book review

A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole

a thousand boy kisses

I’m struggling to find the words to describe how devastatingly beautiful this story is without sounding cliche. It really is one of those stories that just stays with you.

Uprooted from his home in Oslo, Rune moved next door to Poppy when he was five. From the very first handshake, a bond was formed, and continuously fortified with every single minute in each other’s company. This is a story about love that transcends every possible road block.

Things I loved about this book:

1. The characters in this book burrowed their way into a little nook in my heart. And with every page, they kept digging deeper, rooting themselves permanently in there. Poppy was tough as nails. One of the most vibrant souls I’ve ever had the privilege of reading about, her courage and selflessness is just endearing. Meanwhile, Rune made it to the top of my swoon-worthy book boyfriends list. Ever loyal, he constantly puts his love for Poppy first. I also have a special place in my heart for Poppy’s mamaw who set everything into motion, Rune’s father who was so torn between being the father who wants to provide for his family and the father who doesn’t want to shatter his son’s world, and little Alton who wanted nothing more than a small fraction of his brother Rune’s attention. Just an abundance of great characters.

2. The off-the-charts chemistry between Poppy and Rune will completely knock your socks off. It’s understandable how the parents can mistake their connection for puppy love, since they were inseparable from a very young age. However, the more the story unfolded, there really was no denying how deeply they felt for each other. What a tornado of ups and downs though — meeting each other, falling for each other, being ripped apart, finding their way back, only to face losing each other again, before they both come home to each other in the end. I’m still reeling, trying to catch my breath, but theirs is the kind of love that I love.

3. Tillie Cole just has a way with building up to the sweet moments, and there were a ton of them throughout the book. Every kiss made my heart almost burst the same way it did for the main characters, especially the ones since Rune’s return from Oslo, leading up to kiss one thousand. And boy, that kiss just killed me.

4. The overall story made my heart hurt so good. This was the longest sob session I’ve had so far this year. I usually try to keep myself from reading these books in public because I’m such a cry-baby, but I just couldn’t put it down. Snot in public be damned!

My husband often teases me that, though I may look like I’m still in high school, I am, in fact, not. Most readers who scoff at this genre will probably wonder why I haven’t outgrown it yet, but this book gives me so much more than puppy love. Young adult romance really is one of my favorite sub genres. Because when it’s done right, when treated properly, these are some of the purest love stories ever written. There’s a certain innocence that wraps itself around these stories, cocooning the growth, and unfolds into beautiful butterflies in the stomach. It just feels good.

This is everything I love about love.

Rating: 5 stars

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