6 Times We Almost Kissed by Tess Sharpe _ Book Review

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Six moments lead us to two girls, one kiss, and three little words that were maybe always true in this gorgeous novel perfect for fans of Nina LaCour and Jenny Han.

Penny and Tate have always clashed. Unfortunately, their mothers are lifelong best friends, so the girls’ bickering has carried them through playdates, tragedy, and more than one rom-com marathon with the Moms. When Penny’s mother decides to become a living donor to Tate’s mom, ending her wait for a liver transplant, things go from clashing to cataclysmic. Because in order to help their families recover physically, emotionally, and financially, the Moms combine their households the summer before senior year.

So Penny and Tate make a pact: They’ll play nice. Be the drama-free daughters their mothers need through this scary and hopeful time. There’s only one little hitch in their plan: Penny and Tate keep almost kissing.

It’s just this confusing thing that keeps happening. You know, from time to time. For basically their entire teenaged existence.

They’ve never talked about it. They’ve always ignored it in the aftermath. But now they’re living across the hall from each other. And some things—like their kisses—can’t be almosts forever. 

[received a digital arc from Netgalley for an honest review]

6 Time We Almost Kissed
 is a Queer YA Contemporary by Tess Sharpe. This is my first time reading the author, but It won’t be my last!

Penny and Tate aren’t friends, but aren’t enemies. They have been in each other’s orbit their whole lives because their mothers are ride or die best friends. Both girls hold a lot of weight on their shoulders. Tate’s mother is chronically ill and he does what she needs to do to help her mother and keep their heads above water. Penny’s life was forever changed during a tragic rafting accident that she was lucky to survive. Tate and Penny each harbor feelings for the other. Yet neither girl is strong enough to take the chance. When Penny’s mother volunteers to give Tate’s mom a part of her liver and that they should all move in together to save money, the feelings the girls have for each other keep bubbling to the surface. After six almost kisses will Penny and Tate finally confess their feelings or will they continue the push and pull between them.

Sometimes, Penny looks at me like I’m a dare she wants to take, but forgot how.

I’ll be honest I did not read the synopsis’ to this one, all I knew was it was a YA about two girls who repeatedly almost kiss and OMG was I given that and so much more. I was not ready for the emotional impact of this and the tears 😭 I’m not going to go into detail because I went back to the synopsis’ and it doesn’t reveal much, but FEELS!

I know the shape of her cheek against the cup of my palm, like I know the scars that seam across my skin. They both haunt me in different ways.

The relationship between Penny and Tate is a slow burn push and pull. They really aren’t friends, but they don’t hate each other, they their own social lives and separate best friends. Yet no matter what they are always there when the other needs them. I loved Tate for many reasons but most importantly the way she put her own feelings aside to take care of and support Penny when she needed it. I loved the way she stood up for her and defended her. I also love love loved her relationship with her momma. Penny my heart absolutely broke for. She was an emotional mess and with good reason. They fact that she was still going day by day proved how strong she and resilient. Together they literally have a bunch of almost kisses where they are either interrupted or one of them pulls away. Their story is so much more than the romance between them and I was here for it the entire time.

She makes me feel everything.

I almost let me hatred of Penny’s mother reduce my star rating of this one. She was seriously the worst and failed as a mother when it was most important. I appreciated that the author didn’t try to redeem her, and that Penny didn’t fully forgive her by the end. It was real. Sometimes relationships are better off growing apart. Just because someone is family doesn’t mean you have to forgive and forget.

I loved the positive mental health rep in the book. Penny made so much progress when talking to a professional, and the fact that her mom took that away from her hurt. I was so glad that in the end she fought for her own mental health, which is so important.

As you can tell, I loved 6 Times We Almost Kissed by Tess Sharpe. This book gave me everything I enjoy, dual POV, bi rep, emotion, and well placed flashbacks. A completely satisfying contemporary with almost kisses, supportive best friends, a loving grandmother, color coded plans, late night kayaking, family, mental health, forced proximity, and a just one bed scenario.

TW: Death of a parent, anxiety disorder, PTSD

–Written by Amanda–

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