Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler

Who I Kissed by Janet GurtlerWho I Kissed by Janet Gurtler
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: October 1, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: Gift
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

She never thought a kiss could kill...

As the new girl in town, Samantha just wants to fit in. Being invited to a party by her fellow swim team members is her big chance...especially since Zee will be there. He hasn't made a secret of checking her out at the pool. Sam didn't figure on Alex being there too. She barely even knows him. And she certainly didn't plan to kiss him. It just kind of happened.

And then Alex dies—right in her arms...

Consumed by guilt and grief, Sam has no idea what to do or where to turn when everyone at school blames her. What follows is Sam's honest, raw, and unforgettable journey to forgive herself and find balance—maybe even love—in a life that suddenly seems to be spinning out of control.

Who I Kissed was not a good book, mainly because the love interest was an absolute piece of crap who should have remained forever alone. That said, it was a quick and easy read and I flew threw it, and it also did a good job of highlighting a topic that I had very little knowledge of previously.

I’m going to talk about the love interest first because I need to get this off my chest. So, Zee. He and Sam, the main character, aren’t together but there’s obviously some mutual attraction there. Fair enough. Zee is best friends with the guy who dies, which messes things up a bit and Zee starts to treat Sam horribly. Look, I know he’s hurt because his friend is dead, but Zee is a complete arsehole towards Sam and it’s pretty much unforgivable. For example, there is one scene in which Sam has enough of his crap and starts to walk away, but Zee grabs Sam’s arm and starts squeezing it so hard that it hurts. He also gets completely obsessive when she talks with other guys, and he’s overbearing and just horrible. He’s basically abusive, and I am disgusted that Janet Gurtler made him a legitimate love interest for her main character.


I didn’t really connect with Sam, but I enjoyed reading about her to an extent. She didn’t have much of a personality, which left me feeling very indifferent towards her. But at least I didn’t want to strangle her like I did Zee, right? I felt really sorry for her while she was going through all of that crap at school. I just wish her character had been fleshed out more.

There was also a potential for an epic friendship of awesome, but Gurtler chose not to focus on that aspect. Disappointing. That said, Sam did have a really great friend who I wish was around more instead of the horrible love interest and a certain other character who shan’t be named.

I thought that Who I Kissed did a good job of highlighting awareness about allergies, particularly peanut allergies which is clearly something that the author feels strongly about. Peanuts aren’t banned in schools in my area, so it was an interesting topic to read about since I had very little knowledge about the bans in the US and the debates surrounding them prior to reading this book.

This book is not good, and I wouldn’t recommend it, but I do appreciate what Gurtler was trying to do with the allergy thing, because it’s clearly a serious issue that affects many people, but those who aren’t affect it brush it under the rug. It’s just a shame that the love interest was a complete and utter abusive little git who I would like to shove in front of a train. Ehem.

2 comments on “Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler

  1. Maddy E 09/03/2015 10:45 pm

    No no no no no you do not make an abusive a**hole into a dreamy love interest. Bad. Not okay. I hate seeing things like that in books, especially YA, because teenage girls do not need the idea in their heads that abuse is okay. Sorry, but I can’t get past that enough to even attempt reading this book.

    Sorry for the rant, but great review.

  2. Rebecca 10/03/2015 1:19 pm

    I was interested in this when it first released because I myself have a peanut allergy, but I didn’t hear very good things so I lost interest. From what I’ve heard, the author son has a nut allergy so I believe that’s where her inspiration came from so she obviously has knowledge on the subject. Just a shame the story wasn’t better. I do not like the sound of that LI at all…

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