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November 14, 2012

Kiss N' Tell Blog Tour: Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler + Guest Post

It's an honor to say that we're part of the Kiss 'N' Tell blog tour! I have always wanted to read Who I Kissed, and now I'm glad I got the chance to do so. Not only that, but check out the guest post that discusses how the media affects us nowadays! Hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

Title: Who I Kissed
Author: Janet Gurtler
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication date: October 1st, 2012
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Challenges: Contemporary, SARC
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 312
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.
As soon as I saw the gorgeous cover of "Who I Kissed", I've always wanted to read it. Im a sucker for simple covers, and I'm glad that I got this chance to read it! Despite it's pretty cover, Who I Kissed had a very emotional side to it. It wasn't all boys and crushes and kisses, it was more than that. The main protagonist, Sanantha, is a competitive swimmer. She's been having this thing with one of her teammates, Zac, and things get kind of messy. When Zac invites Samantha to a party, he kind of hooks up with this other girl. In order to get at him, Samantha decides to kiss his best friend, Alex, and then he dies. It was so shocking, and it really left me mouth gaping. 
The beginning was just so interesting and full on intense! I can't say it was slow paced or fast paced either. The flow of the book was perfect, and everything just felt right. The real problem is when everyone blames Samantha for Alex's death, because she was the one who ate a peanut butter sandwich before kissing him. Alex being allergic to peanuts gets a strong allergy reaction. It's actually the first time knowing that someone can actually DIE because of an allergic reaction, and that's one thing this book opened my eyes to. It was kind of mean how everyone at school kind of avoided Samantha because of what happened. I think that's the least part I enjoyed, because I honestly don't think people would treat me that way if I was in her place. Everyone can clearly see that it was an accident, and she had no idea whatsoever that he was allergic. I'm glad that after some time, people started realizing that. I felt bad for Samantha, because the guilt she carried was huge. I really connected to her, and understood why she did whatever she did.
For me, I think I genuinely enjoyed all of the characters despite their mistakes and differences. The one thing that kind of caught me off guard was that the book was more serious that I thought it would be. I honestly thought it was going to be a romantic comedy type of book, but I enjoyed it anyhow. I really learned a lot of things regarding people with allergies, and from now on I'll be taking more caution with situations like these. I loved the writing, and I'm glad I got to be part of this tour. I can't wait to get my hands on Janet Gurtler's future books. 


Media Crazy: In the book, Samantha is troubled with guilt and watching the news is not helping. Janet Gurtler explores the effect media can have on teens in tough situations.In the book, Who I Kissed, when a boy dies from kissing a girl who ate peanut butter, it’s a sensational death and all forms of media cover the tragedy. A peanut butter kiss and Alex is gone. It sounds almost comical, except it’s not. It’s a story that the papers and the online community want to talk about. Samantha is the girl who kissed a boy and made him die. Not only does she have to deal with her own guilt and horror, she has to deal with the worlds. All she has to do is turn on the television to see highlights and updates about what happened. 
Sam is compelled to watch and almost treats the news as her just punishment, watching and seeing snippets about the boy and his life and knowing she’s the cause of the person he’ll never become. When I wrote the book, I consulted some journalism friends to see if in a case like this whether or not the traditional forms of news coverage would name the girl who caused the death. The unanimous opinion was that, no, they wouldn’t because the death was accidental and a tragedy. 
The flip side of this world we live in today though is social media. There aren’t any hard and fast rules in place. In Sam’s world her name and the story is very much public knowledge. The teens even use social media to bully Sam. She’s taunted on Facebook and because of her overwhelming guilt, she doesn’t even try to report it or fight back. Online bullying is a problem that is becoming larger and is often difficult to manage. Sam is hurt but unable to answer to or unwilling to report or respond to it except internally.
Our society is so inundated with information coming from so many different forms of media. It seems like we expect to know the details when there’s a tragedy like a teen’s accidental death. As a public we want or the juicy behind the scenes. We’re a society growing up with reality television where we know intimate details about stranger’s lives. Teens post pictures of themselves on-line or their parents post their pictures online for the whole world to see. 
I’m sure television reporters and shows feel tremendous pressure to get something different to show a different angle of a story. The media seems much more intrusive and the public seems to support and expect it. In many ways, it’s an unhealthy sense of entitlement and a willingness to peer inside people’s windows and see things we’re not always entitled inside to see. 
We want to know everything but what is the price for the people who have to deal not only with the tragedy but also with the consequences of being so exposed in the media?
Where are ethics, and social responsibilities going when our traditional media outlets are competing against media not governed or concerned with the same moralities?
Well, it's been fun participating in this! I want to thank Janet Gurtler for writing an amazing book, and for the amazing guest post! Thanks for stopping by!


