2021 Reviews · NetGalley Reviews · Queer books

Review: I Kissed Alice

Hello Bookworms! For today’s Pride post I have a review of I kissed Alice by Anna Birch for you! This sapphic YA romance has been one of my favorite reads so far this year!

Title: I Kissed Alice

Author: Anna Birch

Publisher: MacMillan/Imprint

Publication Date: July 28th, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Young Adult Romance

Format: Digital Advance Readers Copy provided through NetGalley

Synopsis:

For fans of Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and Fangirl, I Kissed Alice is a romantic comedy about enemies, lovers, and everything in between.

Rhodes and Iliana couldn’t be more different, but that’s not why they hate each other.

Hyper-gifted artist Rhodes has always excelled at Alabama’s Conservatory of the Arts despite a secret bout of creator’s block, while transfer student Iliana tries to outshine everyone with her intense, competitive work ethic. Since only one of them can get the coveted Capstone scholarship, the competition between them is fierce.

They both escape the pressure on a fanfic site where they are unknowingly collaborating on a graphic novel. And despite being worst enemies in real life, their anonymous online identities I-Kissed-Alice and Curious-in-Cheshire are starting to like each other…a lot. When the truth comes out, will they destroy each other’s future?

Where to Buy:

Third Place Books | Elliott Bay Books | Powell’s City of Books

Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Book Depository

Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Review: Sometimes your online life and your real life don’t go as planned.

I picked up I Kissed Alice for several reasons.

1. Alice in Wonderland. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was my favorite books as a kid so I love reading books that are either retellings of that story, or feature it heavily. This book centers on two girls who meet on a fanfiction website and decide to write an Alice AU set in space.

2. Fanfiction. See above point. Also the story being told by these two writers is actually a webcomic and the book includes panels of the story which I love!

3. Troupes: Enemies-to-lovers, secret identities

I was also provided an e-arc by the publisher through Netgalley, but I requested it based on the points above. Thank you both to MacMillan and NetGalley for letting me read this fantastic book!


I Kissed Alice is a wonderful read that explores the highs and lows of friendship, navigating high school and art scholarship competitions, the lengths parents will go to give their kids what they (the parents) want, and first love.

This book is well paced and extremely hard to put down. I read it in just a couple reading sessions because I couldn’t wait to find out what happened to the characters next. This is definitely a binge-session worthy book, perfect for summer.

What I enjoyed most about I Kissed Alice where the characters. You have Iliana who is headstrong, and determined, who loves tarot cards. There’s Rhodes who has more than a few secrets to keep–including why she hasn’t been able to draw anything in months. Then there’s Sarah, who’s caught between her two best friends and just trying to get though this scholarship competition. You also have Rhode’s brother, Griffin, a dancer who’s parents force him to switch from the dance track at the art school they all attend, to the tech track.

This cast of characters and how they interact with each other is what makes the story so good. There’s at least one character that readers will be able to identify with, and I think most readers will see parts of themselves in each of the characters.

I also enjoyed how the characters acted and felt like teenagers. So much of YA today contains characters that are teens in terms of their age, but written like characters that are older. I don’t mind that at all, but I think there’s something to be said about experiencing teenaged characters in YA that are actually teenagers. I think this helps readers connect with characters and stories in new ways. Ways that may actually be more personal and meaningful.

That being said what I liked least about this book was how off putting Iliana could be. She’s definitely not my cup of tea and I wouldn’t want to be her friend. But I also love that she’s fierce and fights for what she believes in, even if she’s a little misguided. Characters that make you uncomfortable due to their personalities aren’t bad characters–they’re interesting characters. So the thing I like least about this book is also one of the reason I loved it.

Overall this was a great book and I definitely recommend it to readers looking for a slow-burn, enemies-to-lovers, YA romance.

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Thank you so much for reading!

2 thoughts on “Review: I Kissed Alice

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