Last night I finished Extreme Kissing by Luisa Plaja, who you may also know as the editor at Chicklish. Here is the synopsis:
"It's about freedom. Risks. Avoiding real life." - Carlota
"Are we still talking about my brother's socks?" - Bethany
Bethany and Carlota are best friends who long to escape the stresses of life as GCSEs loom on the horizon. Stresses such as a ridiculously strict step-parent (Carlota) or a long-term boyfriend displaying definite pre-dumping behaviour (Bethany).
Carlota suggests the ultimate in stress relief: Extreme Travel, where the journey is more important than the destination. The girls embark on a wild day out in London, choosing tasks at random from the pages of a magazine; extreme challenges that include exclusive shopping, excellent snogging and... explosive secrets.
This book centres around two main characters, Bethany (Bets) and Carlota (Lots). Bets is the one with the perfect boyfriend, the one who scores mostly B's in all those quizzes. She's also the one who thinks she could be 'late.' Lots is the wild one despite her strict step-parent. This is why Carlota arranges a day out. No worrying, no stressing, just letting the magazine tell you where you're going. I loved the idea of Extreme Travel, it's a brilliant concept. You pick a page number that's important to you or open the magazine to a random page and the page tells you where you're going or what you're doing.
I don't know who my favourite character was. I loved Lots for being outgoing, adventurous and daring. And yet both characters remind me a little of myself. I can be both. I think it's because you feel as if you can relate to the characters, they are so real and really manage to capture the attitude of teenagers.
I was really shocked at the ending of this book. I didn't expect it and it was a real twist. If you start this book, you have to finish it, even if it's just to read the ending. Though I'm sure you'll be so absorbed in the story you won't notice the reduction in pages until you're at the end.
You will find it difficult to put this book down, I did. I read it in two days. I read 26 pages one day, I was tired. The next day, I continued and made it through the entire book. It was just too hard to put down. That's why I was up until 12 on a school night. It might not sound that bad but I had a shower and washed my hair afterwards. That's how brilliant this book was. I knew I had to do all this before, and yet I still kept reading. I'm sure you will too.
Verdict: It captures teenagers and the stresses of GCSEs quite well. I'm in Lots and Bets year so I think I could do with Extreme Travelling. Read this book and try out Extreme Travelling yourself. Or maybe Extreme Kissing ;)
Character: 10/10 (I could really see myself in these two characters)
Hookability (ability to keep you reading): 8/10