REVIEW: Sunkissed and Moment of Truth by Kasie West
Sunkissed by Kasie West is a fun, contemporary, YA summer romance novel. Our main character is Avery. Avery is a 17 year old girl and it’s the last summer before she goes away to college, so her family decides that it is the best time to go on a two month long family trip to a remote resort in the California woods. Avery has a 15 year old social media obsessed little sister, Lauren, who is not best pleased about this revelation when she realises there is no wifi at the resort. Lauren is not happy about this whilst Avery is trying to just hide herself from her drama that is at home. Her best friend kissed her ex boyfriend and now she feels utterly betrayed by her best friend and rightly so. So this camp is her chance at escapism.
When she arrives at the camp, a little kid spills a drink on her so she has to wear a camp staff shirt until her clothing arrives at her cabins. This is when she bumps into Brooks who thinks she is a new hire. He is a member of the band that plays at dinners and special occasions for the camp. But when he realises that she is a guest and not staff, he distances himself from her. The staff aren’t meant to fraternise with the guests but all of the staff love Avery and her sister, especially when Lauren is filming a documentary on the band. But when Brook’s bandmates don’t like what he is writing for them as he wants to enter a band competition, Avery decides to step out of her comfort zone and try and help him write lyrics. But chaos later ensues between the band, Avery steps up for Brooks and overcomes stage fright in order to sing with him in this competition. Avery must decide that this is worth doing and realise what she wants to do in life instead of just pleasing her parents all the time.
Kasie West is my go to for young contemporary reads. I just find that she gets me out of the reading slumps and into a better mood. Especially when it’s a summer read. It makes me feel like summer is really here even when the weather tells me it’s not. Kasie West just writes such wonderful stories and I love her writing style because it’s simplistic but yet very sweet in its tone.
4 out of 5 stars.
Moment of Truth:
Moment of Truth follows 16 year old Hadley Moore who is a competitive swimmer for her school. She hopes to earn herself a scholarship for swimming to college within the next year or so, so she puts her all into swimming, even if it hurts her shoulder. But one day before her swim meet, a prankster wearing the mask of Heath Hall, an action hero, jumps in the pool and crashes her swim meet. Hadley is not happy with this and it takes her off her game for swimming. Now, she is determined to find out who Heath Hall is and make sure he doesn’t bother her again. The problem though, she is not sure who he is, so with the help of her best friend, Amelia, they are on a mission to find who he is.
Throughout the novel, we see heath hall disrupting other events, determined to catch him out, Hadley follows him but he disappears before she has a proper chance to confront him. In the meantime, she starts talking to a fake heath hall account on twitter. This is the heath hall account that tells everybody where to meet for the next appearance so we definitely know it is him. So Amelia and Hadley start compiling a list of who Heath Hall might be.
At a swim meet, Hadley’s dad starts talking to a guy that she knows from her school, Jackson. She isn’t exactly Jackson’s biggest fan in the world but when her father makes a remark about Jackson and that he reminds him of her older brother, Eric, who died of Leukaemia, it makes Hadley hate Jackson even more. But when she is upset one day, He is the one that comforts her and lets her cry on his shoulder about everything. To make matters worse, she feels like her parents always put Eric first instead of her. They have a charity ball on the night of the Swim banquet, and even when Hadley wins a prize, they expect her to miss the banquet in favour of the Charity Ball for Eric.
As more time passes, the person behind the Heath Hall account confides in her with his true identity by making a riddle out of it. He tells her she got him wet. But unfortunately, that day, she got two people wet, Jackson and her young swim coach, D.J. She hopes that it is indeed Jackson as otherwise she would have been flirting with the guy that Amelia likes and that would not have gone down well. Jackson reveals it to be him when he puts the mask in Eric’s sacred car and leaves her a note to not be afraid, put on the mask, and do what you need to do. This is when we as an audience realise that Heath Hall is not just one person, but many. Jackson is just the person who runs the thing for now, as there have been many other organisers and overseers of the mask in previous years. But when she takes Eric’s car out, it does not go according to plan and the mount that it was on breaks. Now she is afraid of what her parents might do to her. But on this journey, she finds that Eric had left a cassette tape in the car for everybody to listen to when he was dead. Her mother, having no idea of this and the way that Hadley feels, decide to work on their feelings and relationship as a family.
This book, like other Kasie West books, always makes me feel like they are written to my younger adult heart. Though I may not be the intended age for people to read this, I just love a good old young adult contemporary romance from West. Simply put, this is a cute romance with some hard topics thrown in like death and grieving and as such I believe West handled this really well.
4 out of 5 stars.