Thursday, 10 March 2011
Review: The Kissing Game - Aidan Chambers
In 'Kangaroo', a girl loses her humanity when she takes an unusual summer job. In 'The Tower', a boy rescues a girl from a fiery death, only to have her disappear. And in the unforgettable title story, a seemingly innocent game between a boy and a girl takes a horrific turn.
Once again Chambers treats his readers to his intelligent prose, playfulness of form and incisive understanding on the wonderings of young people on the verge of adulthood.
Visit Aidan Chambers' website for more information
The Kissing Game is a collection of 16 short stories (around 5,000 words long) and flash fiction pieces (story bites that are less than 1,000 words long). The book covers a wide range of topics and is in a variety of formats but all of the main characters are between 14 and 18 years old.
There were a few stories that I really enjoyed, one was a letter from a student to a teacher, one about an immigrant who has been tricked into the sex slave trade and the title story about a very shy boy with a stammer that had a very unexpected ending. I liked the variety of stories on offer and the fact that you didn't have a clue what topic would be covered next. Some stories were very light hearted and funny while others were thought provoking and even quite dark in places (I wouldn't recommend this for younger teens!).
This was the first time I've read any flash fiction and I have to confess that I prefer a longer story that I can sink my teeth into. I did feel that these very short stories (often just 2-3 pages) could be a good starting point for reluctant readers though - especially as it offers realistic slices of teenage life that most young adults would be able to relate to. The short conversations between teens were just the kind of thing you could imagine overhearing when you're sitting at the bus stop but I found most of them didn't hold my interest. I think I would have enjoyed them a lot more when I was a teenager as they would have been more relevant to my life experiences (I hate to say it but I think I'm too old to fully appreciate this book).
If you're a fan of short stories it would definitely be worth picking this up, with 16 very different stories included there is bound to be something to appeal to most teens but if you're like me and prefer a longer story then this might not be the best option.
Source: Received from RHCB in exchange for an honest review
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.