Brianna R. Shrum | Kissing Ezra Holtz (And Other Things I Did for Science) (Sky Pony Press)

293 pgs. | $10.99 Kindle Edition

So it’s apparently October and Kissing Ezra Holtz (And Other Things I Did for Science) by Brianna R. Shrum has been out since early June. It’s been a little over four months and I am still struggling to gather my thoughts together about this book. But I’m going to try because reviews sure don’t write themselves (and I don’t have a clone to do it for me, which is unfortunate).

It’s hard for me to say whether I loved Shrum’s latest novel or hated it. Maybe it’s a little of both.

I struggled through Kissing Ezra Holtz for a good portion of the book and wanted to call it quits numerous times. Amalia irritated me to no end with the internal dialogue, being constantly contradictory and judging/putting others down while doing it to herself. Honestly, the moment Amalia started slut-shaming was the moment I wanted to walk up to the nearest shelf and toss the book to the very bottom; it was painful to go through.

But Amalia is also undergoing a huge identity crisis throughout the book as she is paired with Ezra Holtz, someone she’s known and avoided for years, and conducts experiments about the basis of love. She thinks she has everything all figured out, but deep down inside, she’s not too sure where she wants to go or what she wants to do. That’s something I relate to a lot and deep down I sympathized with Amalia enough that it’s my only answer as to why I never marked the book as Did Not Finish.

Kissing Ezra Holtz really felt like it was missing something to the story; I wanted more, at least from Ezra. While the book had a few scenes that ranged from cute to funny to witty, I personally wouldn’t have called it a light-hearted romantic comedy. It’s definitely not a perfect beach read. | Hannah Sophia Lin

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