Wednesday 8 February 2012

Kiss, Date, Love, Hate by Luisa Plaja (Young Adult) Review & guest blog post

2nd February 2012,  Corgi
282 pages, Paperback
Review copy

Themes: teen life, teen crushes, teen fantasy, rebellion, finding yourself, hidden depths, secrets, fear, suspicion, troubled life, ignoring the truth, film class, divorce, teen romance, some humour

Lex Murphy's group of friends have all dated, hated, ignored and lusted after each other for the last few years. If only there was a way of matching people perfectly to avoid all the unrequited love, dumping and drama!

Then Lex's friend George is give a mysterious Sims-like game by his software-testing dad which involves building character profiles in the categories of Life, Looks and Love. Lex and George populate the game with avatars for all their mates, making a few 'wishful thinking' adjustments to the settings - and find that the next day these tinkerings have come true! But how long can this new calm, loved-up atmosphere continue...?

Nayuleska's thoughts
Lex was virtually the opposite of me so I didn't want to be her, yet I found the darker side of her fascinating. All the teen agnst covered up a humungous detail which readers only learn at the end and which puts everything into perspective. I'm actually going to reread it a bit each day because I want to see if there are hints to the final revelation earlier on. I wanted to read it because of the gaming aspect which was extremely well written and I hope Luisa might use a similar idea again. This gets 8/10 from me.

You can find out more about the book and Luisa on her website.

Suggested read
For video games gone wrong try the darker side in Dark Visions trilogy by L J Smith

Guest Blog Post
Although I didn't take part in her official blog tour, Luisa kindly wrote a guest blog post for NRC. Here she talks about magical trees - although the magic I usually chat to her about is Winx related. 

This is a post about trees. Magical trees.

At first glance, you might wonder how magical trees could possibly relate to my latest book, Kiss Date Love Hate, which is a teenage romance and also a tale about accepting the changes that life brings, even when you’re very young.

Well, I can explain…

1) There’s an important tree in the book. The main character, Lex, is on a film-making course in a forest. Together with her course partner, Drew, she discovers a tree she nicknames ‘The Adventure Tree’, and they choose it as the location for the short film they’re shooting. The tree isn’t literally magical, but it helps to create an atmosphere that’s full of possibilities…

2) There’s also magic in the book: a mysterious computer game which seems to have the power to change people. Lex and her friend George hold the controls, and many of the ridiculous situations they create are played out in the forest.

3) Trees were part of my inspiration. A few years ago, I attended a film-making course that sparked the idea for the character of Lex and the setting of Kiss Date Love Hate. The course took place in a largely man-made forest where the visitors’ facilities were in the process of being renovated. There was a great mix of old and new, of wildlife and manufactured structures . At the risk of sounding like Ms Cosgrove, Lex’s ‘cosmic’ Geography teacher, it was pretty inspiring.

4) The final reason involves books by Enid Blyton, one of my childhood favourite authors. I adored the Faraway Tree series when I was little, and I read all of the stories over and over again. The adventures of Moon Face, Silky and the Saucepan Man definitely helped to feed my love of reading and my wish to tell my own stories and write them down. I loved the idea of climbing to the top of a tree and exploring different lands, never being quite sure of what I’d find up there. Come to think of it, it’s a lot like opening a book…

Thank you very much for having me at Nayu’s Reading Corner!

Thank you Luisa for writing such a fun post. I love the Faraway Tree series (it's still on my shelf, perhaps I'll read it again) - really looking forward to your next book already. 

1 comment:

College Dating said...

I totally agree with you. Thanks for posting this! It is indeed a great read.