Title: A Thousand Boy Kisses
Author: Tillie Cole
PubDate: March 15, 2016
Page count: 316
“Live hard, love harder. Chase dreams, seek adventures … capture moments. Live beautifully.”
When I started reading this book I didn’t have any idea it would be full of heartbreaking moments. The first few pages were lovely and I loved Poppy and Rune’s instant and special bond. They were bestfriends since five, shared their first kiss at the age of eight and by fifteen they were inseparable. Poppy and Rune were those teenagers who fell in love instantly and promised to love each other forever. Well, that was the plan if only things were different.
Poppy Litchfield was an adventurous and free-spirited girl who loved to go to different adventures with her Mamaw. When she was five, a new family transferred to the house next to them and that was when she met Rune. Five year old Rune Kristiansen hated that his family had to move to Georgia from Norway because of his father’s job. He didn’t like it at first but when he met Poppy, the girl next door, he started to soften up and eventually fell for her. Years after, Poppymin (meaning My Poppy) and Viking Rune (because he kept his hair long and was from Oslo) were the best of friends and they always had to be together. When they were eight, Poppy’s Mamaw (grandmother) passed away but before she said her goodbye, she gave Poppy an adventure she knew she’d love. Mamaw gave her a mason jar full of a thousand blank little pink paper hearts. She said that it was time for Poppy to have her own adventure and she wanted her to fill those blank paper hearts with her own boy-kisses. Boy kisses were the kisses given by Poppy’s grandfather to her Mamaw and it’s her Mamaw’s favorite thing.
I loved the concept of the thousand boy kisses and it was actually sweet. I already suspected that there would be a lot of kisses involved by just seeing the title and true enough with the jar and the thousand little pink paper hearts, a lot of kissing happened.
“I’ll give you a Thousand kisses, Poppymin. All of them. No one will kiss you ever, but me.”
As the story went on, it became more and more poignant. Rune’s family had to go back to Norway because of his father’s job again and Rune hated his father because of it. They were fifteen by then and because he was young and in love and foolish, he didn’t understand that his father didn’t have a choice and that it was also hard for his family to move again. Now with Rune in Norway and Poppy in Georgia, they tried to keep their relationship and communication for the first few months until Poppy just suddenly stopped talking to Rune and her family moved away too. Rune tried everything to reach her through her friends and everyone else but no one seemed to know where Poppy and her family had gone to. Two years later, Poppy and her family was back in Georgia and few weeks after they moved back, Rune and his family also moved back from Norway. Poppy didn’t expect to see Rune again and Rune didn’t expect to still love Poppy after all those years.
Attending the same school, Rune and Poppy can’t avoid but to see each other again. But this time Rune was different. He was cold, he was smoking and he didn’t take pictures anymore. Before, he used to be calm and sweet and he loved photography. But two years had changed him and being away from Poppy surely ruined him. Poppy, on the other hand, was still the same. She still played cello, she was still warm and she still loved Rune. But this time, she had cancer and she only had months to live.
“Because I still loved him as much as I always had. Even if the boy I loved no longer loved me back.”
It was hard not to feel sad for Poppy and Rune because their love for each other was pure and undying. And though they were still young, they believed that there wouldn’t be anyone else for either of them because their feelings were strong and cancer can’t stop them for having the best love of their lives. Poppy lived her remaining days with Rune and Rune stayed by Poppy’s sides, giving her the best things in life. They also had the support of their family and friends.
The reason why I’m giving this book a 3-star is because while I loved the thousand boy kisses, there were times when I found myself waiting for it to just end. I mean, I knew what would eventually happen and things were just dragging on. The twist came early in the book and when I realized what would happen next, I think that was when I started to disconnect myself. Aside from few scenes that were able to tug at my emotions, I felt emotionally detached most of the times. Don’t get me wrong, it was sweet and beautiful and full of emotions but I think it was too cheesy and too cliché for me.
“The one-thousandth kiss… with my Poppy. When she returned home… my heart completely burst.”