“It’s always the fucking hope that gets me.” Ellie Oliver fell in love on Christmas Eve with a woman she’d known only for a day. Fast forward a year later and she agrees to get fake-engaged to a guy so he can claim his inheritance only to find out his sister is the woman Ellie hasn’t been able to get over since their magical snow day.
Let me start this review by saying that Natalie Naudus’s narration is as delightful as I expected it to be. I didn’t read the book before I listened to it so I don’t know if I would have liked it as much if I had and I don’t really care except that I have noticed that I tend to enjoy mainstream books more often in audio than when I read them (with a few exceptions). Either way, this audiobook would get my 5-star rating for its narration even if I hadn’t liked the story as much as I did.
The narration isn’t the only thing I loved, however. The characters. All the characters. Ellie and Jack, Andrew and Dylan, Ellie’s best friend(s), Jack and Andrew’s mom, the grandmothers… The twists on tropes: rich girl/poor girl but not really, fake romance but not really, second chance but not really… There’s mental health and neurodiversity representation – Jack’s ADHD, Ellie’s general anxiety disorder – and BIPOC representation – Jack is of Korean descent. The central romance arc is obviously sapphic but there’s also nonbinary and pansexual rep. The family dynamics on both sides are messed up in very different ways but I loved most of Jack’s family, the warmth, the love, the willingness to do better.
I read a few reviews by readers who rolled their eyes at the miscommunication, as I often do, yet in this case, it didn’t feel like miscommunication to me. Probably because most of the story happens over a very short period of time and while I believe instalove is real (even if it might take a bit longer to realize that it is, indeed, love), feeling secure enough to communicate takes time, especially when you have anxiety and panic attacks. Since the story is told from Ellie’s point of view, it made sense to me.
There are a few repetitions that I think might have been annoying in writing but they disappeared in the flow of the narration. And I enjoyed the longing and pining so much that I probably wouldn’t have been overly bothered anyway.
It’s possible I’m overrating a little but I didn’t want this audiobook to end and that’s worth all the stars to me.
Listen to Kiss Her Once For Me:
Scribd (get 2 months for free)
This post contains affiliate links, so I may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on this blog at no additional cost to you.