Author: Melody Carlson
About the Book: Elise will be starting her junior year of high school in a few weeks, and she is not looking forward to it. Her single mom has taken a new job and she had to move to another town - so she is starting at a new school. The only person she knows is a somewhat geeky freshman, Stacie, that lives in the same apartment building as her.
Going to stay at Grandma's, in her old town, the week before school starts proves somewhat fortuitous. She meets Asher Gordon through an old friend who is dating his cousin. Asher is also a student at Elise's new school. While it is made clear that he has a girlfriend, Elise is just hopeful that he will say hello to her if they run into each other.
Well, Asher does more than that - he befriends Elise on that first day and introduces her to his "A-list" friends - including his girlfriend Brianna. While Elise is avoiding Stacie after school, she runs into Asher who offers her a ride home. They stop off for coffee and Elise thinks her first day couldn't have gone any better. However, the next day at school she gets the big freeze from her new friends. She was seen having coffee with Asher and immediately everyone thinks she is after him. So much for her great first day.
Elise soon gets an email from Asher. He wants her to play that they do not get along so that he can break up with Brianna. He just doesn't want Brianna to blame her and give her a hard time all year. Elise is pretty excited and agrees to play along. As their relationship progresses through email, she become somewhat confused about his behavior towards her at school. While he tells her in email to just play along a little while longer, sometimes he acts at school like he wants to be friends.
Before Elise knows what hit her, she is arrested for something she didn't do and the whole school is laughing at her. Even her mom thinks she is guilty. During her darkest hour, she realizes that the only one she is going to be able to count on to get her through is God, and starts to try to figure out who set her up.
My thoughts: Great book for teens and tweens about the dangers of the internet and cyber bullying - among other things. I don't want to tell you the big twist, but it made me sit down and talk with my teens. I don't think that I have read a Melody Carlson book that didn't have some lesson in it that put things in perspective for teens without preaching at them. Highly recommend for any teen that has a MySpace or Facebook page or spends any amount of time online or texting!
~I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my review.~
Available January 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
Visit Melody's website at http://www.melodycarlson.com/.
Never Been Kissed: A Novel
Publisher/Publication Date: Revell, Jan 2011