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A steamy contemporary YA romance by New York Times best-selling author Sophie Jordan about a girl with a bad reputation giving lessons on how to attract guys for some extra cash—only to fall for her client’s golden-boy brother. For fans of Kami Garcia, Katie McGarry, and Netflix’s Sex Education. Wild, beautiful, and (as rumor has it) experienced, Hayden Vargas doesn’t have A steamy contemporary YA romance by New York Times best-selling author Sophie Jordan about a girl with a bad reputation giving lessons on how to attract guys for some extra cash—only to fall for her client’s golden-boy brother. For fans of Kami Garcia, Katie McGarry, and Netflix’s Sex Education. Wild, beautiful, and (as rumor has it) experienced, Hayden Vargas doesn’t have time for love or relationships. She’s learned the hard way that the only person you can count on is yourself, and she’s hell-bent on earning enough money to leave her small, judgy Texas town as fast as possible. So when nerdy Emmaline Martin offers to pay Hayden for lessons in seduction, the money is so easy, there must be a catch. Enter the catch: Emmaline’s older brother, popular, all-around nice guy™ Nolan Martin, who doesn’t want his sister’s reputation tarnished by the school’s resident bad girl. But Hayden should know that looks can be deceiving. Nolan may seem like a golden boy, but like Hayden, he has a few secrets of his own. And the more he meddles in her lessons with Emmaline, the more these polar opposites clash—and the more sparks fly. Turns out Nolan may have some lessons to teach Hayden, but only if she’s willing to learn.


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A steamy contemporary YA romance by New York Times best-selling author Sophie Jordan about a girl with a bad reputation giving lessons on how to attract guys for some extra cash—only to fall for her client’s golden-boy brother. For fans of Kami Garcia, Katie McGarry, and Netflix’s Sex Education. Wild, beautiful, and (as rumor has it) experienced, Hayden Vargas doesn’t have A steamy contemporary YA romance by New York Times best-selling author Sophie Jordan about a girl with a bad reputation giving lessons on how to attract guys for some extra cash—only to fall for her client’s golden-boy brother. For fans of Kami Garcia, Katie McGarry, and Netflix’s Sex Education. Wild, beautiful, and (as rumor has it) experienced, Hayden Vargas doesn’t have time for love or relationships. She’s learned the hard way that the only person you can count on is yourself, and she’s hell-bent on earning enough money to leave her small, judgy Texas town as fast as possible. So when nerdy Emmaline Martin offers to pay Hayden for lessons in seduction, the money is so easy, there must be a catch. Enter the catch: Emmaline’s older brother, popular, all-around nice guy™ Nolan Martin, who doesn’t want his sister’s reputation tarnished by the school’s resident bad girl. But Hayden should know that looks can be deceiving. Nolan may seem like a golden boy, but like Hayden, he has a few secrets of his own. And the more he meddles in her lessons with Emmaline, the more these polar opposites clash—and the more sparks fly. Turns out Nolan may have some lessons to teach Hayden, but only if she’s willing to learn.

30 review for Kissing Lessons

  1. 4 out of 5

    Madison Mary

    *4.5 stars* "She was someone to be used. Bought. Someone Nolan couldn't own up to being friends with. A dirty secret." A very steamy/explicit YA contemporary about teens exploring their sexuality and the slut shaming of high school. SUMMARY Hayden Vargas has a reputation. From an early age, Hayden learned to fend for herself and pay the bills her alcoholic mother forgets. She is counting down the days to graduation where she can flee her slut-shaming high school and start a new life states away. *4.5 stars* "She was someone to be used. Bought. Someone Nolan couldn't own up to being friends with. A dirty secret." A very steamy/explicit YA contemporary about teens exploring their sexuality and the slut shaming of high school. SUMMARY Hayden Vargas has a reputation. From an early age, Hayden learned to fend for herself and pay the bills her alcoholic mother forgets. She is counting down the days to graduation where she can flee her slut-shaming high school and start a new life states away. When sweet, naive Emmaline Martin offers to pay Hayden more than she makes working in a week for lessons in "being confident and sexy" to attract boys, she agrees. What's the harm in a little sexual education? Nolan Martin is the Prom King with the Prom Queen girlfriend, the picture perfect high school couple. But after losing his father a few years back, Nolan has taken on the protective role of guarding his two younger sisters. When Emmaline starts hanging out with the infamous Hayden Vargas, Nolan worries that his sister will become ruined by Hayden's promiscuous reputation. When Nolan starts interfering with Hayden's lessons, unexpected sparks fly, and he begins to question why he was judging Hayden in the first place. REVIEW I really loved this book. I saw so much of myself in Hayden and the struggles she went through - albeit the slut shaming I experienced was in college versus high school. I think that she had a very raw and real response to the situations she was in and the wall she created around herself was not unlike the one I put around myself. I also really admired Hayden's self-assurance and take-no-shit attitude. While she hated the false rumours of her sexual exploits, she didn't give a flying f* about the ones that were true. She embraced her sexual prowess and it made me smile. There is a lot of girl hate in this book. I normally despise girl-hate in books, but because this one was so reminiscent of my own experiences, I don't want to write it off. Girl hate happens, it is real. I found myself slut shamed to my face more often from other women than from men, which is what happens in this book. Sure, some people will read this and hate that the purpose of Nolan's GF is to slut-shame Hayden, but sometimes that is reality. People are judgmental of women who are sexually free, and we cannot be mad when that is shown in a book. Once again I will state that this is very steamy for a young adult novel and I freaking love that. Too many young adult novels shy away from including explicit scenes, but teens in high school have intercourse and oral sex. Writing about it shouldn't be taboo. I commend Sophie Jordan for including those scenes in this novel. I was surprised that this novel had four different POVs. I thought we would only follow Hayden and Nolan, but we also got Emmaline (Nolan's younger sister and Hayden's Protegee) and Beau (Nolan's BFF and Emmaline's crush). Nolan is very overprotective of his two younger sisters, to the extent that it is driving Emmaline away. In the beginning Nolan is disapproves of the friendship between Emmaline and Hayden because he views his sister as pure and believes that Hayden will have a bad influence. This judgement of someone based off rumours is not uncommon and I wasn't surprised at Nolan's view. I was thankful that his negative judgement of Hayden didn't last for more than a third of the novel, otherwise it would've been annoying. That being said, while Nolan was coming to terms with his acceptance of Hayden, he was still a bit of a d*ck and I wish he had a little more development in that department. Emmaline was a total gem to follow. I loved that she was naive but also had a fiery personality. She truly admired Hayden for the confidence she exuded, and while their friendship started out as an exchange, it turned into something real. I loved that Emmaline became protective of Hayden, even if sometimes she messed up (she's a sophomore, of course she is going to make immature mistakes.) Beau's POV is the reason why this book got a 4.5 and not a 5 star. I didn't really get it... His POV didn't add much to the novel other than showing the very quick development of his attraction to Emmaline. Given that we had his POV, I wish we got more depth into his attraction to Emmaline so it didn't feel slightly weird. I want to quickly state that Hayden's mother has alcohol and drug problems, so do be aware if this is triggering for you. Overall, I did adore this book and could see myself rereading it. If you loved the movie Easy A and the TV series Sex Education, you will have a raving time with this book. TW: cheating, slut-shaming

