Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The ABC's of Kissing Boys by Tina Ferraro

Parker Stanhope’s junior year of high school did not start out as she planned. She expected to be moved to the varsity soccer team with her three best friends, but the soccer coach, “Heartless” had other plans. Being left behind to sit on the JV squad one more year was pretty high up on Parker’s list of” how to quickly lose your popularity and become a social outcast” list, but insult was added to injury when her supposed BFFs turn their backs on her.

In order to regain her status and three best pals, Parker goes to drastic lengths. She, her brother, and his best friend, Luke, both of whom are pre-law students, devise a plan, which involves the school’s annual sports fair. Knowing the booth that raises the most money awards the coach a prime parking space, they decide to take advantage of the varsity soccer team’s kissing booth. Luke will pay $300 for a kiss, but only if it comes from Parker. “Heartless” wanting the awesome parking space will greedily agree to let Parker on the varsity team, which they will then use to keep Parker on the team with some fancy law school legalese. However, in order for this plan to work, Parker needs to give Luke a kiss that is convincing.

The kiss is a bit of an issue seeing how she’s only ever received a peck on the lips from a boy she briefly dated. Parker finds herself requesting the help of her neighbor, Tristan, who is a freshman. (According to Parker and most of the upperclass, freshman are babies!) Apparently, Tristan learned all the latest kissing techniques while spending his summer at camp. Tristan agrees to secretly coach her in exchange for public acknowledgement at school, which will help his social status.

Parker’s attempt to regain the life she once knew does not go as planned. Parker is caught hanging out with the freshman, which fuels her former BFFs ridicule. The events during the first few weeks of school leading up to the sports fair are at times upsetting and challenging, but they force Parker to realize many things about herself, her friends, and her love of soccer. While working toward kissing perfection and social acceptance Parker learns the importance of true friendship, love, sportsmanship, and loyalty. The fact that she also learns the fine art of kissing is a bonus.

The ABC's of Kissing Boys is a fun, quick read. This is the third book by Tina Ferraro. Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress and How to Hook a Hottie are also available at Moore Memorial Public Library.

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