Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Kiss N' Tell Blog Tour: Review, Author Guest Post & Giveaway

Hey Guys! I'm excited to be hosting today's stop on Source Books, Kiss N' Tell Blog Tour to promote Janet Gurtler's newest release, Who I Kissed

Thank you so much to Janet and Sourcebooks for allowing me to participate in this great tour!

Here's a little info on the book!

Who I Kissed
By Janet Gurtler

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Now Available!!!
Source: ARC from Raincoast Books

She Never Thought A Kiss Could Kill. . .

Samantha is new at school and just recently joined the swim team.  She’s been flirting with one of her teammates, Zee, who invites her to a party and just as quickly dumps her for another girl.  Hurt, but pretending not to care, she turns to his best friend, Alex, and gives him a kiss.  And he dies—right in her arms.  Alex was allergic to peanuts, and Samantha had eaten a peanut butter sandwich right before the party.  She didn’t know.  Overnight, Samantha turns into the school pariah and a media sensation explodes.  Consumed with guilt, abandoned by her friends, and in jeopardy of losing her swimming scholarship, she will have to find the inner-strength to forgive herself for the tragedy.  Critics are already applauding the author’s insight and her ability to make her “character breathe with life” (Kirkus Reviews). Skillfully capturing the raw, honest emotions of her teen protagonists, Janet 
paints them into a searing portrait of a tragedy that uproots the lives of everyone it touches.

My thoughts:

Gurtler's titles are always a great choice for those looking for a quick contemporary fix, in their YA.

I especially loved this one, because I am a swimmer myself, so I enjoyed having that hobby in common with Samantha. She's a strong heroine, faced with some unusual circumstances, and I enjoyed reading from her first-person, present tense narrative. 

There are some sad moments Who I Kissed, and you feel a sense of injustice for Sam, while she did use Alex to make another boy jealous (a common practice amongst teenage girls), she really had no intention of killing the poor boy. And it's her choices and actions, after this tragic event, that I think really showcased her true character. And it really doesn't hurt having Zee's shoulder to turn to.

One thing I need to mention, I was sad that Alex's part of this story was cut so short, I understand why it was, but I truly liked what little I got to know of him.

Who I Kissed does not disappoint, it's a great coming-of-age novel mixed in with a thrilling mystery and a dash of romance. Many readers will easily relate to Samantha and her struggles to find herself and atone for her guilt. Being a teenager is never easy, and Gurtler seems to have this genre nailed!

Can't wait for my next Gurtler fix!

Author Guest Post: Body Swapping

As a YA writer, Janet Gurtler often has to embody the lives and emotions of her character.  This time, we’re asking her to channel Sam and tell us some of the character insight we’re dying to know – first crush, most embarrassing moment, favorite books, music, & more!  And Janet reveals a little of how she creates such realistic teen characters.

“Sam, Sam, Sam. What are we going to do with you?”  
If you can’t tell, I’m using my mother voice. Also I’m talking to a fictitious character.  But we’ll ignore that part. When I write teen characters I have to turn my mother voice off.  (And embrace the crazy.)  Truth be known, I am able to remove my mother voice pretty easily and I find it kind of natural to slip inside the head of a teenager.  
I had a tough time when I was a teenager. I had a lot of internal struggles. I majored in insecurity and angst. And I remember many of those feelings really well. Really, really well.    

So, getting inside the head of a teenager isn’t as hard for me as if should be. Of course, my characters aren’t me.  I give them different challenges and different personality quirks. And then I have to try to think the way they would think. I have to slip into their shoes.
Fortunately, I enjoy imagining getting inside a character’s head. I like to go deep inside and look at things people sometimes try to hide. From themselves and from the world. I like to go there. To places that are uncomfortable. Especially with the challenges of today’s world around them. Technology. Expectations. Social media.

I took Samantha to some uncomfortable places in Who I Kissed. Imagine feeling responsible for the death of someone else. How horrifying would that be?  How would you possibly get over it? Especially when you’re dealing with your own issues.  Sam had some things to overcome even before the accident, but the accident brought them to the surface with a rush.  Ultimately, Sam has to learn to let other people in.  And that’s not always an easy thing to do.  To me she’s a fully formed person with a history and built in likes and dislikes. So let’s take a deeper look at Sam. Let me slide back into her skin for a moment and tell you some of her secrets.

Favorite Book- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time  Indian by Sherman Alexie.   

Favorite Song- Tonight Tonight by Hot Chelle Rae

Favorite Movie- The Avengers

Favorite Food- Jelly Bellies of course! But as far as real food goes, she likes Mexican.  Bean Burritos.  Even though they give her gas.  She probably wouldn’t eat them on a date.

First serious crush. Zee.

First heart aches. Zee.  

Best kiss ever. Zee.

Celebrity Crush-   Corbin Bleu. She is waiting for his acting career to extend beyond High school Musical

Personal Hero-  Missy Franklin  

Secret Talent- Sam loves to dance. She practices in her room with her iPod. At some point, she’s going to try to convince her swim team to record a dance dare (dancing behind people without them knowing) for the Ellen show. She knows every dance step to Party Rockin by LMFAO.  

Most Embarrassing Moment- When her bathing suit split down the butt at a swim meet and she had to finish her race, which was thankfully backstroke.

But wait, there's more! SourceBooks has generously donated one finished copy of Who I Kissed, for a giveaway. To enter please fill out the Rafflecopter below. Please read the terms and conditions carefully, good luck to all!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. It sounds interesting. I'm quite intrigue by the thought of the blurb, "She never thought a kiss could kill.". I want to know what happen next. :)

    Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  2. Christina K. in the rafflecopter

    I need to find out more about Zee!! And SAm seems so nice - I want to find out how she gets over this:)

    Thank you:)

  3. I love YA contemporary, especially when the characters are forced to deal with tough circumstances! And a kiss that kills seems very rough.

  4. I'm a huge fan of YA Contemporary novels. I've also read all of her other books and adored them.

  5. It sounds like a fabulous contemporary novel, though sad. :D I love Contemp.

  6. I have been finding out more and more just how much I love YA contemporary and this one sounds like it will be good! I mean I have read a lot of great reviews on it ;) Thanks for the giveaway!