Six Times We Almost Kissed (And One Time We Did)
About this deal
I received an arc from Little, Brown Books for Young Reader via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. although it would be incredibly easy to cast certain characters as either wholly good or wholly bad, this is not what six times we almost kissed does. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. But when Tate's mother needs a liver transplant, Penny's mom is all too ready to step in as a living donor. She completely neglected her child during the worst time in her life, and to me that's unforgivable.
sharpe has an incredibly engaging writing style and explores sensitive themes with the care and nuance they deserve all while crafting loveable characters whose voices stick with you even after you've turned the final page. Those moments at the river, my stomach almost contracted and fear came over me like a fire closing me in. First of all, the audiobook is narrated by the author and my previous experiences of authors narrating their own books weren’t great but this one was excellent. When Lottie offers Anna part of her liver to help, the girls are thrust together even more, as the families will be moving in together to facilitate everything. The writing is moving, vibrant, and quite blunt, and I adored the mix of dual POVs and dual timelines.I love slow burn as much as anyone, but it got to a point (especially after Yreka) where I was like, why aren't you together by now?
Although I loved the slow burn romance, towards the end I did start to feel a little frustrated with the wait, and I don't exactly know why Yreka was something they Did Not Mention. Sharpe is also the author behind Far From You and The Girls I’ve Been, the latter of which is receiving a film adaption starring Millie Bobby Brown. While the part of me that is a sucker for adorable and predictable romances was fulfilled, I also got a surprising emotional gut punch from the realistic and heartbreaking depiction of unconventional families.There is a lot of grief and loss to wade through, especially as it manifests so differently for so many people; and these characters are no exception. You'd think we all would've learned by now but it bears repeating for relevancy -- and also because I have not learned by now -- but : a colourfully illustrated cover does not mean there is a lack of heavy. The message is clear: If a mere child can step up and be an adult when their family needs it, there is no excuse, even grief, that gives a parent a right to check out on their duties.
This forces them to have to figure out how to coexist with each other and all the feelings they’ve spent years ignoring. Unlike anything I’ve read before… immediate, gripping, incredibly tense, heart-breaking, heart-warming and FUN! I am a huge fan of seeing flashbacks in books – I feel they just add something extra to the storyline.I think that Tess Sharpe did a good job at distinguishing their voices so I was never confused about which girl’s POV I was reading from.
I definitely recommend checking this one out if you’re looking for a sapphic YA romance that also deals with family trauma. I do think the cover and title are misleading, so I recommend tempering your expectations going into this.The YA genre is off to a strong start in 2023, with Tess Sharpe dropping a heartfelt and adorable love story for the ages. They would be the first person to tell you they’re not friends but they defend each other and are there for one another and I enjoyed them together and separately. But when an almost-kiss goes from almost to I am now wearing your lip gloss, Penny and Tate have no choice but to finally face the music .