Publication date: October 1st 2012
My rating: 3.5 stars
She Never Thought A Kiss Could Kill. . .
Samantha is new at school and just recently joined the swim team. She’s been flirting with one of her teammates, Zee, who invites her to a party and just as quickly dumps her for another girl. Hurt, but pretending not to care, she turns to his best friend, Alex, and gives him a kiss. And he dies—right in her arms. Alex was allergic to peanuts, and Samantha had eaten a peanut butter sandwich right before the party. She didn’t know. Overnight, Samantha turns into the school pariah and a media sensation explodes. Consumed with guilt, abandoned by her friends, and in jeopardy of losing her swimming scholarship, she will have to find the inner-strength to forgive herself for the tragedy.
Who I Kissed is a book which brings to the forefront just how dangerous allergies can be. Alex in this book suffers from a nut allergy, not knowing this Sam kisses him after eating a peanut butter sandwich, consequently he has a anaphylactic reaction and dies, just that brief kiss, and what a kiss it was, was all Alex needed to have that reaction.
I have a family of allergy sufferers, my sister has a coeliac condition, so she can’t eat wheat, my cousin has a peanut allergy which I only recently found out about when my sister accidently gave him chocolate and hazelnut cookies and my aunt has a allergy to milk. More and more allergies are becoming widespread, by looking at someone you wouldn’t be able to tell they have a certain type of allergy. Like with my cousin he was lucky as there was only a miniscule amount of hazelnut in the cookie he ate, he quickly noticed a tingling in his throat whilst he was eating it and asked what was in it. Like Alex in Who I Kissed he wasn’t carrying his EpiPen with him otherwise who knows what could have happened.
Unfortunately for Sam she just found herself in the wrong situation, and without Alex’s EpiPen around there was nothing anyone could do. Sam had to deal with the aftermath of being labelled a killer and had to deal with the constant peanut butter jokes, she got to the point where she felt she wasn’t entitled to live her own life because Alex wasn’t able to either, she quit swimming something she was really talented at and completely withdrew from social situations and her close friends. Sam didn’t deserve to be put in this situation and no one should be allowed to feel so persecuted. Like I said before by looking at my cousin, sister or aunt you wouldn’t know they suffered from an allergy unless they wore a badge announcing it. So I really disliked the way Sam was ridiculed and it actually got to the point where she felt she deserved all the blame. Luckily for Sam she had a strong social group who were constantly there for her, backing her the entire way, her dad and aunt who constantly encouraged her not to give up, and her best friend Taylor who didn’t drop her as soon as the news came out. Without this group I think that Sam would have crumpled. I think anyone would have.
Gurtler did a brilliant job with Who I Kissed; she was able to raise awareness of just how important it is to know if a person is suffering from an allergy and the necessary precautions that should be taken. Who I Kissed was a powerful poignant read, and with Gurtler adding her own personal experience to the story it was made even more realistic.