The International Kissing Club
Copyright 2012, Walker Publishing, a division of Bloomsbury Publishing
Piper, Cassidy, Mei, and Izzy have been best friends their whole lives. And they've always agreed on one goal: to get out of tiny Paris, Texas, and see the world. The school's foreign exchange program seems like the perfect escape: Piper will go to the original Paris; Mei will go to China; Cassidy will go to Australia; and Izzy, unable to afford the program, will stay at home. To add spice to their semester away, and to stay connected to their best friends, the girls start The International Kissing Club, a Facebook page where they can anonymously update one another and brag about all the amazing guys they're meeting. After all, these girls are traveling abroad: amazing guys abound at every turn! But sometimes fun, flirty vacation flings turn into more serious romances, and sometimes you don't return from abroad the same person you were. Will the girls' relationships-and their friendships-be able to survive? -- Goodreads
The IKC is exactly what you want it to be! It's fun and flirty with serious undertones on both personal and relationship fronts. While the girls are best friends and know each other better than their own families could, they find that traveling abroad will broaden more than horizons. The girls are forced to realize things about themselves that they may not have ever come face to face with if they had stayed home. More importantly, the girls come home with a new perspective for the things and people around them. Friendships that have stood the test of time now have one fight left - the test of change. They expected to come home full of change; more confidence, more kissing experience, et all. What they didn't expect was to actually change internally the way they did. Faking back into their old lives would be the easiest route back to where they were before they left, but it's not always possible to go back and sometimes you don't want to!
I'd have to say Piper started out as my favorite character in the book. I thought she was fun! She and I would get into some crazy trouble together! Although, Cassidy definitely crept up on my favorite character list. She's so in your face and confident on the outside, but she's had a hard life. It wears on her and ultimately I think her story ended up being my favorite to read!
It's not all fun and kissing games, though. There are real family problems and friend problems that add to the many layers of IKC. From alcohol abuse to invisibility, smothering to unbreakable parental bonds and everywhere in between, the team behind Ivy Adams covered a lot of ground!
My advice? Pick this book up! It's good fun and some cultural swoon to go with it! If you're planning a trip somewhere, even better! Take it to the beach, on the airplane, to a ski lodge or curl up on your couch and think of all the points you can attain in your own neighborhood!