  2. 4 out of 5

    Maha

    an ARC was provided to me by the publisher through edelweiss in exchange of an honest review. this doesn’t affect my opinion in any way. all quotations are also from the ARC, and may be subject to change. Kissing Lessons, a "steamy YA romance" about a girl giving another girl seduction lessons and then crushing on the girl’s brother, looked promising. i wanted to see what this story would bring to the world. it’s safe to say i was deeply disappointed. let’s start with what i actually liked about t an ARC was provided to me by the publisher through edelweiss in exchange of an honest review. this doesn’t affect my opinion in any way. all quotations are also from the ARC, and may be subject to change. Kissing Lessons, a "steamy YA romance" about a girl giving another girl seduction lessons and then crushing on the girl’s brother, looked promising. i wanted to see what this story would bring to the world. it’s safe to say i was deeply disappointed. let’s start with what i actually liked about this book. the writing is not bad. in fact, it’s really good. upon a quick scan of the author’s profile on goodreads, it came to my knowledge that this is not her first novel. she has written many adult historical romance books and also a YA series that was pretty popular a long time ago. but anyway, the writing was good. simple, clear and straight to the point. with that aside, let’s get into what the fuck happened in this book, cause i literally can’t make this shit up. i’m getting into the dirty details, and there are some minor spoilers, so if you don’t wanna know anything about this book and wanna get into it, you can stop here. in Kissing Lessons, we meet Hayden, a confident teenage girl known for her reputation as a slut. her confidence strong against all the stuff she has to go through, Emmaline (another teenager) is impressed with her; therefore she asks her for lessons of seduction in order to be more like her, and maybe seduce Beau. and Nolan, Emmaline’s over-protective big brother and Beau’s best friend, is not okay with that. why, you might ask? because of her reputation. Nolan spends a significant part of the book refusing that Emmaline hangs out with Hayden, fearing his sister will become like Hayden (i’ll let that one sink in). but then when someone else judges Hayden around him, he starts defending her. here’s one of the (many) things he says: "He didn’t like the judgement and he didn’t like Hayden being vilified, but he didn’t love the idea of his sister hanging out with Hayden either. Call him a hypocrite." i hate to break it to you, but you ARE a hypocrite. as the story goes, and he gets to know Hayden, Nolan gets rid of his prejudice. but why is it that he had to get to know her in order to see her other than a bad influence? couldn’t he be a civil human being and not judge the fuck out of her from the beginning? and while i liked Hayden for standing up for herself and calling him out every time, she doesn’t have to constantly do so. she’s not here to educate him. my next point is about the cheating in this book. for maybe half of the book (i’m not sure though), Nolan has a girlfriend who he’s not happy with. it isn’t until he kisses Hayden that he realises that maybe, maybe he should break up with her. so he does, without telling her that he kissed another girl. really no words. speaking of Nolan’s girlfriend, her sole purpose throughout this book, though we don’t see her a lot, is to slut-shame Hayden, which is...messed up. and while Nolan calls her out multiple times (eye roll here), she doesn’t get developed. no redemption, none. the moment she walks out of Nolan’s life, we never see her again. another aspect i wish was developed was Hayden’s rocky relationship with her mom. that part was talked about, but never discussed. no solution is found to the mother’s clearly toxic behaviour, and i think we only meet the mom once or twice. but what shocked me the most out of all of this was something that i really have no words to describe. this story is pitched as steamy YA romance. so i expected some steamy scenes. what i didn’t expect, however, was mouths on nipples and an actual fingering scene described on page. in a YA novel. i just-- yeah. so yeah. that’s probably all i have. i really can’t describe how disappointed i am in this book. i would not recommend it, but if you want to read it, beware of all of this. now i can move on with my life.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell

    This sounds like a cross between The Kissing Booth and Easy A.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Leigha

    I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Hayden Vargas agrees to teach seduction lessons to some underclassman in this surprisingly serious young adult romance. I’m disappointed – I expected more rom-com in this title. The cover and synopsis make it seem like a fun and flirty romance, not a drama. It’s also told from four narrators. The narrative felt disjointed and slow as it moved from I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Hayden Vargas agrees to teach seduction lessons to some underclassman in this surprisingly serious young adult romance. I’m disappointed – I expected more rom-com in this title. The cover and synopsis make it seem like a fun and flirty romance, not a drama. It’s also told from four narrators. The narrative felt disjointed and slow as it moved from one character to the next. Scenes are told from multiple perspectives, bogging it down in too many details to make an impactful story. The characters and romances could have saved the story for me. Alas, I found all of them tedious and boring. Hayden, in particular, didn’t get nearly enough character-development. I couldn’t tell you her sexual experience beyond kissing Beau in the 8th Grade. Perhaps she is experienced, perhaps not, but it should have been more apparent to the reader if not the other main characters. The entire premise is built on her supposed sexuality, it seems off for the book not to go into those details. tl;dr Too little rom-com and one-dimensional characters kept me from enjoying this fun premise.

  5. 4 out of 5

    diana

    Review originally posted on My Bookish Escapades. Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars So... this was a total mind eff. In a good way. I think. No. Yes. Maybe? Uhm yeah, I'm sure. I have very mixed feelings about this as you can tell. Imagine a more watered down version of Gossip Girl. But crazier. If that even makes sense? (I don't think it does?) Well, that's exactly how I feel. Don't get me wrong, this was good in a I couldn't stop reading so I read it in one sitting kind of way. But at the same time, there Review originally posted on My Bookish Escapades. Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars So... this was a total mind eff. In a good way. I think. No. Yes. Maybe? Uhm yeah, I'm sure. I have very mixed feelings about this as you can tell. Imagine a more watered down version of Gossip Girl. But crazier. If that even makes sense? (I don't think it does?) Well, that's exactly how I feel. Don't get me wrong, this was good in a I couldn't stop reading so I read it in one sitting kind of way. But at the same time, there was so much draaama. This would have been half as long if they all just had a sit down, talked like reasonable, civilized people and hashed it all out. Seriously. Okay, it's starting to sound like I don't like this at all. Which isn't true. Again, I read it in one sitting. I love Hayden. She was confident and bold and fierce and smart. And the chemistry with Nolan? Hot. I love Emmaline too. She's like this more naive, innocent version of Hayden but just as brave and just as bold if she lets herself. Beau was okay, I guess. I couldn't form much of an opinion on him since he was barely there. Also, the way things turned out after that kiss? If it went any other way, I would have DNF-ed this for sure. (You'd know what I'm talking about when you read this one.) The more I think about it now... I guess I liked this way more than I didn't? “Now you can go to parties and flirt with any girl you want and not have to worry about any of that. In fact, you could be doing that right now.” “I don’t want to be at a party flirting with other girls.” “Oh?” She arched one dark eyebrow and pointed at the center of her chest. “You only want to be here flirting with me?” I received an e-arc via Edelweiss+ to read and review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lindy

