Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Released: February 2nd 2012
My Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
What if you could change your friends' lives and loves through the settings of a computer game...?
Lex Murphy's group of friends have all dated, hated, ignored and lusted after each other for the last few years. If only there was a way of matching people perfectly to avoid all the unrequited love, dumping and drama! Then Lex's friend George is given a mysterious Sims-like game by his software-testing dad which involves building character profiles in the categories of Life, Looks and Love. Lex and George populate the game with avatars for all their mates, making a few 'wishful thinking' adjustments to the settings - and find that the next day these tinkerings have come true! But how long can this new calm, loved-up atmosphere continue? (from Goodreads)
Kiss Date Love Hate was such a fun read. Though it’d seem fantastic to be able to control real life through a computer game, sadly things are never that easy, as Lex and her friend George found out. I loved how they realised what they truly wanted by the end of the book, and I was left with a really happy feeling at the end – this was definitely a feel good book!
Lex was a very likeable character and I warmed to her immediately. She was very relatable and definitely a friend I’d love to have. I loved her jokes and humour and the nicknames she gave to things such as “Chairs of Doom” and “Sir Trench of Foot” for her teacher. It was all of these little things that really added to her character and made her so likeable. Though I didn’t always agree with her, I was rooting for her from the start. I could see why she would be attracted to the idea of using the game to get back together with her ex, Matt, but for me, Drew was number one since we first met him. Lex didn’t see him as boyfriend material at first, and kept trying to deny the fact that she liked him. But gradually she learned that Drew was actually a really good guy, and started to realise maybe her relationship with Matt wasn’t as great as she thought. Lex’s relationship with George, however, was awesome. They were sort of brother and sistery (though George would disagree), but much funnier and very close and seemed to really understand each other a lot. They got along so well, it was great to read about!
George was hilarious. Half the time he wasn’t trying to be, and that made him even funnier. He was carrying a torch for his and Lex’s mutual friend Jess, but it was an unrequited love, so he saw the game as a chance to win her over. However, things did not go according to plan, leading to some very funny, very awkward situations. I loved how George interacted with Lex – their friendship was something quite unique that I haven’t really seen in a lot of books before. Plus, George was a The Lord of the Rings fans, so you know. I HAD to love him. Being a fan myself :P. I like how he tried to help Lex along the way, subtly attempting to sway her away from Matt who he thought was bad news. Whether or not it worked, I loved that he tried. He really cared about Lex, despite being besotted with Jess, who he was willing to do crazy things for to get her to notice him.
Drew was so adorable. Even though adorable is probably the last thing he would have wanted to be called. I liked him from the start and I loved how he spoke to Lex, and made her feel better about things when they were having a conversation. I love how he liked her no matter what, and that the revelation towards the end (which added slightly more serious undertones) didn’t change anything. He was also not what he first appeared to be. He was actually really kind and generous, and could even be shy. He didn’t think he was a bad boy, though that’s what most people labelled him. He was also really understanding, and actually had quite a lot in common with Lex. I was already Team Drew before the game really came into play, and was waiting for the moment that Lex would realise that Matt was not for her!
Jess, who I wasn’t sure about at the beginning, turned out to be a great friend. Gemma surprised me and I even started to like good old Sir Trench of Foot by the end. I finished Kiss Date Love Hate in one sitting and I really loved how everything ended. Throughout the book, the students were making short films in small groups, and I loved how it actually linked in and liked how the film aspect was included in the ending.
Overall, Kiss Date Love Hate was cute and funny and definitely deserves a place on your shelf! Recommended to everyone.
Don't forget you can win a copy of Kiss Date Love Hate here! Open internationally!