Alexander, Jennet. I Kissed a Girl. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2021.
ISBN-13: 978-172822707 | $14.99 USD | 384 pages | Contemporary Romance
Can an up-and-coming horror actress
and the makeup artist for her newest “creature feature”
turn on-set chemistry into the romance of a lifetime?
Lilah Silver’s a young actress who dreams of climbing out of B-list stardom. She’s been cast as the lead in what could be her breakout performance…but if she wants to prove herself to everyone who ever doubted her, she’s going to need major help along the way.
Noa Birnbaum may be a brilliant makeup artist and special effects whiz-kid, but cracking into the union is more difficult than she imagined. Keeping everyone happy is a full-time job, and she’s already run ragged. And yet when the beautiful star she’s been secretly crushing on admits to fears of her own, Noa vows to do everything in her power to help Lilah shine like never before.
Long hours? Exhausting work? No problem. Together they can take the world by storm…but can the connection forged over long hours in the makeup chair ever hope to survive the glare of the spotlight?
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley and am voluntarily posting a review. All opinions are my own.
I Kissed a Girl is a sweet, lighthearted sapphic romcom, and while I’m glad we’re seeing more mainstream sapphic rep adult romance, this is one that sadly missed the mark.
It’s not all bad, as there are elements I liked here. The characters on their own have their charms, especially Lilah. I loved that she’s struggling with her bisexuality, and simultaneously trying to break out of typecasting in cheesy horror films, which presented many moments for comedy.
I did also sort of like Noa, even if I didn’t feel as invested in her as a character. It is nice to see different sides of the film industry, and the intimate bond that can form between a star and a makeup artist is fertile ground for a romance.
But it felt like something was missing throughout. Lilah develops feelings early on, and the bulk of the book is them kinda tiptoeing around each other. I understand the issues at play with the balance between professional and personal lives, as well as there being something of a power imbalance with one being “talent” and the other part of the crew, but I didn’t feel like these were made into sufficient enough issues to sustain the book.
I didn’t enjoy this as much as I hoped I would, and while it does sadden me, I’m also relieved to know I’m not alone, judging by the largely middling-to-negative reviews. This book has its moments, and if you’re in the mood for something fun and fluffy, you should give it a try.
Jennet lives by the ocean with her long-term partner, kids and cats. All of them (except the cats) love camping, seaside sunsets, and long walks with a lot of bug spray. She has previously worked in theatre, dance, and television production, is now installed primarily on the administrative and educational side of things, and is seizing the opportunity to use some of that knowledge for evil.
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