All Elise wants is to have her first kiss before she turns sixteen. Is that so bad? But when a friend's poor advice and the powers of electronic technology combine, Elise heads down a dangerous road. She is accused of "sexting" and gets kicked out of school. But is she really the one to blame? This powerful and realistic story from beloved author Melody Carlson shows teen girls the impact of their choices when it comes to respecting themselves and their integrity. Honest and relevant, Never Been Kissed will make girls laugh, cry . . . and think.
From the Back Cover
New School = New Chance for That First Kiss
Summer is ending, and for once that doesn't seem like such a bad thing to Elise. She's hoping that starting fresh at a new high school will turn her first-kiss prospects around. New guys, new friends, and a new lease on life.
What she wasn't counting on was all the new pressure--to hang with the right crowd, wear the right clothes, and date the right guy. Just when it seems she's on top of the world, everything comes crashing down. Could one bad choice derail her future?
Never Been Kissed by Melody Carlson will be the first book to make my best fiction of 2011 list. It was a fabulous novel, very well-written, and if I could give it ten stars I honestly would. Not just because it deals with relevant and important topics for young people today, but because it exposes the danger that can come from seemingly small lies. And the pain caused from being harassed by peers.
I loved that the author brought everything full circulate and wrapped up the story with a very satisfying ending. Of course, I can't tell you what happened or it would be a spoiler. I can say that I'd love to see another story about Elise that explores her senior year in high school, since for her the eleventh grade started out as a train wreck.
I loved how the spiritual thread was neatly woven into the story, and it was not overpowering, contrived, or sappy sounding. I loved how realistic the main character's thought were, especially the ones rationalizing her behavior and contemplating ways to get away from the painful situation. The secondary characters were awesome as well. They were very well developed for such a short book.
This is one of the best YA books I've ever read. It seems like the last three YA novels written by Melody Carlson and published by Revell have been fabulous. The other titles were Anything But Normal and Just Another Girl. The author nailed teen thoughts and emotions very well in all three books. While I have to say that I truly adored the other two stories, this one is probably my favorite.
The bottom line for me - Elise was more realistically portrayed than most YA fiction. I loved that the point of view for this story was written in the first person present tense. I empathized with her as a young person and understood her feelings better as a result. Her mother's reaction was harsh, but totally believable. I could see it happening just the way it played out. Honestly, I didn't want to do anything except read this book, which for me isn't good right now due to my own deadlines. But I kept reading. It was that enthralling. I can't wait to see what Melody comes up with for Revell next. I am totally hooked.
Never Been Kissed was published by Revell and released in January 2011.