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The Kissing Game: Stories of Defiance and Flash Fictions

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United under the banner of flash fiction, this is a collection of stories, or little 'cells', complete in themselves but connected by the overarching themes of betrayal and revenge. All featuring teenagers and often with an unexpected twist, these frighteningly realistic stories will take you to the very edge and beyond. United under the banner of flash fiction, this is a collection of stories, or little 'cells', complete in themselves but connected by the overarching themes of betrayal and revenge. All featuring teenagers and often with an unexpected twist, these frighteningly realistic stories will take you to the very edge and beyond.


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United under the banner of flash fiction, this is a collection of stories, or little 'cells', complete in themselves but connected by the overarching themes of betrayal and revenge. All featuring teenagers and often with an unexpected twist, these frighteningly realistic stories will take you to the very edge and beyond. United under the banner of flash fiction, this is a collection of stories, or little 'cells', complete in themselves but connected by the overarching themes of betrayal and revenge. All featuring teenagers and often with an unexpected twist, these frighteningly realistic stories will take you to the very edge and beyond.

30 review for The Kissing Game: Stories of Defiance and Flash Fictions

  1. 4 out of 5

    Olivia Humphrey

    I decided to read The Kissing Game, by Aidan Chambers because the synopsis and cover looked and sounded really interesting. I refer long novels rather than short stories, so the way this book was presented grabbed my attention and i felt i would enjoy this book. This book is for the short stories catagory on the bingo board. I find short stories quite frustrating, because as you read them, you find out a lot about a character, and build a connection with them. But then the story ends rather abru I decided to read The Kissing Game, by Aidan Chambers because the synopsis and cover looked and sounded really interesting. I refer long novels rather than short stories, so the way this book was presented grabbed my attention and i felt i would enjoy this book. This book is for the short stories catagory on the bingo board. I find short stories quite frustrating, because as you read them, you find out a lot about a character, and build a connection with them. But then the story ends rather abruptly. and you are left wanting more from the story, but the story will neer be continued. in my opinion, i find this very frustrating. The stroies though, even though were short, still were amusing and interesting, with life lessons winded in to them and a resolution was always there. The book the Kissing Game fits into the category of short stories from one anthology. With a selection of different stories in the book, we can see a variety of themes that all relate to each other, and we can see how they each reflect the same message. I found this category interesting as it had lots of exciting adventures. I like short stories because even though they are not narratives, and are finished within 20 pages, you still feel a connection with the characters and feel the need to know more about what happens to them. This was a fun and enjoyable bingo board category to choose from, and is good for a Sunday read. Something i learned from this book is how being yourself, and staying true to who you are is the best thing that you can do. While making friends, going for jobs, meeting new people, or being put in sticky situations, the best thing you can do is be yourself to help you get through it. In one of the short stories, a girl pretended to be someone else for a day, sick of being treated as a nobody. When she got into some trouble in the town, she could not think for herself and no one could help her because of how she was acting and what she had become. If she had stayed her kind, smart self, she could of avoided the incident, and saved a lot of terror for herself. Through this, i can see that being myself in front of other people, will benefit me, and it is the right thing to do. A character or setting that interested me was a boy who, no matter how hard he tried, could not meet his fathers high standards of his son, and he always felt like a disappointment. When an opportunity came for him to prove he was a good son, his father payed no attention and called him a liar. We could read how crushed and heart broken the boy was, but we watched him not give up. he had faith in himself, and that was all that mattered. The situation he was faced with, he completed. His father then realised what a great son he had. Even though we read all of this in 20 pages, we could see just how self belief can change an entire relationship. This was one of my favourite changes visible in this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bella

