6 Times We Almost Kissed (And One Time We Did)

Little, Brown. Jan. 2023. 384p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316302791.
Gr 9 Up–Penny and Tate don’t get along, but their mothers are best friends, so they’ve always been stuck together. Was it proximity and convenience that led them to supporting each other in their worst moments? Or are they both just in obvious denial of their feelings for each other? They’ll be forced to confront this question head on now that their mothers have decided to move the families in together to combine expenses. They’ll need the money for medical bills after Penny’s mom, Lottie, donates part of her liver to Tate’s mom, Anna. Penny and Tate’s story is organized into the recountings of their several near misses. Readers witness them always having each other’s backs as they navigate the fallout of their mothers’ decisions, Anna’s sequential illnesses, and Penny’s physical and emotional recovery from a tragic accident that killed her dad and severely complicates her relationship with her mother. For two people who supposedly don’t like each other, their supportive non-friendship is heartwarming, and their journey is one to savor. Helpful content warnings are available on the author’s blog. Penny deals with PTSD, OCD, and anxiety. Race is not discussed. Don’t let the cutesy title and cover fool you; this deeply emotional, dual perspective, time-warping contemporary fiction will hit readers right in the feelings. Tate and Penny are bisexual.
VERDICT A satisfying read, recommended for purchase, this may need handselling so the right readers make it past the deceptive branding.

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