Everybody has wondered what would have happened if they did/didn’t do something. Split by a Kiss has the unusual concept of narrating two alternate storylines after a decision main character Jo has to make. Living in America for a year because of her mum’s new job, she has a chance to reinvent herself. At a party, she is given the chance to make out with the most popular guy in the school. From then on the narrative splits into two possible routes. Told from the alternating perspectives of cool Josie, who kissed the popular guy, and nerdy Jo, who didn’t, Split by a Kiss is unique and very clever.
When reading the synopsis for this, I assumed that I would be supposed to support the nerdy Jo. Although they are the same person, ‘Jo’ is the one who didn’t sell out and kiss the guy she didn’t like. Fortunately, it wasn’t like that at all. In both sides of the story, Jo/Josie make big mistakes, and I actually ended up liking ‘Josie’s’ plot more. Wow, that’s very complicated to describe. I kind of knew where the plot was going from the beginning. Certain things happen to both Josie and Jo and these, I rightly assumed, were the important plot parts. However, Jo and Josie reach the end in very different ways. What was especially interesting was that because the two story parts followed similar but not identical time-lines, the reader gets a more complete story than either version of the main character.
I’m sure it was very difficult to write as I’m having huge difficulties just describing it here, so I’ll make it simple. It was funny, I liked most of the characters, I enjoyed the romance, and I loved the idea. The balance of English-American references was interesting and makes it accessible to readers on both sides of the Atlantic. A light, amusing read following a girl’s experiences with love, friendship and finding out who she is.