    I don't really know what to think about this book. I don't know whether to think that I completely missed the point of it, and that I've just not picked up on a fundamental theme within the book, or whether there just is no point. There were a whole bunch of short stories, flash fiction, that seemed to have nothing in common with each other, and I don't quite know what to make of them. Having never read any kind of flash fiction before, I was intrigued as to what they would be like. And I don't I don't really know what to think about this book. I don't know whether to think that I completely missed the point of it, and that I've just not picked up on a fundamental theme within the book, or whether there just is no point. There were a whole bunch of short stories, flash fiction, that seemed to have nothing in common with each other, and I don't quite know what to make of them. Having never read any kind of flash fiction before, I was intrigued as to what they would be like. And I don't think they're for me. I can't decide whether it's because the stories in The Kissing Game were either extremely weird or just uninteresting, or whether it's the format of the stories that I didn't like. (As you can tell, I'm very indecisive about everything about this book... ;P ) For example, there was one story in which a kid finds a tower, but his dad can't see it. He goes to find the tower, and then the kid's parents find him, floating in the air, because he's in the tower but they can't see it... It was very strange, and I didn't understand what the story was trying to tell me. There were a couple of other stories like that, and then there were ones that just bored me out of my brain... I can't even remember half of them, unfortunately, so I won't say anymore on that. And then some of them were just a little bit depressing and strange. In one of the *minor spoilers ahead* it ends after a girl stabs a boy while kissing him over a fence. I finished that story just thinking why on earth did Chambers write it that way? Have I missed something, again? Eurgh, it is SO frustrating when you don't understand things. Perhaps the only story I really remember very clearly is the first story, about Ursula. She didn't like who everyone thought she was so she felt she had to change herself. So she changes her clothes and gets a makeover, and goes out into the world. It doesn't take her long to realise she doesn't like faking who she is, and it sends a much needed message to the reader to let them know that it's better to just be yourself. Overall, I didn't really enjoy The Kissing Game all that much. It was a bit hit and miss, if I'm honest. I think it'd be good for people who want a book that will make them think, and people who like to analyse and find hidden meanings within the stories they read. I have a feeling it'd be great for an English teacher, but if you've had enough of studying books in school like me and just want something light and readable, then this one is probably not for you. *Thanks to Random House for sending me this in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elanna

    I think I just found an author I truly enjoy reading. He has the rare gift of an elegant, delicate style and also has something important to say, not in the urgent way a Pulitzer journalist would, nor in the tormented manner of a Bukowski. The substance of his writing is made of everyday events that look insignificant at first sight, only to take a universal significance in their consequences, or in the light of the characters' personality or circumstances. These insignificant moments become piv I think I just found an author I truly enjoy reading. He has the rare gift of an elegant, delicate style and also has something important to say, not in the urgent way a Pulitzer journalist would, nor in the tormented manner of a Bukowski. The substance of his writing is made of everyday events that look insignificant at first sight, only to take a universal significance in their consequences, or in the light of the characters' personality or circumstances. These insignificant moments become pivots around which entire existences turn, end, change, mature, acquire sense or lose it. You will not find clichés here. Not even a hint. Such an original voice... Last but not the least, this man identifies Kafka, Calvino and Kawabata (between others) as authors of flash narrative who influenced his choices... he goes as far as talking about Kawabata's Stories in the Palm of a Hand. Gotta love him. These are exactly the authors who made me understand and love the short story as a vehicle of great literary achievements. Yes, the more I think about this book, the more I think I found a new contemporary author I admire. Edit: if, after you read the book, you think 'flash fiction', or collections of very short to short stories, may be your thing, then you may take a look at: Kafka's short stories here: http://franzkafkastories.com/shortSto... Kawabata Yasunari's Palm of the Hand Stories Italo Calvino's The Cosmicomics and/or T Zero (Time and the Hunter is the same book with another title). All masterpieces. You are welcome.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anna Bowe

    A neat little collection of short stories. Though the conversation-only pieces left me a little cold, the stories were enjoyable and one or two riveting.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Eloisa Rodriguez

    Short stories, some leave you wanting for more and other are just enough Shows love relationships between teenagers in such a simple and real way