    My Thoughts: Kissing Lessons was a story that I was really looking forward to reading! I have enjoyed Sophie Jordan's stories in the past, and this one was a pleasure to read. While I expected a light and fun read, this story dealt with some heavier topics. Hayden Vargas has learned that the only person she can depend on is herself. Her father is a deadbeat, and her mother has an alcohol and drug problem, and goes from guy to guy. She never has food in the house and is always partying. Hayden work My Thoughts: Kissing Lessons was a story that I was really looking forward to reading! I have enjoyed Sophie Jordan's stories in the past, and this one was a pleasure to read. While I expected a light and fun read, this story dealt with some heavier topics. Hayden Vargas has learned that the only person she can depend on is herself. Her father is a deadbeat, and her mother has an alcohol and drug problem, and goes from guy to guy. She never has food in the house and is always partying. Hayden works full time on top of going to school to pay for her car, food, and all of her essentials. She lives in a run down neighborhood, doesn't feel secure in her own home with her mother's addict boyfriends, and has installed extra locks on her bedroom door to keep herself and her belongings safe. Hayden knows she will never be able to attend college, but is saving up so she can move in to her own place after she graduates from high school. Nolan Martin is a popular athlete, and lives in a nice home. However, he has a lot on his shoulders, as he takes it upon himself to look after his mother, and two younger sister's; now that his father has passed away. He has been in a long-term serious relationship with head cheerleader, Priscilla. However, he is bored, and feels like he has lost his individuality by being with her. Emmaline, Nolan's younger sister, hires Hayden to teach her how to be sexy, seductive, and have more "game." She has had feelings for Beau, (a player,) and Nolan's best friend for many years, but is sure he views her as a little sister. Emmaline is a junior in high school, but has never been kissed or had a boyfriend. She feels like her older brother is too controlling and she wants to have a social life. As Hayden comes into Emmaline and Nolan's life, she is at first met with resistance from Nolan, because she has a sleazy reputation, (which is unjustified.) However, little by little Hayden becomes close friends with Emmaline, and Emmaline's good friends, Sanjana, Lia, and Monica. She begins to realize just how lonely she was, and how good it feels to have people in her corner, who care about and support her. The attraction between Hayden and Nolan is palpable, and even though she has never wanted a relationship, she finds herself falling hard for him. Nolan loves that Hayden challenges him, and makes him question himself. I loved the that we get two love stories in Kissing Lessons, and was cheering for Hayden and Nolan, as well as Emmaline and Beau to get their happily ever afters! The thread of friendship between the girls was one of my favorite aspects of the story. I wanted Hayden to feel cared for, and she was such a strong and independent character, that was afraid to let herself be vulnerable. Nolan was sweet, caring, and responsible, but he needed to learn that perceptions and assumptions can oftentimes be incorrect. I found myself entertained as I read this enjoyable story! It was fast-paced, and such a quick and effortless read! I was satisfied with the romance and my much anticipated happily ever afters! 3.5 Stars!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Damaris (GoodChoiceReading)

    Love! Loooooovvvvveeeeee! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  8. 5 out of 5

    Yvette ~ Nose Stuck in a Book

    Told through the POVs of four narrators, Kissing Lessons is part romance and part coming of age story. First we have Hayden, a teenager with a bad girl reputation and a no-nonsense persona. Her home life is less than ideal, leaving her to fend for herself and forcing her to act mature beyond her years. It’s her reputation that gives good girl, Emmaline, the idea to hire Hayden for lessons on seducing her crush. I should mention that her crush is Beau, her older brother Nolan’s best friend. I sho Told through the POVs of four narrators, Kissing Lessons is part romance and part coming of age story. First we have Hayden, a teenager with a bad girl reputation and a no-nonsense persona. Her home life is less than ideal, leaving her to fend for herself and forcing her to act mature beyond her years. It’s her reputation that gives good girl, Emmaline, the idea to hire Hayden for lessons on seducing her crush. I should mention that her crush is Beau, her older brother Nolan’s best friend. I should also mention that Nolan doesn’t approve of them spending time together. But when Nolan gets to know Hayden, he realizes that his judgment of her character may have been misguided. ⠀ ⠀ Rife with both teenage angst and adult issues, Kissing Lessons is a blend of starry-eyed hopefulness and jaded realism. With Beau and Emmaline’s storyline, we get the swoon-worthy, butterflies-in-the-stomach feelings of a first crush. As Nolan’s sister, Emmaline is off limits, but you can’t help but root for the playboy to fall for the nerdy girl. In contrast, Hayden and Nolan have a more intense emotional connection, bonding over their similarities even as their stark differences threaten to rip them apart. The real world is a constant test to their budding romance and they both have to decide whether or not to fight for what they want. ⠀ ⠀ Overall, Kissing Lessons is an enjoyable, thought-provoking read. The narrative doesn’t shy away from tough topics, which is refreshing, if sometimes uncomfortable. I think that’s the point, though. The story is raw and real, and kept me riveted until the very end. ⠀ Huge thanks to the publisher for my review copy. ⠀

