07 October 2010

Kisses for Lula

by Samantha Mackintosh

Hardie Grant Egmont. Young Adult. Paperback rrp $17.95
Tallulah Bird (aka Lula, Lu, Tatty, T-Bird, Tatty Lula) is about to celebrate her sixteenth. Her good friends reckon it’s time to ensure that the jinx of boyfriends past disappears and that Lula doesn’t become an old spinster. It’s time to turn “Sweet Sixteen and BE kissed”.

So begins the wonderful, funny, sometimes scary story of a fifteen, soon to be sixteen, year old girl’s saga at trying to get her first kiss before the toll of bells ring for her sixteenth.

The main problem is to find someone worth kissing, and if that can’t be done, at least someone unafraid of her jinx problem and willing to kiss her. In the past every boy who has ever come near Tula has needed the services of the local doctor, and being a small university town, everyone knows! From bumped heads to fingers being cut off by an ice skate! Tallulah Bird is accident prone and boys are fearful for their lives.

In contention for the great kiss are Fat Angus (but Tallulah’s younger sister snares him), Billy Diggle (he IS twelve years of age), Arnold (Arns) Trenchard (her workmate at the uni library) and Ben Latter (the boy she has had a crush on since she was six years old). It seems that Arns is the most likely one, until she helps him with a makeover and hooks him up to the girl of HIS dreams, Mona! Arns and Mona thank Tula for her matchmaking by organising a double date with Ben Latter – THE Ben Latter.

Maybe, with only one day to go, Lula will get the kiss she needs to cure the jinx and also get the man of her dreams. But Kisses for Lula isn’t going to make it that easy. With the stalker, the arsonist, her father’s supposed affair, her mother’s work issues, the historical witch site that was her and her grandmother’s favourite place about to be demolished, there are a lot of obstacles set in Tallulah Bird’s way before that kiss can happen. When Lula finds herself waking up on her sixteenth birthday to help with a covert operation to catch a thief, it isn’t what she expected.

Kisses for Lula is a great book for any girl, from sixteen to sixty. If you think you have problems, Tallulah Bird will convince you otherwise. I loved it.

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