Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Kiss My Book by: Jamie Michaels

Although this novel is very thin and took me less than a day to finish, I was equally intrigued and disgusted. Kiss My Book centers upon Ruby Crane, who lives…and works in the heart of New York City.

Ruby is one of Them. Those heart-stoppingly good-looking people who sit with the cool kids and sip hot chocolate as they watch their handsome boyfriends skate at the Rockefeller Centre. Of course, during her freshman year, Ruby was simply a Nobody: content to read and re-read Poe’s The Raven, Rebecca, and other classics, all while pounding out her own novel, The Heart Stealer.

When Ruby’s book is picked up and published, suddenly she’s on her way to literary fame…or infamy. A hot-shot celebrity reporter accuses Ruby of plagiarism while at an event promoting her own book…what’s a girl to do but start all over???

As I said before, I found this book equally interesting and pointless. Plagiarism is an issue of great importance to teens today (some of our essays are put through anti-plagiarism software on the computer) and new authors. I found myself wondering if Michaels was parroting the harrowed tale of Kaavya Viswanathan, Harvard grad and teen author of How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got A Life. Viswanathan was accused of plagiarising the works of Meghan McCafferty. With her, just as with Ruby Crane, her name is now tied with that dreaded word: plagiarism.

I found Kiss My Book very promising with a neat premise. Teen author’s first book accused of plagiarism? Turning her back on all she knows? But I found myself distracted with useless subplots: a romance! An instant best friend! An ancient town legend! Evil townies! Ooh! I loved the literary name-dropping however, but Michaels’ constant use of first name-last name tired me out. I’d hope that after the first couple times I’d remember MaryAnn’s last name! Also, Miss Michaels' using of the cliched "girl takes on a new identity and moves to a small town to start over" thing, was a bad move on her part. I would have loved to see at least one chapter's worth of Ruby suffering through school after "the scandal," instead poof! Ruby's gone!

Total: Three stars out of five

1 comment:

Mag-Pie224 said...

I'm in the middle of this book so far, but I agree with you about the premise...I think the fact that she just leaves and starts a new life is something I've read a lot before, and it would've been more interesting if she had gone back to school, and the reader was able to see how badly she had REALLY fallen, since nobody at school would probably talk to her. But Jamie Michaels' voice is very realistic and brings me into the story very well.