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Sylvie and Carl have been friends since they were tiny children. They've always played together, called each other boyfriend and girlfriend and, deep down, Sylvie has always believed that they'd end up married to each other. They even have a a magical fantasy world that belongs to them alone.
But as they become older, things are starting to change. Sylvie would still rather spend all her time with Carl - but Carl has a new friend, Paul, who is taking all his attention. Now, Carl seems much less happy to be called Sylvie's boyfriend - and in a game of spin the bottle, he avoids having to kiss her. Sylvie can tell his feelings have changed and that their future together might not be so clear-cut after all. But can she guess at the true reasons behind it all?
Touching and compelling, Kiss is a delicately handled treatment of love and sexuality from award-winning Jacqueline Wilson.
Sylvie has been best friends with Carl since forever. Now entering high school, however, handsome and sensitive Carl is drifting, while insecure and late-to-develop Sylvie is still trying to convince herself that they will one day marry and live happily ever after. The ostensible division is that Carl has enrolled in a more challenging school, leaving Sylvie nearly friendless. Into this void struts Miranda, a rich, sexually sophisticated girl with moxie to burn. Carl has a new friend, too, and alert readers will figure out long before Sylvie why Carl needs some distance. As with all of Wilson's fiction, there's a lot of hand-wringing over social status. Sylvie's father is out of the picture, her mother's diminished economic status has forced her to take in a lodger, while Miranda lives in a posh home and always has cash. Though the girls carry cellphones, the narrative feels dated more like a classic "problem novel" of the 1970s than a contemporary YA story about sexual identity. Die-hard Wilson fans will want to read this, but those who aren't familiar with her work should not start here. Ages 12 up.