Monday, November 2, 2020

Kissing Ezra Holtz (and Other Things I Did for Science) by Brianna R. Shrum: A Review

2.5 Stars rounded down to 2 Stars

I wanted to really like this but Amalia needed a smack over the head. She talked about being judged for her choices and for her interests and then turned around and did the same thing to Ezra over and over again. She sometimes mentioned how she knew what she said was unfair, that she was being a jerk, but in the end, for me, she didn't show enough growth.

Also, I was not a big fan of her attitude towards school. She had her big art school dream and didn't have a single back-up plan in place? Seriously? And she honestly thought coasting through her classes doing the bare minimum was okay because she was going to be an artist, what did she need school for, and just no, she must have had her head in the sand to believe her grades didn't matter. I think she was too selfish and I am honestly glad she had her dreams shattered. I just wish readers had been shown that she really understood why her plan to get into art school didn't work out like she envisioned and why she really needed to make changes for her future.

There were a lot of cute moments. The representation in this book was awesome. In the end though, I wanted this girl to understand that caring for people does not make you weak, working hard does not make you lame, and you don't always get exactly what you thought you wanted would make you happy. But guess what? You can be insanely happy with completely different choices and be eternally grateful that you did not go that different route.

After a whole book of this personal crisis of if Amalia is not an artist, then who is she, the conclusion of maybe 20 pages having her realize she loves Ezra and might be able to make chemistry into a career was not enough of a payoff. It almost feels unfinished because the book just ends and maybe she makes something out of her relationship with Ezra, maybe she keeps up with her AP classes and proves she can handle the workload, maybe she makes it into a good school and is happy on her new path but readers will never know that for certain. Because the book had not yet reached Thanksgiving in their timeline and Amalia had not truly accepted the need to work harder to get what she wants, it might be that she just gives up and goes back to blowing everything off again. I just wanted something a little more concrete out of this character at the end, since I spent the whole of the book waiting for something more than just a couple maybe getting together. 

 Rating on my Blog Scale:..........

Yeah, still 2 stars, even with the way I sparse it out for my ratings. It just really disturbs me that a kid in high school believes they can get their dream with a minimum amount of effort and no fallback ideas. Just ARGH, tell me kids are smarter nowadays? Or don't, and let me have hope a little longer.

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