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I got one chapter in and had to stop. Think every high school cliche in the book (ha), and it's in here. I can't.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Rating: 3.5 Stars Nolan's life had been going smoothly, and largely, drama free. He was doing a good job being the man of the house following his father's death. All was going well with his best friend, girlfriend, and sister, until his sister embarked on a friendship with Hayden. Her presence in their world upset the balance, but it seemed their presence in her world was also turning things upside down, and maybe they were changing each other's lives for the better. I rather enjoyed this book. I Rating: 3.5 Stars Nolan's life had been going smoothly, and largely, drama free. He was doing a good job being the man of the house following his father's death. All was going well with his best friend, girlfriend, and sister, until his sister embarked on a friendship with Hayden. Her presence in their world upset the balance, but it seemed their presence in her world was also turning things upside down, and maybe they were changing each other's lives for the better. I rather enjoyed this book. I felt like I learned enough about Hayden to understand why she did the things she did. I liked that these people came into her life, and gave her a sense of security she was only able to find with a pad-lock and deadbolt. Overall, this book was entertaining, but there were quite a few loose ends, which left me wanting. The ending was nice, the sunshine and rainbows type stuff I adore, but so abrupt. There was a pretty awful event that occurred right near the end of the book, that seemed to major to leave unresolved. It didn't destroy my overall enjoyment of the book, but it's something that kept me from rating it higher. That said, I was a fan of the romances and the characters. Hayden was known as the bad girl, the promiscuous girl, but this reputation seemed to be based on few facts. All the rumors didn't make any difference to Hayden, because she was in the habit of avoiding attachments. Abandoned by her father, and also, more or less by her mother, she had learned to rely on no one other than herself. She was fine with this until Emma, Nolan, and the rest of them invaded her life. They made her rethink her stance on friendships and relationships. They gave her that taste of having someone there, by your side, and she wanted more. Nolan was just going with the flow. He was staying in unsatisfying relationships, and playing the role of the overprotective brother. He never imagined he would meet someone, who would challenge him to take a hard look at himself, but he liked it, or at least parts of it. I found myself wanting these two to connect immediately. There was undeniable chemistry, but also something else that simmered below the surface, and made me root for their union. I think it was the movie watching scene, which solidified this ship for me. It was a fun scene, but also showed them engaging in a non-sexual way. Overall: An enjoyable story about taking the time to look beyond the labels and letting people in. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    This was actually pretty good—but that happy ending was 100% rushed and dissatisfying.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Kissing Lessons is a standalone young adult contemporary romance by Sophie Jordan. This book was pure fun. I loved so many things about the story- the characters were all so different, and the romances were great. Yes, I said romances. There were multiple couple in Kissing Lessons, which took me by surprise. If you are a fan of steamy young adult contemporary romances, then Kissing Lessons is the summer read you need in your life. A few potential trigger warnings: There is quite a bit of "slut-s Kissing Lessons is a standalone young adult contemporary romance by Sophie Jordan. This book was pure fun. I loved so many things about the story- the characters were all so different, and the romances were great. Yes, I said romances. There were multiple couple in Kissing Lessons, which took me by surprise. If you are a fan of steamy young adult contemporary romances, then Kissing Lessons is the summer read you need in your life. A few potential trigger warnings: There is quite a bit of "slut-shaming" and some cheating in the book. If those are things you would rather not read about, then you may want to pass on Kissing Lessons. However; I didn't find the cheating to be overly offensive, and the characters and story were great and more than made up for anything of a potentially offensive nature. It didn't bother me.  In Kissing Lessons we meet our main character, Hayden. Hayden has quite the reputation around her school. But what is so great about Hayden is that she really can mute all the rumors surrounding her, which is no small feat for anyone but really for a high school student. I loved that she was self-assured and comfortable with who she is. (and she is also not all the things the rumors paint her to be, btw) Our story starts out at a high school party where we get to meet our main characters. Our story is told in multiple perspective. We have chapters from Hayden, Emmaline, her brother Nolan and his best friend Beau. Emmaline appreciates how confident Hayden is and she wants to hire her to give her lessons in confidence and in getting a boyfriend. Hayden is strapped for money, so after some persuading from Emmaline she finally agrees. And that is where the story starts to get good.  I loved Emmaline's group of friends, and that they immediately took Hayden in. They all seemed genuine and I liked watching Emmaline and Hayden's friendship almost as much as I enjoyed Hayden and Nolan's  romance. That being said, Nolan and Hayden's romance was by far my favorite aspect of the story. I loved how easy they got along, and I loved that they connected on so many different levels. It was hardly only about the physical with them, and that part did not happen right away to boot! There was also a romance for Emmaline, but as much as I loved her, I have to say I wasn't nearly as invested in her romance for some reason. I think it was because I wanted to get back to Hayden and Nolan's plotlines. I would love to see another book with them in it as characters because I loved the two of them.  Bottom line- If you like upper young adult or new adult romances told in multiple point of view narration, then Kissing Lessons is going to be a wonderful summer read for you. I loved this fun romance. I am keeping my fingers crossed for another book in this world with these characters. 

  13. 4 out of 5

    Beth Rodgers

    'Kissing Lessons' by Sophie Jordan is a well-written, entertaining story about a variety of main characters, including Hayden Vargas, Nolan Martin, Emmaline Martin, and Beau Sanders. While Hayden is known to be the “bad girl” at school, Emmaline is much more on the opposite end of the spectrum, always thought to be the one to play it safe, especially with big brother Nolan around to make sure she doesn't ever take things too far. When Emmaline hires Hayden to teach her how to attract boys' atten 'Kissing Lessons' by Sophie Jordan is a well-written, entertaining story about a variety of main characters, including Hayden Vargas, Nolan Martin, Emmaline Martin, and Beau Sanders. While Hayden is known to be the “bad girl” at school, Emmaline is much more on the opposite end of the spectrum, always thought to be the one to play it safe, especially with big brother Nolan around to make sure she doesn't ever take things too far. When Emmaline hires Hayden to teach her how to attract boys' attention and essentially make her over so she can be more like Hayden, Nolan has a problem with this. When he finds out, he and his best friend, Beau Sanders, don't know how to react other than to think that this is a bad idea all around. But Emmaline remains steadfast. She will not be deterred and continues to enlist Hayden's help. Hayden, meanwhile, finds herself attracted to Nolan, and even though Nolan finds that they seem to have a connection that he isn't finding with his current girlfriend, Priscilla, he is not ready to act on anything. Despite trying not to, he thinks of Hayden in much the same way that others do – as the bad girl who it isn't a good idea to be associated with. However, when he learns more about her, he finds that there is more to her than meets the eye, and it causes him to question how he sees her. In the meantime, Emmaline works to make herself more in Hayden's image, not knowing that there is someone waiting in the wings who thinks about her the same way she thinks about him. The chemistry between the various characters in the book is often electric, making it extremely hard to put the book down. The way that the “kissing lessons” are presented as the title of each chapter make the reading all that much more engaging and imaginative. It is definitely worth picking this book up and finding out what other books Sophie Jordan has written! Beth Rodgers, Author of 'Welcome to Chanu-Con!,' a Children's Picture Book, and Freshman Fourteen' and 'Sweet Fifteen,' Young Adult Novels *Review originally posted at YABooksCentral.com*

  14. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    The characters have nothing beyond their shallow personalities. It didn't make me giggle, it didn't have a character I could cheer for, it was not my favorite.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Seanean

    Hayden is the most notorious girl in school, even when she really hasn't done anything to deserve that distinction. Her home life is crap and her looks are too good, so she has to face each day as if she's taking on the entire world. Boys claim that they've known her. Girls slut shame her. And Hayden just tries to get through to graduation so that she can leave town and never see her mother or their tiny town again. Unfortunately, leaving town means getting money and with Hayden basically having Hayden is the most notorious girl in school, even when she really hasn't done anything to deserve that distinction. Her home life is crap and her looks are too good, so she has to face each day as if she's taking on the entire world. Boys claim that they've known her. Girls slut shame her. And Hayden just tries to get through to graduation so that she can leave town and never see her mother or their tiny town again. Unfortunately, leaving town means getting money and with Hayden basically having to pay for everything on her own, saving is hard. When Emmaline approaches her with cash in exchange for lessons on how to be so confident with guys, Hayden can't afford to say no... even when Emmaline's older brother and hot jock, Nolan, tries to push her away. Hayden gets in deeper than she ever thought when she starts to fall for Nolan and the possibility that maybe not everyone in the world is out for themselves. Final thoughts: I liked parts of this book and Hayden started out strong, but like Sandy at the end of Grease, she changes herself in strange ways that don't fit in with how her character behaved throughout the rest of the book. Things feel unfinished and rushed by the end. There are so many areas that were never discussed and others that were just obviously placed for the moment of the plot and then forgotten. I didn't feel the ending was organic to the rest of the story and I definitely didn't feel like things were resolved well. Rating: 2/5 Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tara Weiss