  1. This always sounded a bit too emotional and sad for me. I can only imagine the guilt of accidentally killing someone. I know it isn't her fault and she had no idea about the peanut allergy but it would still be something you could never forget or get over. Peanut allergies are super serious. My co-worker said that her kids are not even allowed to take peanut butter sandwiches to school. It is a no peanut zone. It is very serious although wasn't he carrying an epi pen? Usually if you have such a serious allergy you have one on you at all times and then when symptoms come immediately inject yourself. My aunt is terribly allergic to bunnies and she was just down wind from an angora sweater and I almost had to inject her but her inhaler worked well enough. It is scary!

  2. I had not ideas that this book was that serious either! I received a copy the other day so thanks for the heads up! I really like the sound of this book though, it's really different from the so many books already floating about. And a fab post by Janet, I agree the media has such a huge impact these days on the way we see things.

  3. Awesome post. I read this book last week and love it. It's different from what most books I read. Nice review!

  4. Every time I read the synopsis for this book I get the chills. I just can't even imagine something like that happening, I would be beside myself. I have this one in my TBR pile and I can't wait to get to it! The cover alone definitely makes me think romantic comedy, but once I read the blurb I figured this one would be much more serious in nature:) So glad to know you enjoyed it Farah!

  5. Wow, this sounds like it would be an emotional journey to follow. Wonderful review and a great post too.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  6. I have this book for a review too. I love your review for it and I think I better get ready for a lot of tears with this one! I can't wait to read it! Thanks for the awesome review! :)

  7. This books sounds so nice but also emotional at the same time! :) Great review and I hope to get the chance to read it! :)
    Tanja @ Ja čitam, a ti?

  8. I've heard good things about this book so I'm curious to give it a try. I always find the best characters are those you can appreciate despite their mistakes and faults. Lovely review and thanks for sharing the awesome guest post! :)

  9. Hi!
    I don't like this kind of book... there is a dramatic thing that I don't like it.
    Congratulations for the review ;)

  10. I really liked this too. I felt like even though it was serious and sad it wasn't actually depressing. I know some are scared to read it for that. But it was one that does make you think. I agree that the pace wasn't fast or slow, but I found it to be steady and was easy to read through.
    I think I liked (I'm not sure *liked* is the right word) that she was bullied. Or at least ostracized. I felt like it added another layer to the book and I was able to connect with the book more emotionally. It was the part that really got me good and angry. But it was balanced out by those who didn't blame her and stood by her side.
    Anyway, I'm glad you really enjoyed this one too!

  11. WOW! I am very much looking forward to this one after your review! I love the sound of the story, and despite it being emotional (I'm a sucker for those ;p), I still want to read it. I imagine I would very much like the characters and getting to know them much better. And I understand why it would open your eyes to such a serious topic. It's pretty scary, now that I think about it, if a person close you dies because of an allergic reaction. And I agree about the whole avoiding her issue, I don't people would do that to me if I was in her place....but I guess that's what made the story much more interesting. I can't wait to check this one out! I'm very curious as to how the romance turns out in this book, or if there was any to begin with after Adam's death.

    Fantabulous Review, Farah! Glad you enjoyed this! :)

    ~ Maida @ Literary Love Affair

  12. woah, first off i love the cover, im a sucker for a good cover! gets me every time.. secondly.. by no means that that cover look as deep and serious as the story is. great review!! - Katie @ Inkk

  13. Great guest post, great review. Thanks for hosting this, ladies! Sounds like a book worth reading.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden