Kissing In America was the sad but ultimately sweet story of Eva, a young lady who lost her father two years earlier. Still dealing with his loss, Eva has become obsessed with Romance novels. She deals with her grief by comparing real life situations with the characters in her books. Eva and her mother aren’t coping well with the loss of their loved one, understandably. While Eva’s mother deals with the loss of her husband by denying he ever existed and being excessively overprotected of her daughter, Eva tries to hang on to her memories of him by secreting away his belongings, no matter how innocuous they maybe, old receipts for example. Since her mother threw away most of her father’s things this is how Eva has to hold on the the things she can.
I felt really bad for Eva, she lost her father and in a sense her mother too. Eva’s mother basically became a cold, distant shell of the mother she once knew, who sometimes acted as if her husband just got up and left them. I really wish she would have snapped out it and saw that her daughter needed her mother. We did learn that this is the typical way her mother grieves, which I thought was very unfortunate for both her and Eva. Her entire grieving process seems to be stuck on feeling abandoned.
Eva has always had a long standing crush on a guy named Will, but he had a supermodelesque girlfriend which Eva thinks means no chance for anything with him. However, she soon becomes his tutor, then a friend and confidant.. When Will and his girlfriend broke up she finally has a chance with him, and Will also seems interested too when he kisses her. But Eva’s chance was cut short rather quickly when Will moved to California. Eva had this obsessive need to continue what they started and thought she just has to see him in person and concocted an insane plan to travel cross country to see him. She came to the conclusion she was in love with him and became even more obsessed to see him. This obsession caused her to make some unwise decisions such as disappointing her best friend Annie and lying to everyone involved.
During that road trip Eva learned valuable lessons and had to face up to her mistakes, she learned to not make rash decisions, and to do things for yourself not for a guy, especially when it comes to travelling a long distance an deceiving and using others to do so. Along the way we got to meet some interesting and quirky characters. And learned more about Eva’s mothers past and other interesting stories. Eva also had her showdown with her mother during her road trip, I thought finally, now maybe her mother would wake up and they can start working on their relationship.
I liked Eva, even with her naivete and obsessiveness she did have a great sense of humor. She would have these weird but kinda funny asides where she makes her life sounds like a romance novel when she romanticizes her situation in her version of a romance novelish voice. I thought it was really cute and totally weird at the same time. I could have easily seen Eva as a typical young girl whose completely guy crazy and not sympathize with her, but I didn’t, I was able to see the pain Eva was trying to out run. Eva was very close with her father and losing him so suddenly was traumatic. Perhaps she was trying to forget just like her mother but in a different way. Eva eventually learned that focusing all her attention on a boy was not going to help her cope with the fear and confusion that she was dealing with after losing her father.
This being an audiobook played a huge part in how much I liked the story. It made me love it that much more. I really liked the voice of the narrator. I thought she was spot on with Eva’s voice and did a great job with all the other voices too.
I thought Kissing In American was a nice story about how life throws major curveballs at you when you least expect it and it’s how you handle it that makes you stronger in the end. And that although love brings heartache with it it also brings strength.