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Van Donk

    Nope...not for me

  7. 4 out of 5

    Taylor

    The collection of short stories called Kissing Game by Aidan Chambers would be enjoyed by people who like romance and mystery. A theme for this book is love will sometimes make you do crazy things.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Schensted

    in a sentence or so: a series of short stories about teenage relationships. sixteen short stories share the many sides of relationships. from the rush of meeting someone new to the comfort in having a trusted boyfriend stand up for you, each story brings a unique voice, both male and female, and brings a unique element to this collection of varied memories. the title certainly made me think these would be romantic stories. perhaps even first kiss stories or first love stories or something else qua in a sentence or so: a series of short stories about teenage relationships. sixteen short stories share the many sides of relationships. from the rush of meeting someone new to the comfort in having a trusted boyfriend stand up for you, each story brings a unique voice, both male and female, and brings a unique element to this collection of varied memories. the title certainly made me think these would be romantic stories. perhaps even first kiss stories or first love stories or something else quaint - what with the red font and the swirlies and all. as it turns out, the stories i read were not romantic in the sense i was expecting. in fact, they were more along the lines of the random stories that coworkers tell you. or a story that might fit in if given the right prompt. like if you're talking about going to the zoo and you say "oh man, did i ever tell you about the time i worked for the zoo and had to wear this kangaroo costume?" unfortunately, i didn't read all of the short stories in this book. after discovering that the stories weren't what i expected at all, i tried to jump around a bit to see if any struck my fancy. it's not that any of them were bad, they just feel flat for me and didn't pack that punch i was hoping for. if i had different expectations going into this book, i think i would have enjoyed it a lot more. for those of you who love short stories and a lot of variety, you might dig this. in fact, if you're interested in giving it a try, let me know and i'll send my copy along to you! i'd love for this to find a happy home. (this will be removed once the book is claimed) fave quote: The Scientific Approach was my favorite of the stories i read. the ending threw me for a loop and i still don't know what to make of it, but the perspective was just this side of pathetic and it totally worked for the narrator. fix er up: short stories are tricky - you have a lot to accomplish in a short time frame. unfortunately, i felt like the short stories in this compilation, while unique, don't form a comprehensive collection or have enough personality individually to recommend this easily.

  9. 5 out of 5

    American Mensa

    The Kissing Game by Aidan Chambers is unlike any book I've ever read. Instead of one long, continuous story, each chapter is a different story. I've read books that are collections of folk tales and the like, but never one like this. Aidan Chambers calls some of his stories "flash fiction". They are brief "flashes" of other people's lives or events. Needless to say, this was one interesting book that took advantage of the way it was set up. The stories all started off relatively mundane and were The Kissing Game by Aidan Chambers is unlike any book I've ever read. Instead of one long, continuous story, each chapter is a different story. I've read books that are collections of folk tales and the like, but never one like this. Aidan Chambers calls some of his stories "flash fiction". They are brief "flashes" of other people's lives or events. Needless to say, this was one interesting book that took advantage of the way it was set up. The stories all started off relatively mundane and were like slices of life. However, many endings took surprising twists I never would have seen coming. They are extremely realistic. The stories aren't your typical realistic fiction cliché where everything works out in the end. At first, I honestly thought they would be with the way they started, but the stories stayed true to the real world. The characters all went through interesting plots, and not all of them succeeded in solving the conflict. Some endings and stories were quite twisted and dark to be perfectly honest. Yet, not all of them are dark and twisted. There are light-hearted, humorous stories that are still realistic. All these elements result in endings that leave you completely bewildered, because you will never see them coming. The characters were all teens and young adults who had reasonable personalities. They all had their unique quirks. I would recommend this book to mature teens, as it does have adult references, jokes, and topics. As I have a lengthy commute to school, I liked that I could read at least one story per commute and wasn't left wondering what would happen next in a story. If you have a daily commute to school (and you aren't the driver, of course) or perhaps if you want to read a quick story before you sleep, I recommend this book. Overall, I rate The Kissing Game 5 stars for its unique style and realistic plots. Amanda T., Greater Los Angeles Area Mensa