    While we should not slut shame, I'm also not sure the book answers the question of why a young woman would act as Hayden does. Hayden's had it rough. No dad, deadbeat addict of a hard-partying mom, so she's got to take care of herself. Enter the Martin family. Protective older brother, sister a year younger, and big bro feels he needs to keep everything in place since their perfect middle class family lost their father. With a best friend who is crushing on the little sis, things start to get co While we should not slut shame, I'm also not sure the book answers the question of why a young woman would act as Hayden does. Hayden's had it rough. No dad, deadbeat addict of a hard-partying mom, so she's got to take care of herself. Enter the Martin family. Protective older brother, sister a year younger, and big bro feels he needs to keep everything in place since their perfect middle class family lost their father. With a best friend who is crushing on the little sis, things start to get complicated because little sis is itching to be asked out, dated, adored. So the alternating POVs of the characters is strong, but underdeveloped.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    A quick, engaging read for fans of contemporary realistic high school stories. I liked the alternating perspectives we got with the four point-of-view characters in this story. I would have liked a little more development in the romance between the two main characters, and enjoyed the romance between the secondary characters more. I expected something fluffier and more comedic based on the publisher's marketing, but the more serious tone of the book made for a satisfying read as well.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    2.5 stars This review is based on an ARC ebook received for free from NetGalley. I am not being paid to review this book and what I write here is my own opinion. My rating scale is below. review There are a lot of things to like about this book, and it’s easy to recommend it. That said, I didn’t find that I was actually all that invested in anyone’s relationships or would-be relationships succeeding, or even in finding out how things ended, but maybe this book wasn’t supposed to be about getting th 2.5 stars This review is based on an ARC ebook received for free from NetGalley. I am not being paid to review this book and what I write here is my own opinion. My rating scale is below. review There are a lot of things to like about this book, and it’s easy to recommend it. That said, I didn’t find that I was actually all that invested in anyone’s relationships or would-be relationships succeeding, or even in finding out how things ended, but maybe this book wasn’t supposed to be about getting the guy or the girl. Maybe it was supposed to be about pursuing happiness, and learning how to be happy independent of a relationship (or make-out buddy). If that’s so (and I’m choosing to read it that way), then the relationships are almost beside the point, and the book is a success all around. So I’m going to write this review as if the point is not to find a partner, but to become strong in one’s self. There are spoilers ahead. I apologize. So let’s get my main complaint out of the way first. Beau calls Emmaline “Pigeon.” Ew. I can’t help thinking of Lady and the Tramp or Beautiful Disaster. Neither is a great association for a YA novel that’s supposed to be sex-positive and support feminine empowerment. Also, Beau does that thing where he lists all the things he’s noticed about the girl he likes, I guess to shorthand that he knows her well and cares about her and all, but it just seems so creepy, particularly since it would probably make her self-conscious about doing any of those things ever again, now that attention’s been brought to it. (See, number 5 on this list.) At least he’s good about checking for consent, and not just once, but each time things escalate within an encounter. Okay, now that that's done... I appreciate the positive message about post-high school plans that don’t involve college. Not only does Hayden not plan to attend college, but she’s actively working toward setting herself up to be a tattoo artist after graduation by taking all the design courses she can, creating a portfolio, and reaching out to tattoo artists she respects about apprenticing with them. This is a great example of a young person planning for their future without treating college as the end-all, be-all of life after high school. Also, it’s nice that the allusion to 80s teen movies was Can’t Buy Me Love instead of yet another John Hughes film. And that they don’t shit on rom-coms just because the MC is a fan of zombie films (because she’s so atypical). There’s a line Nolan says when he’s fighting with Hayden, “would you stop calling yourself names and then laying them at my feet like I’ve said them?” I really like that. Rom-coms spend a lot of time with people putting words in each other’s mouths and even when they’re called on it they stalk off in a huff, usually, before the person being assigned opinions really has a chance to do more than point out that they didn’t say that thing, or maybe even think it. I like that Nolan has called Hayden out for doing that, even though she completely ignores that he’s correct and attacks from another avenue. That said, I’m proud of Hayden for this other thing: even though she’s mad and deliberately using her sexuality to make Nolan uncomfortable, Hayden still asks if it’s okay to kiss him. Speaking of Nolan and kissing, I’m glad Nolan had the gumption to break up with his girlfriend rather than string her along until he was sure Hayden’s a sure thing. And for anyone who says his girlfriend is unreasonable in the way she behaves, those folks need to check themselves. She got blindsided, to say nothing of the fact that she was, in fact, cheated on, even if Nolan handled it pretty well. She has a right to be hurt and angry, just as Nolan has a right not to be as in love with her as she was with him. One last thing on the subject of kissing (consider the title of the book!), two of Emmaline’s friends who practice kissing each other at Hayden’s behest find that they enjoy kissing each other and choose to explore that and no one gives them any crap for it. That’s awesome. Like I said at the beginning, there are a lot of good things about this book and it’s easy to recommend, but I can’t see myself purchasing it for myself or as a gift. Even with the mental adjustment that the point of the book isn’t to end up in a relationship, I never really cared how the book ended (mostly happily, by the way), and I don’t really know why. rating scale 1 star - I was barely able to finish it. I didn't like it. 2 stars - It was okay. I didn't dislike it. 3 stars - It was interesting. I liked it. 4 stars - It was excellent. I really liked it. 5 stars - It was extraordinary. I really hope the author wrote more things.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Starr ❇✌❇

