Published: 25 May 2021
Genres: Romance, Young Adult Fiction, Bildungsroman*, Seinen**
* Bildungsroman is a coming-of-age story
** Seinen is a genre with a target audience of young adult males
As an audiobook, Kiss and Repeat consists of 20 tracks narrated by Nick Mondelli with a total length of 5 hours and 15 minutes. Throughout his school life, Stephen Luckie has lived with Tourette Syndrome (TS). Between having this condition and being the only son of a pastor, he has never had a romantic relationship with a girl, only a crush. When he gets chosen to kiss his friend Sylvie in a game of Spin the Bottle, Stephen realizes that he did not have any tics while kissing. He discusses this revelation with his friend who encourages him to do a science experiment involving going to parties and kissing different girls. When two girls become interested in him romantically, Stephen has to decide how he wants to move forward with these relationships and his own values.
I would recommend this text to young adults and adults who want a text with a neurodiverse protagonist or a male protagonist. There were two elements that stood me. First, I was not too familiar with Tourette Syndrome. However, there was a good mix of description of the tics, mention of medicine being used, recognition of how other characters assume that Stephen is using his condition “as a crutch”, and also that people, especially Stephen, with neurodiverse conditions can “get tired of being everyone’s neurodiversity teacher”. Second, I enjoyed that the text explored the dualities of people exploring their sexuality. For example, Stephen was congratulated for kissing girls while the girls that he was kissing were shamed for their behaviours. I liked that Stephen was able to see the issue with this duality but he also realized that there was a limit to his ability to disprove rumours once they had begun. While Tourette’s syndrome was not described in detail in the text, the text is a good starting point for thinking about how insecure people with neurodiverse conditions can feel about the physically noticeable signs of their conditions.
Overall Rating: 🌕🌕🌕
3 – The narration is okay
Ending: 🌕🌕🌕 – 3/5
Plot: 🌕🌕🌕- 3/5
World-building: 🌕🌕🌕- 3/5
Characters: 🌕🌕🌕- 3/5