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    The Kissing Game is a collection of 16 short stories (around 5,000 words long) and flash fiction pieces (story bites that are less than 1,000 words long). The book covers a wide range of topics and is in a variety of formats but all of the main characters are between 14 and 18 years old. There were a few stories that I really enjoyed, one was a letter from a student to a teacher, one about an immigrant who has been tricked into the sex slave trade and the title story about a very shy boy with a The Kissing Game is a collection of 16 short stories (around 5,000 words long) and flash fiction pieces (story bites that are less than 1,000 words long). The book covers a wide range of topics and is in a variety of formats but all of the main characters are between 14 and 18 years old. There were a few stories that I really enjoyed, one was a letter from a student to a teacher, one about an immigrant who has been tricked into the sex slave trade and the title story about a very shy boy with a stammer that had a very unexpected ending. I liked the variety of stories on offer and the fact that you didn't have a clue what topic would be covered next. Some stories were very light hearted and funny while others were thought provoking and even quite dark in places (I wouldn't recommend this for younger teens!). This was the first time I've read any flash fiction and I have to confess that I prefer a longer story that I can sink my teeth into. I did feel that these very short stories (often just 2-3 pages) could be a good starting point for reluctant readers though - especially as it offers realistic slices of teenage life that most young adults would be able to relate to. The short conversations between teens were just the kind of thing you could imagine overhearing when you're sitting at the bus stop but I found most of them didn't hold my interest. I think I would have enjoyed them a lot more when I was a teenager as they would have been more relevant to my life experiences (I hate to say it but I think I'm too old to fully appreciate this book). If you're a fan of short stories it would definitely be worth picking this up, with 16 very different stories included there is bound to be something to appeal to most teens but if you're like me and prefer a longer story then this might not be the best option.

  11. 4 out of 5

    E. Anderson

    When I cracked open THE KISSING GAME by Aidan Chambers, it wasn’t long before I was engrossed. It’s a collection of the award-winning author’s short fiction, and each and every story packs a punch, with pieces ranging from drabbles and flash fiction to stories of typical length. From the “The Kissing Game,” about a boy getting to know his new neighbor, both of them dealing with issues of the past, to “The Tower,” which brings a little magic realism to a camping trip, the characters are vivid and When I cracked open THE KISSING GAME by Aidan Chambers, it wasn’t long before I was engrossed. It’s a collection of the award-winning author’s short fiction, and each and every story packs a punch, with pieces ranging from drabbles and flash fiction to stories of typical length. From the “The Kissing Game,” about a boy getting to know his new neighbor, both of them dealing with issues of the past, to “The Tower,” which brings a little magic realism to a camping trip, the characters are vivid and real and brought to life with such carefully chosen language. One of my favorites in the collection was “Sanctuary,” in which an agoraphobic teen on his way to a college interview meets an immigrant girl who turns out to be in a lot of trouble — and none of it of her own making. The story is fast-paced, gripping, and succinct. THE KISSING GAME is, in short, amazing. And I’d love to see this book in the hands of both casual readers and English class students. It’s definitely a highly literary work, but it’s also extremely accessible. Reluctant readers will enjoy the low-pressure nature of reading short fiction, and writing teachers will find amazing examples to use in their curricula. Not to mention the fact that THE KISSING GAME is rife with humor, pain, adventure, and, well, story.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kirsty