    I received a DRC from Edelweiss 3.3 Hayden has a reputation. She's learned not to let it bother her- anyway, she's got more important things to think about, like keeping groceries in the house or staying out of her mother and friends' drunken get togethers. When sweet, unexperienced Emmaline offers to pay her for "seduction lessons" Hayden's first reaction is to laugh it off. But money is money, after all, and really, what's the harm? This is a pretty basic YA romcom, and it doesn't really add anyt I received a DRC from Edelweiss 3.3 Hayden has a reputation. She's learned not to let it bother her- anyway, she's got more important things to think about, like keeping groceries in the house or staying out of her mother and friends' drunken get togethers. When sweet, unexperienced Emmaline offers to pay her for "seduction lessons" Hayden's first reaction is to laugh it off. But money is money, after all, and really, what's the harm? This is a pretty basic YA romcom, and it doesn't really add anything new to the genre or its tropes. The matchups here are "misunderstood girl from the tracks" with "misunderstood popular boy" and "childhood crush" with "girl next door". On the surface level you can absolutely see where its going with your eyes closed. And the character don't divulge much, from being two dimensional- especially Nolan. I don't know what his "secret" is meant to be except his interest in Hayden, but expecting more from him was a let down. However, I did think the "education" part was interesting. It adds some comedy, it gives some good dimension to both Hayden and Emmaline, and it actually could be educational for a curious teen. Nothing stated is problematic or biased, so it's written well to influence a teenaged reader, or give them the answers they, like Emmaline, probably want. The tragic backgrounds of Hayden and Beau add to their characters (particularly in Hayden's case), but I wish it was more expanded. There are hints to what went wrong in both cases, and hints of what Beau is dealing with, but we never really get to see that explored. And there is definitely a hopelessness in Hayden's situation which weighs on her whole narrative and makes it a bit hard to stay light. While there's a general theme of not judging a book by its cover, and learning to stand up for people instead of passively going with the flow, this book still doesn't say much. For one thing, there's an on going "not like other girls" assumption, and the trope of only knowing anything feminine because you have a sister (though we do see the opposite more often, yet not so unequally that this could count as a trope reversal). Everything about Nolan's girlfriend is aggravating because while it could have been portrayed as simply understanding you don't fit, or that you love someone in a non-romantic way, there's a constant subtle bashing of her for being clingy, girly, and unintelligent. What we see of her only shows her as caring and willing to take on Nolan's problems as her own- she has issues to work out when it comes to stereotypes and judgement, but, well, she's a teenager. It just feels very cheerleader versus outcast, which I have no interest in seeing perpetuated yet again. I also disliked the ending of this book, because it doesn't see Hayden grow or get anything she deserves. Hayden should have had an arc, but the closest she got was a romance. And the injustice seen at the end gets no resolution! We see so many problems in Hayden's life, and not a single one gets solved except maybe if you read between the lines she might have opened up more. But honestly, it doesn't read to me as a happy and deserved ending. This book was quick and cute at times, a standard YA romance with a few added moments of education.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Melannie :)

    Kissing Lessons I can’t hardly believe it’s been like two centuries since I last read a book by Sophie Jordan. And I am pleased to admit we both have really grown into our better selves so far. Kissing Lessons was so much fun. I mean, you can’t expect any less from a book that literally has the word kissing in the title. But it was better than just another summer read. The story is about this girl Hayden, who everyone knows has a “bad reputation”, so naturally school-nerd Emmaline hires her to te Kissing Lessons I can’t hardly believe it’s been like two centuries since I last read a book by Sophie Jordan. And I am pleased to admit we both have really grown into our better selves so far. Kissing Lessons was so much fun. I mean, you can’t expect any less from a book that literally has the word kissing in the title. But it was better than just another summer read. The story is about this girl Hayden, who everyone knows has a “bad reputation”, so naturally school-nerd Emmaline hires her to teach her how to seduce her brother Nolan’s best friend, Beau, who has been her long time crush. As you can imagine this leads us to a couple of cringe-worthy moments of adolescence, but also lots of sweet interactions between two misunderstood girls. I loved a lot about this book, but the thing I liked the most was the two main girls rapidly growing friendship. I loved how neither of them took the rumors for granted and instead made their own opinions about the other. They were good friends and it cemented the need we have for more girls building each other up in Young Adult Lit. I thought the author did an amazing job developing Hayden. All her monologues reveled exactly who she was, and no one was surer of that than her. She was so tough and independent, yet her vulnerability was easy to spot too. After all she was just a kid living in the worst possible conditions, trying to convince herself she had accepted her fate. I loved her and wanted to hug her most of the book. The guys were pretty fantastic too. Nolan was such a sweetheart—he was the only man in his household and had learned how to express his emotions without being ashamed of them. And Beau was the least developed character of the four main ones and still he was great, I could perfectly tell him apart of the rest and got to know why Emmaline felt so intensely about him. Spoiler ahead—-> Maybe the only detail I can point out is the cheating. Which some people might not even consider cheating, but there was a kiss while one of the characters was in a relationship and that always feels wrong to me. But it was so very well acknowledged and not swept under the rug—I appreciated that. <—-end of spoiler. Overall another great book that made me feel giddy and excited throughout. In a world of uncertainty, today after reading this book I can testify in favor of the fact that first love is still as delightfully glorious to read about as it is to experience.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

    A lot of people would probably see this book as a vapid read with little substance and a disappointing happily-ever-after. In my opinion, it wasn't the best book in the world, but I still enjoyed it-- is that allowed? The writing wasn't incredibly engaging, and the characters were pretty tropey, but it was still kind of fun to read. If you've ever seen Sex Education on Netflix, I couldn't stop making the connection between Hayden and Maeve-- both smart, hard-working high school girls, almost ful A lot of people would probably see this book as a vapid read with little substance and a disappointing happily-ever-after. In my opinion, it wasn't the best book in the world, but I still enjoyed it-- is that allowed? The writing wasn't incredibly engaging, and the characters were pretty tropey, but it was still kind of fun to read. If you've ever seen Sex Education on Netflix, I couldn't stop making the connection between Hayden and Maeve-- both smart, hard-working high school girls, almost fully supporting themselves with crappy minimum-wage jobs, scraping for every penny, living in a run-down house/trailer with their deadbeat moms, maybe even with reputations for being a little promiscuous... stumbling into a little extra income from a schoolmate they meet by chance. The characters in "Kissing Lessons" might have been sort of two-dimensional, but despite her bad situation and how that helped shape her personality, Hayden was likeable. I even liked Nolan, too. What I didn't like was the ending. **Spoilers ahead** The whole book kind of built up to Hayden realizing that her desperation to have control over all the details of her life was pushing away people she could have real, meaningful relationships with-- so she finally lets people into her life with no ulterior motive. We love a good life lesson, but... In the end, she was still left with a crappy minimum-wage job, all of her money stolen and her house ransacked, still living in a dump with her crappy, uncaring mother who routinely brings dangerous men into their shared house. No mention of how there's no way she'll have enough money to move out by the end of the school year, especially if she just gets robbed every time she saves a sizeable amount of money. Actually, how does a working 18 year old not have a bank account?! So, in the end, Hayden has no money, no future, a shitty mom, a shitty job-- oh, but she has friends now! It just seems like the ending answers a question that, after reading the rest of the book and seeing Hayden's life, NOBODY was asking. I'm glad she let people into her life, that's nice! But having friends doesn't pay bills or keep dangerous men from breaking the padlocks on your door and stealing all your life's savings (that, again, SHOULD'VE BEEN IN A BANK). I can't believe Hayden getting robbed never got addressed. It seemed pretty massive, and then it's like it didn't happen and then the book ends.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Melina Lobo

