Split by a Kiss - Luisa Plaja

Hey everyone !

I have *finally* read this book and I am now officially a Luisa Plaja fan ! YAY !

Jo has never been one of the popular kids... until she moves to the USA. Suddenly, the coolest girls at her high school adopt her, and the hottest boy, Jake Matthews, notices her.  But when Jake picks her as his partner in the kissing game Seven Minutes in Heaven, it's not half as heavenly as she imagined!
Jo has a choice: should she carry on with Jake for guaranteed popularity - or should she tell him where to get off and risk losing her new friends ... ? 
At this moment, Jo splits. She's Josie the cool - girlfriend of Jake, member of the in-crowd. But she's also Jo the Nerd - rejected by the It girls, single... ordinary. Will her two halves ever come together again ?


I have to admit that I was at first not very convinced by the cover which looked waaay too girly for comfort. And I thought - silly me - that it would be a book about high school relationships and cheerleaders being mean and jocks being jocks and all that. But this book is so much more than that. The plot contains the very essence of what goes down in schools such as the importance of peer pressure, and issues of rape or homosexuality etc. 

I really enjoyed the characters and how they are described. I prefer Jo the Nerd and how she doesn't let herself touched by a random guy. You go, girl ! Whereas Josie seems way too concerned by popularity to care for her real friends anymore. 
I think the character of Tori, Josie's/Jo's friend when she's with the It girls, is very sweet and it shows that you shouldn't judge someone from their look or for who they hang out with.
I love how her father is so fascinated with the Queen. I find, in general, that the adult characters are very truthful and full of those little habits that make them funny and adorable (and utterly annoying if they're your parents). Geeky moms rule!  As for Rachel, the goth rebel friend of Jo, she is a very interesting character, I like how she defends the woman cause by insulting jocks in the bathroom. I don't know if it is, but it looks like a reference to Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (Melinda warns the other girls of a certain guy getting too friendly by writing it in the girls bathroom). I definitely can't wait to read Swapped by a Kiss to learn more about her !

There are two sides to peer pressure which are very well described in the book. The first one is the influence Chelsea and co. have on Josie and other girls in their high school. These chicks, who are a complete minority by the way and very stupid also, autoproclaim themselves cool and force everyone into their vision of what is acceptable and what is not. Earth would be quite the boring hot spot if they had their way, but when you look at women magazines and websites nowadays, you realise that they still exist, you just learn not to pay attention to it anymore.

The second one is the pressure from the boys to have sex. This is, for me, very well described in the book. Maybe it's just an American thing: the "first base", "second base" etc. but I find it hilarious as in ridiculous the way everything is broken down in steps, like in a self-help book. Through the story of Kendis, we learn that when a girl isn't ready and chooses to say how she was forced by the boy, her friends treat her like a pariah and no one believes her. Again, it reminds me of the Laurie Halse Anderson book Speak which you should read if you haven't, and how difficult it was for Melinda to say what happened to her. I like how Luisa Plaja cleverly hints at those subject without making the book entirely serious. 

The story is told alternatively from Josie the Cool to Jo the Nerd, and I like how, from that one different choice she made in the closet, they are different on the outside, but still the same person inside. It is very well written.

This is such a beautiful book, I laughed for half of it and cried for the other half, and I learned plenty (like on how to differentiate British from American). I would advise it to any girl, even if you don't read Chick Lit, because you'll see that most of what is written will hit home.

What did you think of the book ?

Remember, it is the last week for the Werewolf Giveaway ! (to participate: here)


  1. I've been waiting forever to read this book and now it's finally being sent to me! So hopefully sometime this week :) It took me awhile as well, because I wasn't quite sure about that cover either!

  2. Woohoo, welcome to the Luisa Plaja fan club! I really enjoyed this book too and I agree that it tackled some important topics, but you'll be pleased to hear that Swapped is even better - in my humble opinion! Well, they're both fantastic reads and I can't wait to read Extreme Kissing! :D

  3. Oh wow! What a great review. I must one of Luisa's books. I feel like it is a crime against the UK book blogging community to not have read one. Add to that the fact that Luisa is the embodiment of awesome and then there really is every reason to buy one of her books. I never realised that her storylines were so deep.

    On another note, I'd be really interested to read a tory from a guy's perspective about peer pressure to have sex. We always think about the pressure girl's feel but surely some guys have insecurities and experience these feelings and pressures too.