A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Beth Reekles' The Kissing Booth started as a wildly popular ebook romance. It was first self-published on Wattpad when the author was 15 and has gotten millions of views and tens of thousands of comments on the social reading site. Strictly for romance fans, it has lots of kissing and light making out. Teens have sex but it's not narrated, and nothing's mentioned about safety or pregnancy prevention. Strong language is occasional and includes "s--t," ass," "damn," "hell," and "crap." Noah, the main love interest, is quick to anger, gets in lots of fights, and extremely jealous and possessive of narrator Elle. Some fights briefly mention punching and shoving, and one causes a bleeding lip. The mixed messages and role models make it a romance to escape into. It could also provide a reason to talk, especially to younger teens and tweens, about their hopes and dreams for their own romances. The book had been adapted for a movie planned for release in 2018.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
When Elle, 16, takes a turn in THE KISSING BOOTH, next in line is none other than smokin' hot bad-boy Noah. Sparks fly when Elle and Noah kiss, of course. Elle soon finds herself irresistibly drawn to the one guy every girl wants. Trouble is, Noah just happens to be the older brother of Elle's best friend, Lee. Elle can't put her friendship with Lee at risk, so she and Noah start seeing each other in secret. Is there a happy ending for something that starts with lies and betrayal?
Is it any good?
This teen romance is an amazing achievement for such a young author, who was 15 when she published it herself as an ebook, but it's for romance fans only. Bad-boy Noah and pretty, popular, every-girl Elle make a swoon-worthy couple. Narrator Elle is easy to relate to. Her friends and family are all believable, too. In real life, Noah's quick temper and extreme jealousy would be serious red flags, but here they just add to his bad-boy allure.
Some of the British words used in the California setting seem odd, and keep it from feeling like it happens in a real place. There are no outside concerns for any of the characters beyond themselves and their California, upper-middle-class, high school world. Best for teens who just want to escape into a sigh-worthy romance.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why romances like The Kissing Booth are so popular. What do we love about them?
Noah talked a lot about trying to change for Elle. Have you ever tried to change for someone, like a family member, friend, or special someone)? Have you wished someone would change for you? What happened?
What kind of future do you see for Elle and Noah?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.