to top

Romancing the Booth: An Inspection of “Kissing Booth”

book review

With its confounding mix of teenage angst and cloyingly sweet romantic upswings, “Kissing Booth” seemingly weaves a tale that transcends the formulaic constructs of the modern young adult genre. A staple in the lexicon of YA romance yarns, the real question is: does Beth Reekles’ jumbled mess of clichés and young love create a coherent love story, or does it fall into the trap of performative emotional sensationalism?

Summary

The story orbits around Elle Evans, a teenage girl who shares an intense platonic bond with Lee Flynn, her best friend since birth. Their relationship orbits around a set of rules, the crux being that dating each other’s relatives is strictly off-limits. Alas, chaos unfurls as Elle finds herself smitten by Lee’s older brother, Noah – resident high school heartthrob and the embodiment of a brooding bad boy. Trapped in a classic romantic conundrum, Elle must navigate the minefield of forbidden love, friendship, and the not so small issue of a Kissing Booth at the Spring Carnival.

Notable Quotes:

“Life essentials: everyone needs a Lee. And maybe I was starting to realize that everyone might need a Noah too.”

“Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.”

Review

“Kissing Booth” straddles the middle ground between predictability and the occasional fleeting moment of authentic emotion. While it subscribes to YA stereotypes, it does manage to make some vast leaps into genuinely emotive territory, particularly in its exploration of Elle’s character. The narrative had me teetering between cringing at the trite romantic clichés and, very infrequently, swooning at the raw authenticity of teenage love.

The book’s strength lies in Elle and the Flynn boys. Elle Evans is charmingly genuine, while the brothers epitomize the polar opposite tropes of boy-next-door and rebellious heartthrob. These characters are one-dimensional, yes, but within these dimensions, they are rich, warm, and irresistible. The predictable plotline and tropes, oddly, bring comfort and a certain teenage nostalgia that doesn’t fail to stir the heartstrings; that being said, it does get exasperatingly clichéd time and again.

Interlaced with some witty banter and astute observations from Elle’s perspective, “Kissing Booth” is surprisingly readable. It feels like a guilty pleasure – candyfloss literature, if you will – light, fluffy, and somewhat addictive.

Rating

3/5

Author Bio

A prodigious author, Beth Reekles was barely fifteen when she penned down “The Kissing Booth.” Originally published on Wattpad, it quickly gained popularity and was consequentially published by Random House.

FAQs/Study Questions:

  1. How does the rule list factor into the story? Are rules made to be broken?
  2. How does the author portray the theme of friendship vs. love?
  3. How does the Kissing Booth act as a symbol throughout the story?

Where to buy

For those intrigued by the prospect of reliving the histrionics of teenage years and first loves, “Kissing Booth” can be fetched from Amazon.

TV Adaptation

The nectarean story of “Kissing Booth” was not confined within the pages and its appeal was vast enough to be picked up by Netflix. Adapted into a film, with a sequel, and a third instalment on its way, “The Kissing Booth” franchise has become a veritable Pop Culture sensation.

“The Kissing Booth,” as a film, offers an effervescent concoction of high school drama, love triangles, and vibrant cinematography that beautifully encapsulates the nostalgia and chaos of adolescence. Director Vince Marcello brings an enviable energy to the screen which fits Reekles’ dialogue and story like a glove.

Joey King, who plays Elle Evans, brings a vivacious charm to the character that seems to leap off the screen. Her chemistry with Jacob Elordi (Noah Flynn) and her engaging dynamics with Joel Courtney (Lee Flynn) brings alive the love triangle conflict with an urgency and flair that keeps you engaged, even as the storyline feels comfortably predictable.

The film, like the book, offers little in the way of new insights or narrative innovation. Yet, it remains highly watchable with its colourful palette, infectious energy, and the compelling performances of its leads – making it an enjoyable, albeit fluffy, watch for young and old viewers alike.

Leave a Comment