Kiss the Morning Star by Elissa Janine Hoole

Kiss the Morning Star by Elissa Janine Hoole

Release Date: May 15, 2012
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: NetGalley
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

The summer after high-school graduation, a year after her mother’s tragic death, Anna has no plans – beyond her need to put a lot of miles between herself and the past. With forever friend Kat, a battered copy of Kerouac’s DHARMA BUMS, and a car with a dodgy oil filter, the girls set out on an epic road trip across the USA. Maybe somewhere along the way they’ll prove or disprove the existence of God. Maybe they’ll even get laid . . .

It’s a journey both outward and inward. Through the Badlands and encounters with predatory men and buffalo. A crazy bus ride to Mexico with a bunch of hymn-singing missionaries. Facing death, naked in the forest with an enraged grizzly bear . . . Gradually, Anna realizes that this is a voyage of discovery into her own self, her own silent pain – and into the tangled history that she and Kat share. What is love? What is sexual identity? And how do you find a way forward into a new future – a way to declare openly and without fear all that lies within you?

As far as road-trips in YA go, this one is quite unique. It's got the usual ingredients: a car, a map, some romance, and some crazy situations. However, the way in which Elissa Janine Hoole has mapped out this road trip to self-discovery is amazing. Granted, this book is also somewhat religious, but not in the way you'd expect. I love how that this is an unplanned trip (hence the uniqueness) and they use a book, Dharma Bums in order to find out where to go next. It really does make us question whether there's such a thing as fate, because wherever they go, something seems to bring Anna and Kat closer together, and learn more about themselves.

"Let's stay up all night," Kat whispers. "Let's wait for the moon to kiss the morning star"

I liked Anna's character enough. I like that she has the guts to go on this quest, to defy what her family has brought her up to be, and learn things on her own. What I didn't like was the constant worrying which went for ages on and on, although in a way that made me like Anna because she was the more sensible and mature one. Kat on the other hand...
I didn't like her too much, because she dragged Anna into things that she didn't want to do. I found her too outward, too forward. I know if I was Anna in this situation, I would rather go home than do completely crazy things. I hated how irresponsible Kat was sometimes, but she DID add some humor to the story. *Sighs* I hate how conflicted I am about the characters in this novel.
I also love the people along the way which they meet. Obviously, not all of them are good, but I loved Shaggy, Seth and Leroy– they all added that "umph" to the trip, and definitely spiced it up.

As I mentioned before, this book has some religious tones. It's not completely filled with it, but initially, this road trip is a quest for faith in the end. It all really comes down to that. But on the final line, Kiss the Morning Star is definitely one to pick up. It's a short read, but one not to be taken so lightly. Hoole has written a novel which teens will adore, and I can't wait to read more from her in the future.

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  2. So glad you enjoyed this book. (We'll be giving away a copy soon!) Like you, we found the treatment of religion in KtMS to be very unexpected and unusual - in a good way. We also had mixed feelings about Kat, but ultimately we ended up liking her, and more so than Anna, actually.

    Mostly what we adored was Elissa's beautiful prose. We underlined so many great phrases and descriptions and lines of dialogue. She's a very talented writer! Can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

  3. This book sounds awesome!! I will be sure to check it out :D

  4. I love road-trips! And most road-trips into YA books :)
    "Kiss the Morning Star" sound fantastic! I can't wait to read it I'm going to buy it right now ^^
    Thanks so much for the review.


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