    I thought this was a fab little quick read. The Kissing Game is a collection of short stories all based on the different experiences of teenagers. I liked how diverse the stories were. There were a few longer ones, some done as scripts, others as letters / monologues. I really liked the variety as you were never sure what you were getting next. Out of all the stories there were a few that really stood out for me. One story was a letter written by a boy who lives outside the system in a house he bui I thought this was a fab little quick read. The Kissing Game is a collection of short stories all based on the different experiences of teenagers. I liked how diverse the stories were. There were a few longer ones, some done as scripts, others as letters / monologues. I really liked the variety as you were never sure what you were getting next. Out of all the stories there were a few that really stood out for me. One story was a letter written by a boy who lives outside the system in a house he built in the woods to the council who are trying to get his house pulled down. I loved the idea behind it and the morals the story put out there which were put together well in a very short piece. I loved the letter rom one boy to his teacher about why he was not participating in PE. I thought it was brilliantly funny. A couple of the stories were quite dark. The title story the Kissing Game is quite dark in its content but almost quite sweet. There is also a story about a young girl who is an illegal immigrant and being used for all kinds of awful things by the man who helped her get into the country. All in all a fab collection of stories which were intelligently written showing a real insight into teenagers today.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Leilani Ioelu

    I decided to read this book because I found it on the short stories shelf at the library. It looked the most interesting, I know, judging a book by it's cover, but the rest did look boring. Bad habit. The book comes under the bing box of "short stories". This book is really different and strange. I haven't read anything like it because the short stories seem to have no morals, well the ones I read. I read the stories called "Up for it", "The God debate" and "Like life". My favourite quote is "bit I decided to read this book because I found it on the short stories shelf at the library. It looked the most interesting, I know, judging a book by it's cover, but the rest did look boring. Bad habit. The book comes under the bing box of "short stories". This book is really different and strange. I haven't read anything like it because the short stories seem to have no morals, well the ones I read. I read the stories called "Up for it", "The God debate" and "Like life". My favourite quote is "bit of an accident really." because I find it really funny. This is about how the man acciedently got a women pregnant. It is funny because his reaction when finding out is really calm and careless. When usually you are really happy and excited or really scared and annoyed. My favourite scene is when the same man above is complaining how he hasn't 'lived' life yet. When suddenly he finds out that a girl just got pregnant. He keeps on saying that the man that got her pregnant has lived life when his friend wonders who the man that got her pregnant is. When after a while the man complaining he hasn't lived life realises he has because he was the man who got that lady pregnant. This is a really funny situation.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Vicky

