The Kissing List by Stephanie Reents

33%

11 Critic Reviews

Despite the pleasing transitions, however, the entire volume is infused with a melancholic wistfulness that can come off as self-indulgent, and the weakest stories tend to be shallow and predictable.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

An inventive debut that recalls the imagination of Aimee Bender and the sardonic wit of Lorrie Moore.

The interlocking stories in The Kissing List feature an unforgettable group of young women – Sylvie, Anna, Frances, Maureen – as their lives connect, first during a year abroad at Oxford, then later as they move to New York on the cusp of adulthood. We follow each of them as they navigate the treachery of first dates, temp jobs and roommates, failed relationships and unexpected affairs – all the things that make their lives seem full of possibility, but also rife with potential disappointment.

Shot through with laugh-out-loud lines, yet still wrenchingly emotional and resonant, The Kissing List is a book about women who bravely defy expectations and take outrageous chances in the face of a life that might turn out to be anything less than extraordinary.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Stephanie Reents

See more books from this Author
STEPHANIE REENTS's fiction has been included in the O. Henry Prize Stories, noted in Best American Short Stories, and has appeared in numerous journals. Stephanie has been a Bread Loaf Conference Scholar, a Stegner Fellow, and a Rhodes Scholar. She is an assistant professor at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
 
Published May 22, 2012 by Hogarth. 242 pages
Genres: Other, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Kissing List
All: 11 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 9

Kirkus

Below average
Mar 15 2012

Gratuitously baroque developments in a few tales also suggest an author still not entirely clear about the essential nature of her talent.

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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Haley Tanner on Jul 13 2012

The emotional weight of Laurie’s experience overshadows much of “The Kissing List,” and this imbalance suggests the collection’s main weakness.

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Publishers Weekly

Below average
Feb 27 2012

Despite the pleasing transitions, however, the entire volume is infused with a melancholic wistfulness that can come off as self-indulgent, and the weakest stories tend to be shallow and predictable.

Read Full Review of The Kissing List | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Journal of Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Ariel Balter on Mar 12 2013

The Kissing List beautifully captures the lives of twenty-something, smart, educated women. Some of the stories are funny and light but many are also haunting and thought-provoking.

Read Full Review of The Kissing List | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

San Francisco Chronicle

Below average
Reviewed by Carmela Ciuraru on May 27 2012

Some of these stories veer toward the predictable, but others...prove poignant in their depictions of struggle and disappointment...a fine if uneven debut.

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PopMatters

Below average
Reviewed by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal on Aug 01 2012

The concept of the The Kissing List is an interesting one and its individual stories sometimes reach their marks, but the book would have benefited from a single, accessible narrator and a more meaningful examination of early adulthood.

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Book Loons

Below average
Reviewed by Rheta Van Winkle

...the reader isn't always sure just who the protagonist is, whether it's Sylvie or a friend who might have a relationship with Sylvie which isn't clear. The point of each story isn't always clear either.

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Novel Escapes

Good
Reviewed by Sabrina-Kate on Jun 11 2012

It was a book that made me laugh, sigh, cry and cringe at times but in that way you think, "Oh I've been THERE before."

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Reading with Martinis

Below average
Reviewed by Kelly on May 22 2012

They weren’t compelling, they weren’t interesting, they weren’t unlikeable. They just were there.

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Tiffany's Bookshelf

Below average
Reviewed by Tiffany Harkleroad on Aug 08 2012

I found not a single of the females in the book to be well developed or the least bit memorable as characters...In short, I found this book to be a hot mess.

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Ashley Mott

Below average
Reviewed by Ashley Mott on Sep 10 2012

I ended up liking about half of the stories...The other half...felt contrived…it was obvious from the other stories that this book could have been better all the way through.

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Reader Rating for The Kissing List
62%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 51 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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