    Warning: mature scenes! 🦄🦄🦄 Lesson Number 33: you can't care about what others think, only what you think. 🦄🦄🦄 Hayden lives a complicated life in school, even though she's the most attractive girl in school, she doesn't have the best reputation, with guys. When Emmaline offered to pay Hayden for her time to teach her how to be seductive, she could not turn down the offer, it was easy money. But when she realises that Emmaline is the younger sister of Nolan Martin, things take an interesting turn. Not o Warning: mature scenes! 🦄🦄🦄 Lesson Number 33: you can't care about what others think, only what you think. 🦄🦄🦄 Hayden lives a complicated life in school, even though she's the most attractive girl in school, she doesn't have the best reputation, with guys. When Emmaline offered to pay Hayden for her time to teach her how to be seductive, she could not turn down the offer, it was easy money. But when she realises that Emmaline is the younger sister of Nolan Martin, things take an interesting turn. Not one to fall in love after viewing her mother's situation, Hayden is only found what is required to make a bit of dough to survive. 🦄🦄🦄 Kissing Lessons is a contemporary YA romance novel by Sophie Jordan. There are so many things I don't agree with in this book but my main issue is with the plot. I like Hayden. She's got to deal with a lot of things including the rumours about her spread in school on top of her mother's unforgivable shenanigans. I do wish she had more of a character development throughout the book but the only development I feel she made was getting the popular guy to like her. No matter how good Nolan is potrayed, he is still a judgemental prick and not worth a second of a girl's time. Some of the things he does is downright laughable if not cringey. (HE STOPPED LOOKING FOR HIS MISSING SISTER TO HANG OUT WITH HAYDEN! 🤦🏻‍♀️ HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LIKE HIM?) He cheats on his girlfriend who he's been dating for YEARS and then tries to make it seem like it's her fault (again they make it look all sweet and whatever but nope, not in my world! Cheating is cheating!) I guess the whole point of this book was to have the underlying moral of, 'don't judge a book by its cover', but it didn't quite accomplish that. What I did like in this entire book was the realistic ending a d isn't sugarcoated like many YA novels but even that wasn't worth saving the book from the tragedy that it is. Overall, waste of my time and I was expecting so much more because of it's "SLIGHTLY" unique plot. 🦄🦄🦄 Rated 3.5/10 Melina L.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    I don't know how to accurately describe my feelings for this book. I read it in less than 24 hours which is unheard of for me. I just had to know what happened next. I loved that it was from 4 different perspectives and that the characters were full of depth. The premise grabbed my attention and I was able to feel a connection with the characters. Hayden was raw, strong, intelligent, and so many other adjectives. I didn't have a similar situation growing up as her, but I felt connected to her, t I don't know how to accurately describe my feelings for this book. I read it in less than 24 hours which is unheard of for me. I just had to know what happened next. I loved that it was from 4 different perspectives and that the characters were full of depth. The premise grabbed my attention and I was able to feel a connection with the characters. Hayden was raw, strong, intelligent, and so many other adjectives. I didn't have a similar situation growing up as her, but I felt connected to her, that I shared qualities with her. She's unapologetic, which is probably my favorite thing about her. Nolan on the other hand is the star athlete with struggles of his own. He thinks he has his life figured out, but things change and it shakes him. While his inner monologue is probably like most teenage guys at times, he's respectable and I like that he sticks up for his sister Emmaline and other females. Emmaline is a spitfire when she opens up. She's a genius who's always been in her brother's protective shadow. She knows what she wants, but is on the shy side, hence "hiring" Hayden to help her hone her seduction skills. I really enjoyed the relationship that formed between Emmaline and Hayden. Finally there's Beau, Nolan's best friend and kid from the less fortunate side of town (Pleasant/Peasant Ranch) aka where Hayden also lives. He has his own family struggles and views Nolan as a brother. We don't get to read from Beau's perspective that often, but when we did I really enjoyed it. He's seen as a player, but when you read form his perspective you get a little glimpse into his head. I really liked how his actions were compared to Hayden's and showed how men and women are perceived differently for doing the same thing. Ok I think I'm done ranting. Just read the book. It's amazing and full of great characters with complex stories.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. "Wild, beautiful, and (as rumor has it) experienced, Hayden Vargas doesn’t have time for love or relationships. She’s learned the hard way that the only person you can count on is yourself, and she’s hell-bent on earning enough money to leave her small, judgy Texas town as fast as possible. So when nerdy Emmaline Martin offers to pay Hayden for lessons in seduction, the money is so easy, there must be a catch. Enter the catch: Emmaline’s older brother, popular, all-around nice guy™ Nolan Martin, "Wild, beautiful, and (as rumor has it) experienced, Hayden Vargas doesn’t have time for love or relationships. She’s learned the hard way that the only person you can count on is yourself, and she’s hell-bent on earning enough money to leave her small, judgy Texas town as fast as possible. So when nerdy Emmaline Martin offers to pay Hayden for lessons in seduction, the money is so easy, there must be a catch. Enter the catch: Emmaline’s older brother, popular, all-around nice guy™ Nolan Martin, who doesn’t want his sister’s reputation tarnished by the school’s resident bad girl. But Hayden should know that looks can be deceiving. Nolan may seem like a golden boy, but like Hayden, he has a few secrets of his own. And the more he meddles in her lessons with Emmaline, the more these polar opposites clash—and the more sparks fly. Turns out Nolan may have some lessons to teach Hayden, but only if she’s willing to learn." - Amazon I really liked this author's style a lot. I think that's what kept me reading through all the super cliche characters. I've become sick of She's Not Like Other Girl characters, so that makes Hayden hard to read. I felt like there was a lot of potential in the story, but the head hoping made it hard for any one character to develop. The ending also felt super rushed. Slightly disappointed overall.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Daphne Macalintal

    loved the friendship between Hayden and Emmaline, their unlikely friendship blooming was amazing to read about. I also loved Hayden's character, she was so confident and embraced her sexual prowess. I was constantly rooting for her the whole book, her personality was so fun to read about because all her snarky, fierce and blunt comments always made me cheer for her. Lots of serious quotes that I loved that spoke about slut-shaming The moral of this book that I seemed to come out with was that you loved the friendship between Hayden and Emmaline, their unlikely friendship blooming was amazing to read about. I also loved Hayden's character, she was so confident and embraced her sexual prowess. I was constantly rooting for her the whole book, her personality was so fun to read about because all her snarky, fierce and blunt comments always made me cheer for her. Lots of serious quotes that I loved that spoke about slut-shaming The moral of this book that I seemed to come out with was that you are not alone and there are other people who will be there for you as your found family even if your own family kind of sucks like Hayden's mum. SPOILER WARNING BELOW Even though I did love this book mostly for Emmaline's friendship with Hayden and for Hayden being a badass, I thought Beau's POV was irrelevant and maybe like 2 things that happened in the book I wasn't happy with. First of all, Hayden kissed Nolan while he still had a girlfriend and even though Nolan and his girlfriend were falling out of love anyway, I didn't appreciate that, I still count it as cheating. the next thing I thought was out of place was when Hayden casually invited Nolan into her house and they just watched movies and eat popcorn and pizza together like they were already good friends and Nolan somehow forgot that he was meant to go back home and have his own dinner. Even though that scene was Nolan getting to know Hayden better, I just thought it was pretty random and unexpected and I just simply thought it wasn't logical enough.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jesssiereads