    This is a collection of short stories, some of them very short (flash fiction). As in most collections, I enjoyed a couple of them, but several left me scratching my head wondering what the author was trying to put across. In all of them, the main character is between the ages of 14 and 18. The story with the young man wrote a letter to his school's headmaster about why he should be excused from physical education. Something I'm sure most of us would have enjoyed getting out of at one time or ano This is a collection of short stories, some of them very short (flash fiction). As in most collections, I enjoyed a couple of them, but several left me scratching my head wondering what the author was trying to put across. In all of them, the main character is between the ages of 14 and 18. The story with the young man wrote a letter to his school's headmaster about why he should be excused from physical education. Something I'm sure most of us would have enjoyed getting out of at one time or another. There was another story about a young man, again writing a letter, this time to the town council, telling why he should be allowed to live on his own and how he is self-sufficient. These two stand out in my mind as being well done. The rest...not so much. There is a decidedly British aspect to the stories, both in theme, spelling and experience, but this doesn't detract from the stories overall. If you're looking for quick reads, go ahead and pick this up. I'm sure you'll find at least one or two stories in the collection that will pique your interest. If nothing else, several of them (for instance the two mentioned here) will lead to good discussions.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    I kept wondering why the stories in the Kissing Game left me unsatisfied. I would finish one and say "Well that's over." Last page...Author Aiden Chambers describes his recent experiment in FLASH FICTION. "Several of the stories in this collection are a kind that are now called flash fictions...They are like a flash of light, a spark, which allow one quick view of a whole scene or person or event....They are usually less than 1,000 words long...They can be of any genre so long as they are storie I kept wondering why the stories in the Kissing Game left me unsatisfied. I would finish one and say "Well that's over." Last page...Author Aiden Chambers describes his recent experiment in FLASH FICTION. "Several of the stories in this collection are a kind that are now called flash fictions...They are like a flash of light, a spark, which allow one quick view of a whole scene or person or event....They are usually less than 1,000 words long...They can be of any genre so long as they are stories..." He explains this fan fiction in greater detail but catches my eye by citing some great authors who wrote flash fiction like Kafka, Chekhov, Hemingway, etc. I looked it up on Wikipedia to learn more. I'm trying to give flash fiction a chance. Perhaps if I found a short piece nestled in a magazine that was short and flashy, I would be pleasantly surprised. The Kissin that flash fiction is a "cutting edge of literature", I would have thought the stories quite skimpy.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Man it was hard finding a rating for this book? ( not really a book more like stories put together) I was torn between a two or a four. Two because I found the KISSING GAME to be too short. Okay, okay I know that it's made of short stories but the fact that every story I read ended up to be too short ; every single one had an abupt end. I almost gave it a four star rating because I enjoyed most of them. Some were cute, others were magical and some wild. I just wished some of them could have been Man it was hard finding a rating for this book? ( not really a book more like stories put together) I was torn between a two or a four. Two because I found the KISSING GAME to be too short. Okay, okay I know that it's made of short stories but the fact that every story I read ended up to be too short ; every single one had an abupt end. I almost gave it a four star rating because I enjoyed most of them. Some were cute, others were magical and some wild. I just wished some of them could have been longer because they had potential before it was cut off abuptly. So that's Why i decided to meet in the middle and rate the novel a three. If you are wondering whether you should or shouldn't read the book, I would say Most Definitley! I never read short stories before so it was something to experience but I have found it not my type of reading. I would read the stories if I wanted a short read on a busy day.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    The Kissing Game by Aidan Chambers is a collection of sixteen short stories, that I wish could have been more engrossing. This book takes place in all different places. In The Tower, a boy finds tower in the middle of the woods, and sees a girl stuck in the tower which is burning. In The Kissing Game, a boy and girl connect from bad past experiences. In Kangaroo a girl gets an unusual summer job. I think that this book was very dull and had no driving plot. Short stories are too short to have The Kissing Game by Aidan Chambers is a collection of sixteen short stories, that I wish could have been more engrossing. This book takes place in all different places. In The Tower, a boy finds tower in the middle of the woods, and sees a girl stuck in the tower which is burning. In The Kissing Game, a boy and girl connect from bad past experiences. In Kangaroo a girl gets an unusual summer job. I think that this book was very dull and had no driving plot. Short stories are too short to have a full plot so I think that was one of the reason I didn't like the book. My favorite story in the book was Cindy's Day Out, because it was fast paced and fun to read. When reading this book I usually felt bored and wanted to stop reading. I would not recommend reading this book to anyone. The only thing I learned from this book is how short stories are written. If I would give this book a rating I would give it one smiley face out of five.

  18. 4 out of 5

    jiawei Ong

    Although there were many fascinating stories in this literature, the story I enjoyed reading the most was the one about the young lad who wrote a letter to his school's headmaster. The letter was about why he should be excused from physical education. I found a connection between the character and me; we felt the opposite ways. He would like to be excused from physical education while I would not like to be on the other hand. I felt there were a purpose and meaning behind every single class inc Although there were many fascinating stories in this literature, the story I enjoyed reading the most was the one about the young lad who wrote a letter to his school's headmaster. The letter was about why he should be excused from physical education. I found a connection between the character and me; we felt the opposite ways. He would like to be excused from physical education while I would not like to be on the other hand. I felt there were a purpose and meaning behind every single class including physical education. Physical education was a class which do not only give the opportunity to students to move their body if they do not often but allow them to learn how to properly control their movements and to exercise. Although, I would like an excuse from physical education once in a while to give my body a rest.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alicia Evans

