The Kiss Off Blog Tour!

Sarah Billington has cultivated an awesome slash career: writer/graphic designer/web mistress/zombie hunter, all from my fantasy ancestral home of Australia. I’m honored to be stop #2 on The Kiss-Off Blog Tour. The official release date is May 15, 2012. Check out Chapter One here and commenters that come along for the ride have a chance to win a pretty nifty prize pack, so speak up!

The Cover

Designed by Ms. Billington herself, so cheers for that. I have great ideas for covers, but fall down during the execution phase due to my lame Illustrator skills.  I think she’s done well here. I have a soft, swoon-prone spot for musicians so you know right off that a hot boy (because all boy musicians are fine in my world) is going to factor in heavily here. Plus, based on their rapturous expressions it appears that he’s playing the unmentionables off those girls in the crowd. Who doesn’t love that?

The Story

Sixteen-year-old Poppy Douglas has a full life: music, friends, a wacky yet devoted family, and more drama than she can stand. When she uploads an eff-you ode to her cheaterrific ex-boyfriend Cameron on YouTube, she has no idea how much everything is about to change. Suddenly, her life is upended by a rather aggressive stray dog,  nerdy, rock-god-in-training Ty, and huge hints that Cameron is feeling some kind of way about their breakup, despite still locking lips with her former friend Nikki.

Party Shenanigans

The reason I never closed the deal with any of my musical crushes is because I thought that environment was Kryptonite to stable romantic relationships. I watched many a pairing crash and burn backstage. I knew guys that had high school-aged groupies when they were in the eighth grade! In my mind, there was no competing with that, so it was much easier to love them from afar rather than getting my heart stomped on and having to burn my underground mixtapes.  I was young and stupid then [J.R., T.R, J.C. and T.D., I’m looking at you!], so kudos to Poppy for taking chances for the gun-shy girl in all of us.

Telling Quote

On my toes, craning over the crowd, I peered back into the living room and watched Nikki feed Cam a pretzel. At the last minute she sped up and smashed it into his face. It cracked and broke into a million pieces and fell on the floor. They both started laughing and he plucked a pretzel from the bowl, crushed it in his hand and started tossing pieces at her. She squealed and giggled and I looked away when they started making out. He wasn’t allowed to be so happy with her. But neither of them looked like they felt even the slightest bit of guilt about it.

Final Thoughts

Comedy is hard to do, particularly in written form, and Sarah Billington pulls it off. Young Adult cool points are awarded for including fully-developed adults, a stable family unit, and not relegating the best girl pals to background noise.  Plus the voice was spot-on: Poppy is snarky, impatient, impulsive, rebellious, creative, loyal, talented and familiar with the art of bitchcraft, which made me like her even more. Granted, I really wanted Poppy to go for hers and yell, “SHOW ME THE MONEY!” but that’s a minor detail. Overall, THE KISS OFF was an enjoyable, fun and fast-paced read.


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