Split by a Kiss by Luisa Plaja

Title: Split by a Kiss
Author: Luisa Plaja
Published: 2008
Format: Paperback
Pages: 309 (excluding about author, title page, etc.)
RRP: £5.99
Rating: 13+

Jo has just moved to America with her mum. She’s always been a fairly average girl – not a nerd but certainly never one of the popular kids. But on her first day in her new school, she seems to be adopted by the It girls – and is invited to one of their parties. There, she meets Jake Matthews, officially the hottest boy in school, and when they begin to play the kissing-in-the-closet game, Seven Minutes in Heaven, amazingly Jake picks Jo to join him in the closet! She can’t believe her luck. But the reality of being kissed and groped by Jake is not quite as great as the fantasy…Jo has a choice to make: should she carry on, kiss Jake and secure her position in the It crowd – or should she tell him where to get off and risk relegation back to the land of the ordinary …? At this moment – Jo splits. She’s Josie the Cool – girlfriend of Jake, member of the It crowd. She’s also Jo the Nerd – rejected by the It crowd, single …Will her two halves ever come back together again? Is Jake the guy she’s meant to be with or could some of the other people she meets along her journey – Rachel the scary goth, David the misfit or Albie the rocker – be the answer? A fabulously inventive, heartwarming and funny take on the Sliding Doors idea, for teen readers.

An incredibly heart warming and entertaining novel has kept me wanting more. The first thing I loved about this book was that it is the only book I know of where the main character has moved from the UK to the US (there also isn’t many which move from US to UK, is there?). It meant I could imagine being in Jo’s (also know as Josie!) shoes –  having been in a different country with a different culture all her life, then mixing up words when speaking with UK words!

The characters were all likeable (save a few), and all were realistic and developed well. I felt that even though the cheerleader and jock thing has been used a HUGE number of times, Plaja has managed to use this cliche and morph it into something different, all the while keeping light hearted and humorous.

The concept in which Josephine is split into two “lives” is one which has been seldom used. I then wonder why? It made the book have that extra edge than other teen chick lit around just now. You have Jo the nerd, apparently living the not so cool life, but then you have Josie, the new and popular girl who seems to have it all. Two completely opposite lives, but you get to the foundation and see it is the same girl! It shows you what would have happened for each option she had back in that cupboard (or closet?!) with Jake, and that means it is practically two stories in one!

Luisa Plaja has created a wonderfully cute teen chick lit with all the right elements, but also with new ideas. The humour in it is perfectly teen and Jo (or Josie or Josephine) is a great example of teens today. This novel is pitch perfect and enjoyable to read for any teen girl!

Plot: 8/10
Not really a plot or storyline, but more of what happens in Jo’s (or Josie or Josephine!) life once moving to America. Although not much plot action, there was a lot happening in her life to make it entertaining!
Writing Quality: 8/10
Great writing style, and the quality was very good. It needed to be good so that Jo’s voice seemed realistic.
Originality: 9/10
It needed a lot of originality to be a good book, and it is! It uses elements which are cliche, but Luisa Plaja managed to change it to suit the unique-ness of this book
Characters: 9/10
All very well developed and true to life. Interesting personalities for majority of characters (some girls in the It Crowd would be hard to make both original and interesting, as to make them different would make them seem unrealistic)
Descriptions: 7/10
Not a huge amount of descriptions in this book, but it didn’t need to have a whole lot to keep it entertaining! There was enough so I was aware of what the place was like and imagine the people, though.

41/50 = 82%


Thank you to Luisa for providing a copy for me to read and thoroughly enjoy! I can’t wait to start on Swapped by a Kiss, which encompasses the majority of the main characters.


8 responses to “Split by a Kiss by Luisa Plaja

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Split by a Kiss by Luisa Plaja | Magic Bean Review -- Topsy.com

  2. I’ve seen couple of books by the same author in some IMM’s before, but never really know what it was about. Though after reading your review, I feel like it this book is something I might end up enjoy.

  3. I’ve never heard of the book. It sounds pretty good I may have to give it a go. Good to hear its not the same old jock/cheerleader plot!

  4. This sounds like a fun, enjoyable read. Thanks for the review 🙂

  5. Shy: Yes, I saw it a lot too, and had meant to have obtained a copy to read, as I had heard it was good. I do recommend it! It was very refreshing to read.

    Mollie: That was what I thought after reading! The cliche seems to be dying out though now, so it’s a good thing.

    Nishita: Thanks! It was, I do recommend it 🙂

    Thanks for the comments!

  6. Came across your internet site via yahoo the other day and absolutely like it so much. Carry on the fantastic work.

  7. Pingback: Swapped by a Kiss by Luisa Plaja | Magic Bean Review

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