stylized but still realistic which I think was perfect for the story being told. I would definitely recommend students read this book and anyone else to for that matter! It was great! Check it out!
I don't normally like to review graphic novels, so this may be really short. But I did have some feelings about this one and I wanted to at least get some of them down. If nothing else, just to tell people why I almost didn't finish it...... Amanda is growing up and figuring everything out. The one thing she doesn't think she's missing is kissing. So far she's had 7 kisses and none of them have been any good. But her eighth kiss changes her world in so many different ways. At the beginning of my review here, I have a couple TWs. As I stated, this is a coming of age tale. Amanda is growing up and discovering who she is, but the people surrounding her aren't always fans of what she's learning. In the end it turns out ok, but the in between was so hard to read. I totally cried at some places. I couldn't stand the things that happened to her. I'm glad in the end it worked out, but if you have a hard time reading things like that, please be mindful that it's there when diving into this one. Now the characters, MOST of them got on my nerves. I hated Amanda's best friend. And I realized pretty early on why she didn't just drop her as a friend. (As she should have!) And their other friend Laura, was basically used the entire book and I didn't like the way they treated her. Amanda could have done so much better with friends if she had only just tried. As for the art, I REALLY liked it! Although I wished it was in color (Petty Betty I know) But it was something about the characters and that sketchy look that made me fall for it. To be honest, the art and the promise of a happy ending was the only thing that got me through this book. The art helped raise the heavy tone of the book and I thought it worked well together. Although this wasn't my favorite, I still enjoyed certain parts of it. I'm not sure it deserves all the hype its gotten, but in my opinion its still worth the read.