    This book jumped at me from the shelf and j had high hopes for it. However, maybe short story collections just aren't for me. Several of the stories didn't grip me enough and I was left wanting more of a conclusion. That being said, there were also several stories here that were VERY gripping and I loved. I'd recommend this book for those texts, but it's not something that I would need to reread in its entirety. The book covers a lot of topics with a range of severity. For: fans of short stories This book jumped at me from the shelf and j had high hopes for it. However, maybe short story collections just aren't for me. Several of the stories didn't grip me enough and I was left wanting more of a conclusion. That being said, there were also several stories here that were VERY gripping and I loved. I'd recommend this book for those texts, but it's not something that I would need to reread in its entirety. The book covers a lot of topics with a range of severity. For: fans of short stories or flash fiction; fans of realistic fiction and dark themes; fans of suspense/fantasy. Possible red flags: ghosts; character death/dealings with death; murder/manslaughter; human trafficking; prostitution; rape/gang rape; bullying; cheating/unfaithfulness; homelessness; religious discussions/reflections; teenage pregnancy; characters with disabilities; parents facing health concerns.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    A very interesting book... The kissing game is definitely the most interesting.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Wardrip

    Reviewed by Monica Sheffo for TeensReadToo.com THE KISSING GAME consists of 16 short stories, all centered around love and relationships. In one story, a girl attempts to break out of the shadow of her sister, only to find that the key to self-worth lies within. In another, a boy believes that he has rescued a girl from a fiery tower, and then discovers that the same event occurred 100 years ago. Aidan Chambers proves himself to be a master storyteller in this collection of provocative tales dealin Reviewed by Monica Sheffo for TeensReadToo.com THE KISSING GAME consists of 16 short stories, all centered around love and relationships. In one story, a girl attempts to break out of the shadow of her sister, only to find that the key to self-worth lies within. In another, a boy believes that he has rescued a girl from a fiery tower, and then discovers that the same event occurred 100 years ago. Aidan Chambers proves himself to be a master storyteller in this collection of provocative tales dealing with matters of the heart. Each story has its own distinct flavor, and with sixteen in all, every reader will be left feeling satisfied.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Y. L

    I feel a little overgrown for this book. It would've made good company if I had read it 15 years ago. Nevertheless this book did remind me of my teenage years and the influx of experiences and interactions I've had with people while growing up. The essays encompass topics on love, shyness, death, and all the other awkwardness of early childhood. The short essays in this book are modern literature, aptly called 'flash fiction' - not too long, not too overwhelming and a great way to pass a handful I feel a little overgrown for this book. It would've made good company if I had read it 15 years ago. Nevertheless this book did remind me of my teenage years and the influx of experiences and interactions I've had with people while growing up. The essays encompass topics on love, shyness, death, and all the other awkwardness of early childhood. The short essays in this book are modern literature, aptly called 'flash fiction' - not too long, not too overwhelming and a great way to pass a handful of minutes in our busy lives. Don't expect too much from this book and you won't be too disappointed, if not surprised by how random the stories will get.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    This collection of short stories is a great palate cleanse from any one particular genre, because in a way it included multiple genres. Several of the stories are flash fiction, which fosters a brand of imagination I really enjoy. There is not unifying theme tying the sixteen stories together, and I think perhaps that is the author’s goal—getting the reader to experience random snippets of different tales and take from them whatever you will.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    A compilation of 16 short stories that are focused for young adult readers. One of my favorite short stories was entitled "Cindy's Day Out" which tells the story of a young girl, who sneeks out for the day from her overbearing family. During her adventures she has a complete make-over and changes her name. Cindy is able to meet some very important people. However, at the end of the day what she realizes is that it is better to be who she is naturally, then to be always pretending. This book is a A compilation of 16 short stories that are focused for young adult readers. One of my favorite short stories was entitled "Cindy's Day Out" which tells the story of a young girl, who sneeks out for the day from her overbearing family. During her adventures she has a complete make-over and changes her name. Cindy is able to meet some very important people. However, at the end of the day what she realizes is that it is better to be who she is naturally, then to be always pretending. This book is appropriate is appropriate for older young adult, as it does contain some mature short stories.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dominique

