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The Serious Kiss Hardcover – January 1, 2005

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Gr. 7-10. A San Fernando Valley girl and high-school freshman, Libby Madrigal is, like most teens, mortified by her family. Older brother Rif smokes on the sly, little brother Dirk drools, her mom is loud, fat, and relentlessly cheerful, their ancient Chihuahua yips constantly and poops in front of boys Libby likes, and her dad is an abusive alcoholic whose disease is tearing their family apart. This is a somewhat disconcerting but ultimately effective look at alcoholism within a family. The initial lighthearted tone alternates with screaming parental fights and tense family meals, but the narrative eventually settles into the darker reality of Libby's despair and anger as her father's many failures force the family to move, to get counseling, and to begin the road back to some sort of functionality. The cover photo of a cringing Chihuahua with a huge lipstick kiss emphasizes the light side; readers anticipating comedy may be in for a shock. Debbie Carton
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"...The serious kiss comes in a wonderful final chapter containing a rare gift: a supremely satisfying last sentence." -- KIRKUS, December 15, 2004

"This novel celebrates individuality. Because her emotions are honest and her issues are real, it's highly appealing for tween readers." -- WORKING MOTHER MAGAZINE, December/January 2005

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperTeen; First Edition (January 1, 2005)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 256 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0060722061
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0060722067
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 12 - 15 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 670L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 7 - 9
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 15.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 0.89 x 8.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 6 ratings

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Mary Hogan is the bestselling author of Two Sisters and the historical novel, The Woman in the Photo. Previous novels include the young adult titles, The Serious Kiss, Perfect Girl and Pretty Face (HarperCollins). Mary lives in New York City with her husband, Bob, and their Catahoula Leopard rescue dog, Lucy. Photos:

A personal note from Mary: First, let me express my immense gratitude for the support you all have given me. It's truly a privilege to wake up each morning and have the opportunity to do what I love to do. Second, my new novel, Left, is a love story that's personal as well as fictional. Inspired by my life and a friend's experience, I created a tale in which the main character's fantasy life helps her cope with an upsetting--though ultimately uplifting--reality.

Left is a departure from my last novel which was historical fiction. To those of you who expect another historical story, thank you in advance for allowing me to tell a different sort of tale.

All my best to you,


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