    A contemporary YA romance. Had four POVs Hayden is known as the bad girl at school while Emmaline is more of the good girl playing it safe. Her bigger overprotective brother Nolan always around. So Emmaline hires Hayden to teach her how to attract boys. Which Nolan isn’t too happy about. Him and his best friend Beau not thinking it was a smart idea. Yet nothing is going to change Emmalines mind. Hayden then finds herself starting to like Nolan. Nolan also connecting with her unlike with his curre A contemporary YA romance. Had four POVs Hayden is known as the bad girl at school while Emmaline is more of the good girl playing it safe. Her bigger overprotective brother Nolan always around. So Emmaline hires Hayden to teach her how to attract boys. Which Nolan isn’t too happy about. Him and his best friend Beau not thinking it was a smart idea. Yet nothing is going to change Emmalines mind. Hayden then finds herself starting to like Nolan. Nolan also connecting with her unlike with his current girlfriend. First thinking the same as everyone does about Hayden until he learns more about her. Meanwhile Emmaline try’s to make herself more like Hayden. Little does she know that someone is into her just the way she is and is she l to him as well? Contains high school drama and drama. An overall entertaining story. * Received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion and review*

  27. 4 out of 5

    John Clark

    Blurbs I read made Hayden sound wilder and tougher that the story reveals. Simply put, she's a smart and talented girl trying to survive high school and her useless mother, while sidestepping heartbreak. Nolan has dealt with heartbreak courtesy of his dad dying, leaving hem with an overgrown sense of responsibility for his mom and two younger sisters. He's had the same girlfriend for two years and it takes some interactions with Hayden to shake him out of the rut he's in. How that gets accomplis Blurbs I read made Hayden sound wilder and tougher that the story reveals. Simply put, she's a smart and talented girl trying to survive high school and her useless mother, while sidestepping heartbreak. Nolan has dealt with heartbreak courtesy of his dad dying, leaving hem with an overgrown sense of responsibility for his mom and two younger sisters. He's had the same girlfriend for two years and it takes some interactions with Hayden to shake him out of the rut he's in. How that gets accomplished is fascinating and comes to the reader from multiple perspectives: Hayden's, Nolan's, his seventeen year old sister Emmaline's and his best friend Beau's. Along the way, there are sparks of attraction for several couples, an intriguing offer by Emmaline to Hayden, feelings of betrayal and some painful, but very necessary growing up. It's a great story and one certainly deserving a place in school and public libraries.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shelee at Book Reader Chronicles

    **3.5 Stars** Kissing Lessons was a quick read with two love stories in one. Told from the main view of our heroine, Hayden, Jordan explored the perspective of a young woman tarnished by rumor and circumstance and slowly revealed to readers that she, of course, was worth so much more than a label. I enjoyed the way she was crafted, the touchiness of the subject matter—rightfully so—and how it wasn't easy for any of the characters to navigate. The key social themes were nicely done, deftly usi **3.5 Stars** Kissing Lessons was a quick read with two love stories in one. Told from the main view of our heroine, Hayden, Jordan explored the perspective of a young woman tarnished by rumor and circumstance and slowly revealed to readers that she, of course, was worth so much more than a label. I enjoyed the way she was crafted, the touchiness of the subject matter—rightfully so—and how it wasn't easy for any of the characters to navigate. The key social themes were nicely done, deftly using the real world to explore how misconception and judgment can tarnish and affect anyone, but most especially a young woman. The push-pull between her and Nolan showcased his (and most people's) ignorance, but also his willingness to grow and learn and care. And the added side love story was a good bonus—especially for those who love that specific trope, as I do. I would've loved if we had had more depth and time spent delving into Hayden and her story more deeply, most especially because it is a crucial side to tell. The ending was especially rushed and pretty flippant in how things were resolved, and that's where I think more time could've been spent because deep emotional scars can't be disregarded that easily. It was a quick read with good characters, I just wanted more time fleshing them out than we got. **Received an early copy; this had no bearing on my opinions**

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I received this as an eARC from Edelweiss and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Hayden is desperate to leave her small town and her toxic mother. High school is a terrible place for her because she is known as the school slut. She doesn't want to interact with her classmates, but after attending a party, she catches the notice of the Martin siblings. Nolan feels drawn to Hayden, but he has a girlfriend and Hayden is super prickly. Emmaline, Nolan's younger sister, asks Hayden for lesson I received this as an eARC from Edelweiss and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Hayden is desperate to leave her small town and her toxic mother. High school is a terrible place for her because she is known as the school slut. She doesn't want to interact with her classmates, but after attending a party, she catches the notice of the Martin siblings. Nolan feels drawn to Hayden, but he has a girlfriend and Hayden is super prickly. Emmaline, Nolan's younger sister, asks Hayden for lessons on seducing boys. While Hayden isn't experienced, she needs the money that Emmaline is offering. Hayden and Nolan continue to butt heads and find themselves drawn to each other as his protective older brother streak appears. I was not a fan of the couples. I think that the plot arc of Emmaline was unbelievable and her voice seemed much younger than a junior in school.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sandie, Teen Lit Rocks

    Mixed feelings on this one. Sophie Jordan is a talented writer, and the premise is very Netflix adaptation worthy and sex positive, but then again there's so much slut shaming and it's never actually explained whether the main character is experienced (which would've been fine) or just the victim of a "bad reputation." I didn't care about the (view spoiler)[Emmaline-Beau subplot, and thought it was weird the way their romance went from zero to sexual act really quickly, whereas the main romance Mixed feelings on this one. Sophie Jordan is a talented writer, and the premise is very Netflix adaptation worthy and sex positive, but then again there's so much slut shaming and it's never actually explained whether the main character is experienced (which would've been fine) or just the victim of a "bad reputation." I didn't care about the (view spoiler)[Emmaline-Beau subplot, and thought it was weird the way their romance went from zero to sexual act really quickly, whereas the main romance with loads of chemistry was somewhat tarnished by cheating (hide spoiler)] . Some characters felt flatter than others, and despite her last name being Vargas and her dark hair/olive skin mentioned several times, I can't remember anything about Hayden's racial/ethnic background -- only her socioeconomic status. This one isn't going to work for those sensitive to love triangles/messy romances.

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