Title: Kiss and Repeat
Author: Heather Truett
Published: May 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Rating: 3 stars
Cover: Like it
In Heather Truett’s Kiss and Repeat, a teen uses the scientific method drilled into him by his scientist father to begin a kissing experiment. Only the experiment gets messy, and Stephen will have to come clean if he wants to win one girl’s heart in this heartfelt and funny YA debut.
Stephen Luckie isn’t so lucky in love. He’s completely inexperienced when it comes to girls, and wonders if his tics – caused by Tourette’s Syndrome – are the reason.
Then a game at a party reveals that his body goes still while kissing. Using the scientific method drilled into him by his scientist father, Steven begins the best experiment ever–one that involves kissing as many girls as possible. Who knew science could be so fun?
But when the experiment gets underway, Stephen begins to question how he treats girls – and if his tics have been standing in his way at all. With two girls interested in him, he has to figure out what really matters to him and what he’ll risk – and gain – by being his true self.
By ten o’clock, the music was loud and the people around me were louder. Being sober, I remember more of that night than anyone else. Ballard’s reddish-orange hair flared on the back deck and I followed the signal. Mostly I’d stayed with the Call of Duty group, but nervous energy made me restless.
I hadn’t run into Wade since I first arrived, but that couldn’t last. This was a party, and Wade was one of the gods of the Moorhen High football team. He wouldn’t stay on the fringes for long.
“Yo, Stephen!” Ballard hollered from his Adirondack throne, a Solo cup held out like an offering. Wade may have been a football god, but Ballard was still king of this party.
I stepped into the golden glow of a lantern that hung above our heads, hands in my pockets to keep my newest tic from drawing attention. My fingers flexed involuntarily and I gritted my teeth.
“Here.” Ballard pushed the cup toward me and I waved it away.
He knew I wouldn’t drink it, not while on the kind of meds I take. Still, he pushed it at me again, and I shook my head in refusal. He was like that when people were around, less my friend and more the cool class clown.
“He doesn’t want it,” someone said.
I glanced around the group. It was Joan Pearson. I’d
looked right past her earlier, not recognizing her with newly dyed black hair. Her hair used to be a soft brown. She had these piercing dark eyes, and she narrowed them in Ballard’s direction, defending me. She had a bit of a messiah complex going on.
“I can speak for myself,” I said.
A sudden thump of bass from the speakers drowned me out, NF’s quick tongue shooting lyrics like arrows all over the deck. Joan tossed back raven hair and sipped from her own Solo cup. Ballard shrugged and turned his attention back to the others.
Erin and Miles stepped out of the house and made their way to where I was standing. Some friends were there, plus a couple of girls I didn’t recognize, and Joan’s friend Sylvie. Sylvie was showing this guy, Andrew, something on her phone.
“Awesome,” Andrew said, grinning. “Let’s play.”
“Play what?” one of the girls asked. Her hair was curly and damp, like she’d just been for a swim.
“Sylvie found this app like Spin the Bottle.” Andrew waved the phone in our direction, its glittery red case catching the lantern light.
“We put everyone’s name and picture into the app,” Sylvie explained. “Then we spin the virtual bottle and it tells us who to kiss.”
Heather Truett is a novelist and poet. She is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Memphis. She is represented by Hilary Harwell of KT Literary.
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