|Reading level: Ages 12 and up|
Paperback: 400 pages
Piper, Cassidy, Mei, and Izzy have been best friends their whole lives. And they've always agreed on one goal: to get out of tiny Paris, Texas, and see the world. The school's foreign exchange program seems like the perfect escape: Piper will go to the original Paris; Mei will go to China; Cassidy will go to Australia; and Izzy, unable to afford the program, will stay at home. To add spice to their semester away, and to stay connected to their best friends, the girls start The International Kissing Club, a Facebook page where they can anonymously update one another and brag about all the amazing guys they're meeting. After all, these girls are traveling abroad: amazing guys abound at every turn! But sometimes fun, flirty vacation flings turn into more serious romances, and sometimes you don't return from abroad the same person you were. Will the girls' relationships-and their friendships-be able to survive?
The International Kissing Club was such a fun read. These four friends have such a fun adventure, kissing, finding love, and finding out who they really are. I really enjoyed that it would change POV's between the four girls and we got to experience each of their trips with them. It was like a little miniature vacation to four different locations all in one book.
Piper has been humiliated by her long-time enemy in a VERY public way, so when she finds out about the foreign exchange program it's like a life line she has to grab on it. She convinces her three best friends to take their own trips as well and they form a facebook group to keep in touch. It's not just any facebook group though, it's a kissing club, one where they get a point for each different boy they kiss. Piper starts it out with a bang in the beautiful city of Paris. Having fun with her new house sister and kissing beautiful boys, Piper is having the time of her life. That is until she meets Sebastian, who may just be the only boy she wants to kiss. I didn't like Piper for a while. I thought she was a little too shallow, and way too whiny, but she grew on me later on. The girl has had it really rough and she was just ready to let her hair down and have some fun.
Cassidy has been waiting her whole life to get out of this tiny town in Texas. She jumps on her chance to go to Australia. What she doesn't expect when she gets there is to be so homesick. She misses her friends and her mom and her normal life, that is, until she meets a hot surfer. Vacation Cassidy is ready to have some fun! What Cassidy doesn't want is to fall in love, but 8 weeks can sometimes be more than enough... Cassidy is probably my favorite of all four girls. She had such a real and honest voice. Every time I got to her part of the story I kept wishing it was longer and wanted more!
Mei is the only Chinese girl in the small town of Paris, Texas. Having always been curious about her culture and her birth parents, she takes this opportunity to go to China. Stepping off the plane Mei immediately feels at home, but it isn't long before she realizes that she fits in even less her than she does in Texas. I really liked Mei, she is such a control freak (which I can totally relate to) yet still fun and a very good friend. She has a hard journey in China, but she takes it all like a trooper, she is one tough chick!
Izzy get left behind. The always looked over middle child, her parents don't have the money to send her on a trip, so she finds a summer job on a farm back home. Izzy is definitely one confused girl. She makes some bad choices that come back to haunt her in the end. Izzy probably my second favorite of the girls though. She's funny and always has a sarcastic come-back. I really enjoyed her part of the story.
International Kissing Club was a light-hearted read. It started out a little slow, but once they went on their separate trips it really took off and I was able to fly through the rest of it. I love that in between the chapters it would show little posting on the IKC facebook page, that was a very fun break-up to the chapters. Overall, I thought International Kissing Club was an enjoyable tale of love, and friendship, and what it takes to keep both going.