    This book was interesting because it had more then one story you could read. There were little stories in each chapter. Some of the stories were kind of boring to read but there was a lot of good ones too. It was. Ice to have more then one story in the book because you could just skip the boring stories and read the ones that you liked the best. There were lots of different characters which really drew you in. Having a lot of characters in the book made it more entertaining to read because you g This book was interesting because it had more then one story you could read. There were little stories in each chapter. Some of the stories were kind of boring to read but there was a lot of good ones too. It was. Ice to have more then one story in the book because you could just skip the boring stories and read the ones that you liked the best. There were lots of different characters which really drew you in. Having a lot of characters in the book made it more entertaining to read because you got to keep meeting new interesting people in the book

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This is a very uneven collection of short stories – only two really stood out for me (“The Kissing Game” and “The Scientific Approach”). The rest felt either unfinished or just left me flat. In some (“Day Out”, “The Tower” and “Sanctuary”) I felt the author was really reaching for some sort of twist or surprise, rather than making it organic. And the dialogs didn't work as short stories, but perhaps they would as read-alouds in a class. ARC provided by publisher. This is a very uneven collection of short stories – only two really stood out for me (“The Kissing Game” and “The Scientific Approach”). The rest felt either unfinished or just left me flat. In some (“Day Out”, “The Tower” and “Sanctuary”) I felt the author was really reaching for some sort of twist or surprise, rather than making it organic. And the dialogs didn't work as short stories, but perhaps they would as read-alouds in a class. ARC provided by publisher.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    Maybe my problem is that I am reading an uncorrected proof. Maybe the final product is better, but I doubt it. This is a collection of mildly interesting short stories that are vaguely associated with kissing in some way. I couldn't finish it. Got halfway through and was bored. The lack of conclusion in any of the short stories left me lacking the desire to find the conclusion to the book. Maybe my problem is that I am reading an uncorrected proof. Maybe the final product is better, but I doubt it. This is a collection of mildly interesting short stories that are vaguely associated with kissing in some way. I couldn't finish it. Got halfway through and was bored. The lack of conclusion in any of the short stories left me lacking the desire to find the conclusion to the book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    Though the overarching theme appears to be defiance and teenage years, I found most of these stories a bit pointless. Flash fiction is meant to be short, yes, but I didn't feel many of these stories really had anything to say worth noting. Perhaps for a younger reader there might be some sort of recognition or association with the characters that sparks enjoyment, but for me...I didn't get anything out of it. Though the overarching theme appears to be defiance and teenage years, I found most of these stories a bit pointless. Flash fiction is meant to be short, yes, but I didn't feel many of these stories really had anything to say worth noting. Perhaps for a younger reader there might be some sort of recognition or association with the characters that sparks enjoyment, but for me...I didn't get anything out of it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Porteus

    Excellent series of stories, including some 'flash fiction' The final story reminded me very much of my family life in a small town in Lancashire, with the row houses, the dialect, and the corpse laid out in the front parlour. The title story had an ending that totally surprised me, and ended up making me reread it to find any clues as to the ending in the story. All-in-all, a great book. Excellent series of stories, including some 'flash fiction' The final story reminded me very much of my family life in a small town in Lancashire, with the row houses, the dialect, and the corpse laid out in the front parlour. The title story had an ending that totally surprised me, and ended up making me reread it to find any clues as to the ending in the story. All-in-all, a great book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    A great collection of young adult stories ranging from morbid to silly. Some of the flashiest fiction left me shrugging and befuddled as to what such a short situation offers, though most of the stories made me wonder in a magnificent way. I would recommend it for mature readers only, and those who can enjoy "palm-of-the-hand" stories will especially love it. A great collection of young adult stories ranging from morbid to silly. Some of the flashiest fiction left me shrugging and befuddled as to what such a short situation offers, though most of the stories made me wonder in a magnificent way. I would recommend it for mature readers only, and those who can enjoy "palm-of-the-hand" stories will especially love it.

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