Posted on Dark Faerie Tales.Rachel Vail’s If We Kiss is about a young girl’s first kiss and the kisses thereafter. But Vail talks about more than just a kiss. In a young girl’s life, it will always be more about the moment than the actual act of kissing and Vail talks about that. If We Kiss is simple and beautiful, bringing me back to the moment of my very own. Of course, Vail’s version is a little more complex than mine, and it makes for a great read.In If We Kiss, Charlie is living life as a freshman girl. Surrounded by a loving mom, a distant dad and extended family, and a small collection of quirky close girlfriends, Charlie is one of the only girls in her circle that hasn’t had a first kiss. But one morning, Kevin brought her aside and gave Charlie her first kiss. The emotional ramifications of that first kiss has sent Charlie down a spiraling path. Every action has a reaction, and for Charlie, that single kiss has created a mountain of questions and insecurities.Charlie was written really well. Vail captured the mind and essence of a freshman girl on the cusp of young love. While her first kiss wasn’t exactly what she hoped for, Charlie has torn the scenario apart and overanalyzed it to death. She is realistic and her thoughts are personal. Vail gave her a great voice, fitting for a young freshman girl in high school. And it’s not just about the kiss, she also has the typical problems of a girl her age, involving family life, school life, and just life in general. I loved reading her, despite if I thought she was too angsty for me. It was realistic and true to the character.Kevin is an interesting character. I want to say he is a freshman’s version of a bad boy. He has a reputation, or gossip has run wild about who he hangs out with. He is the other side of high school life, but portrayed in a positive light. Kevin has a lot of layers to his character, and I was surprised and pleased at how much I enjoyed reading about him. There’s a persona that Vail wants you to perceive, but then she reveals a different side of him that is nice also.It’s not always easy to write about teenage angst or even first kisses. There’s something personal and intimate about it, and sometimes it doesn’t carry out properly. Vail manages to marry the two together nicely in If We Kiss. There’s an emotional involvement, but also a point of self discovery of who the characters are. There’s a message of relationship and friendship, but also of respect. The characters grow individually and together, and it was nice to see that progression of growth.I was connected to the story, for the most part. I didn’t always agree with the amount of angst, but that’s a personal preference. I enjoyed Charlie’s thought process, her emotions, and her actions throughout the book. I was happy that Vail paced the story the way she did. Great story about a girl and her first kiss.