With the ironic name of Chastity, this main character like no other gets her rocks off by big-mouth talk about her "experience" even though she is eighty percent pure. Chaz likes to say things straight-forward and gives off this attitude of "If you want it, beg." that I admired in a character. She tries to act tough with her "don't mess with me" but once faced the values and norms of reality, can be sympathetic. Living in a small Minnesota town, where her graduating class promptly consists of thirty-four, Chastity feels the desperate need to escape her home and get far, far away. Without a real goal towards her future, Sebastian seems like an easy enough escape from her small town for a while. He may be just passing through, but maybe that's exactly what Chaz needs right now. Some escape from her religious mother and release from dramatic issues happening all around her twenty-four seven. Teen pregnancy, cancer, self-analysis. So many things happening around Chaz that she needs some form of distraction. What better than from a mystery guy who's only staying for winter break? Will she get what she wants, or will she find that there's more to the guy with the "puffy black Patagonia jacket" than she suspected?
I have to say that Kiss It is one of the most daring novels in the YA genre I have read yet. This close-to-vulgarity novel was a delight to read and a damn good sexual refreshment to YA novels everywhere. The blunt murmurings of sex in the beginning of the novel wore a shock to my senses and couldn't keep myself from flipping those pages. Downing took a great risk with this one--a novel I'd compare easily to Judy Blume's Forever...--and it payed off in sparks. Kiss It is no ordinary contemporary read, it deals with real life issues and wasn't afraid to tackle them. Downing expertly intermingles the equality of sex and love in a blooming relationship; describing different aspects toward previous mistakes.
Though, this book is not without it's faults too. I had a hard time relating with most of the characters, mostly because they seemed to be peckish-ly annoying. I believe the author might have made that intentional, but I would have liked to know more about the characters' past before I start judging them. There also rarely seemed to be any facial/body descriptions, that left the book a little bare and up to the readers imagination.
In the end, I believe that the book's favorable qualities more than leveled Kiss It's faults. That is why I recommend Kiss It as an enjoyable read that will stimulate you with its detailed lust-scenes.
For a chance to win Kiss It, visit my blog: http://chicareader.blogspot.com/2010/06/kiss-it-by-erin-downing-review-and.html