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May 05, 2012

Blog Tour: The Kiss Off by Sarah Billington review + Interview!

Welcome to our stop at The Kiss Off blog tour! Today I've got a review of this fabulous book! Be sure to check out the book here on Goodreads and also to follow the author through her blog here or through her twitter!

The Kiss Off is all about music, what inspired you to write a music themed contemporary?
To me, the book is more about high school popularity and notoriety, but on a bigger scale. I find the topic of popularity fascinating, what makes one person more well-liked than someone else? Poppy starts out as a normal girl, okay, maybe a little bit weird because of her whole Youtube thing. She’s liked well-enough but it’s not like everyone wants to be her friend. But then her song becomes popular, and she knows famous people – why is she popular? She’s the exact same person but everyone wants to know her now. I’m also really interested in the whole fandom thing. The dedication, the over-excitement, I was an oh-my-god-that-celebrity-is-coming-to-town-need-to-meet-them!! teenager, and though I’ve mellowed out now, I do find the psychology behind it all really interesting. And the most dedicated fans, the most exciting world is definitely that of music. 

Do you play any instruments? how well if yes? if no, which instrument would you want to play well?

I am rather musically-challenged, and am actually in awe of all these people that can play instruments, guitars, pianos, violins, and A) don’t have to look down at what they’re doing all the time and B) can sing at the same time. You’re singing a completely different tune to what you’re playing on the instrument. How does your brain enable you to even DO that? I learned the drums very briefly, always wanted to learn them and I had a kit at home that my teacher loaned me. But I never practiced cos…dude…those things are loud. And there’s no volume control. And I have neighbours. I would love to learn how to drum properly. There’s a lot of coordination involved. It might echo out into my daily life and make me less of a klutz! 

While reading the book I was pretty torn between the two love interests for Poppy, did you have a hard time deciding who she'll end up with?
Okay, so I wrote a kind of long-winded answer to this question, but then decided it was probably a tad too spoilery, so my answer is now: I did. I totally did. 

I just want to point out that Poppy is an AWESOME name, where did it come from? are there stories behind the character's names?
Poppy IS an awesome name, isn’t it? Hi to all the Poppys out there! Alas, there are no stories behind the names. I picked names that I liked, that felt right for the characters. MAYBE there’s a story behind Vanya, Dev and Ravi – I want to write multicultural books. We live in a multicultural world, I know here in Australia we’re chock-full of a gazillion nationalities. I find that some books can become incredibly anglo, and I want to write books that reflect the real world we live in. I think it’s important. 

I am sure all fans of The Kiss Off are wondering what your next book is? any ideas yet? sneak peaks maybe?
Okay, you ready? I’m working on a couple of things and I’m getting so excited about each of them that I’m flitting from one to the next constantly and quite frankly, not being overly productive about it. 
1) I am writing a collection of 10 (at the moment there’s only ten) short stories all set at Ravi’s party from the beginning of The Kiss Off. Parties are awesome! There’s so much going on! And it’s not like there is individual stuff going on. You drag your friends over to give you advice about what to do about the skank eyeing off your boyfriend, but your friend was in the middle of some BFF drama of her own. Each story in the series will follow a different character, and each book connects with several of the others. For example: A girl is crying in the corner being consoled by her friend while everyone else plays I, Never in one book, and in another book you follow that girl and discover what the drama is that made her cry and what she’s going to do about it. The more of the stories you read, the fuller your understanding of each story. They will be able to be read as stand alones, or in any order though. At least that’s the plan. I think it’s a good idea. Is it a good idea? It’s a lot of planning to do before I start ACTUALLY writing, but it’s exciting. And yes, there will be cameos from The Kiss Off, but it’s not a Kiss Off series or anything. That said… 
2) I am plotting out a sequel to The Kiss Off! There will be a road trip, a music festival, a misunderstood hitch hiker, a stalker and a huge request from someone famous. 
3) I’m planning a spin off from The Kiss Off, as well. 
4) Oh! And I’m writing a YA zombie novel under my pen name Edwina Ray. That’s probably enough for right now, huh? J 
Thank you so much Sarah for your great answers!                                                             This was fun, thanks for having me! 

The Kiss Off
Title: The Kiss Off 
Author: Sarah Billington

Publication date: May 15th, 2012
Publisher: Billington Media
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Challenges: Contemporary, 
Source: Blog Tour
Format: Digital Arc
Pages: 391
When sixteen year old Poppy Douglas writes a song about her ex-boyfriend Cam and ex-friend Nikki, she has no idea that her heartbreak is about to go global.

A local band picks up her song from Youtube and soon she’s along for the ride with her own fanbase as they blow up on the local club scene and hit the international charts. Though it turns out leaving Cam behind isn’t as easy as she had hoped.

Tangled in a web of unfinished homework, ill-considered sexting and a new lead-singer boyfriend, Poppy has a choice to make between the ex that inspired it all and the rock God whose poster lines the inside of half the lockers at school. But as she struggles to keep her emotional dirty laundry private, she learns that the truth can be hard to find when your life is in the headlines.
The Kiss Off by Sarah Billington starts off with the main protagonist, Poppy, writing and recording a song about her ex-boyfriend and ex-friend and uploading it on youtube. The video went viral and in a matter of days she was a youtube sensation. She then meets Tye who is part of a local band. They cover her song and THEY end up signing a contract with a recording agency. Now here is when my bad feelings set in; did Tye only approach her and hang with her because of the song? Does he genuinely like her? Is he going to ditch her once he’s famous? Will SHE want royalty when the song hits it big (which it did)? Then enters Cam, her ex-boyfriend into the picture. Again, I really liked Tye but then the ex-boyfriend had to be all adorable and puppy eyed. I was in so much conflict over who she should end up with, Tye or Cam? I don’t want to spoil who she ends up with which is why I wont say who I was rooting for in the end but Sarah keeps you till the last couple of pages anticipating how the book is going to end. I was seriously on the edge of my seat ready to scream because I had a feeling she was going to end with the person I wasn’t rooting for, but boy was I glad my gut feeling was wrong! 
The plot was fun, quirky, and mature. I loved the protagonist, even though she had a bit of anger management issues but its ok, I’ve got that too. She was great to her friends, not greedy on the fact that she just handed over her song to Tye’s band, and she wasn’t perfect. She’d break her parent’s rules, sneak out of the house just to chill with her friends, and honest. I loved that her excuse of why she snuck out when her parents specifically told her not to was ‘what did you expect? You left me alone, in a house, I was bound to break the rules!’. She isn’t a goody-two shoe and I really liked that about her. The only problem I had with her is an incident where she sent a photo to her boyfriend because she didn’t want to “lose him” to any girl. Even though she realizes how STUPID she was the very next day, I was just shocked that she would succumb to peer pressure and do it. 
Overall The Kiss Off was highly enjoyable, the protagonist was very likable and there was actually a plot going on that kept me interested and wanting to read. I ended up finishing it in less than a day! I would recommend it to any contemporary lover or anyone wanting to read a contemporary with a kick-butt heroine!
4 musical stars!


  1. Wow, this book sounds really interesting! Great review and interview. :)

  2. LOL, drums aren't really that loud. I live with a drummer, and if you don't bang on the drums with all your might, you can get a softer sound. That being said, I do own several pairs of earplugs and have been known to use them.

  3. Ha! Yeah - don't bang on them hard? Where's the fun in that! :)
    Thanks for hosting me, ladies! So glad you enjoyed it Juhina. Squee!