Title: A Thousand Boy Kisses
Author: Tillie Cole
Publication: March 13, 2016
Genre: YA Fiction
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
One kiss lasts a moment. But a thousand kisses can last a lifetime. One boy. One girl. A bond that is forged in an instant and cherished for a decade. A bond that neither time nor distance can break. A bond that will last forever. Or so they believe.
When seventeen-year-old Rune Kristiansen returns from his native Norway to the sleepy town of Blossom Grove, Georgia, where he befriended Poppy Litchfield as a child, he has just one thing on his mind. Why did the girl who was one half of his soul, who promised to wait faithfully for his return, cut him off without a word of explanation? Rune’s heart was broken two years ago when Poppy fell silent. When he discovers the truth, he finds that the greatest heartache is yet to come.
This book will destroy you. Tillie Cole took my heart out of my chest and just shredded it. I was not expecting such a heart-wrenching story when I picked it up, but it was. It absolutely was.
A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole follows Poppy and Rune as they go on an epic adventurous love story that is intense for anyone, let alone some teenagers. But life is never fair and bad things happen. The description of this book was a bit deceiving. It made me think some terrible breakup or something, but that was definitely not it. It was far, far more sad than that. I won’t go into spoilers, but this is an emotional rollercoaster.
I love Poppy. I love Rune. The two should not work as a couple because she’s so full of life and fun and happy and he is brooding and closed off more. But they work and they are magical. I love watching their relationship grow after Poppy’s gran, on her deathbed, gives Poppy a jar of paper hearts and tells her to collect “a thousand boy kisses” that make her heart almost burst. Watching Poppy and Rune grow and that powerful relationship develop, I was shocked when they stopped speaking for a few years with no notice. But when Rune comes back and we find out the truth… I WAS NOT READY! I literally gasped out loud when I realized where the story was going.
At this point, prepare yourself. Tillie Cole takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions and bonds you with these characters that you cannot help but cheer for and hope for the best, even while you slowly feel your heart cracking for them. The level of emotion that Cole drew out of me was another level entirely than anything I have ever felt reading. You will fall in love with Poppy, her accent (if you listen to the audiobook), and her pure joy for life, sunsets, and cherry blossoms. You’ll love Rune’s accent (again, if you listen to the audiobook), his brooding, but loving nature, and his pure and thorough love for Poppy. These two are some of my favorite book characters of all time.
I also loved the other side stories in A Thousand Boy Kisses. I loved the relationships between Poppy and Rune and their parents. I love the way their relationship and influence on each other helped build those relationships up. I loved Poppy’s friends and their absolutely loyalty to her, especially in the latter part of the book. I love Rune’s little brother Alton and his adoration for his big brother. So many good lessons and life experiences play out in this book. It was so well written and flowed so nicely between the two perspectives.
This is my only issue with the book. The epilogue. I need more. I need more information on Rune. I won’t go into detail because I don’t want to spoil anything for those who are reading this to see if they would be interested, but I need to know more details!
Aside from that, this book was perfectly heartbreaking and wonderful. I’ve read some very sad stories, but this one literally had me ugly crying in my car while listening. Even my daughter took her earphones out and cried along with me near the end. Before you say you don’t want to read it because it’s sad, it’s also amazing and wonderful and teaches some amazing lessons along the way. That even through rough times, the world can still be a beautiful place if you surround yourself with the right people. I thank Poppy for reminding me of that along the way.