Release Date: 15 May 2012
Publisher: Marshal Cavendish
Reading/Interest Level: Grades 9 & up
When Anna and Kate set out on their post-high school road trip, the destination is unknown but that makes it all the more exciting. They’ll camp and backpack and find their way across the country with little guidance besides a map and Jack Kerouac’s Dharma Bums to guide their way. As their journey continues, it hits numerous road bumps (and some road blocks) that give them shaky moments, but along the way they also discover that their journey is as much about discovering themselves as it is about finding God, happiness, friendship, and love. The openness of the road trip setting paves the way for the novel to explore a variety of topics, from organized religion to drugs and sexual identity to grief. Anna is dealing with a lot of lingering grief over the death of her mother and attempting, in baby steps, to recover her relationship with her father and Kate. Kate and Anna start off the story with a relationship that is shaky and uncertain and the attempt to make the move to more than “just friends” could be the end of them, but they’re exploring and trying anyway. Some readers will find the story overwhelmed by the issues it tackles, but others will immerse themselves in the uncertainties and experiences.
Kiss the Morning Star bring to the table a novel of two young women, fresh out of high school, exploring their sexuality. While the relationship begins as nothing more, it becomes clear fairly early on that the potential for deeper feelings is definitely there. The overwhelming number of “issues” presented in this book make the exploration of sexuality part of a bigger coming-of-age story that is really about a girl dealing with tragedy and finding her way back to some semblance of normal.