Kiss Number 8 is a coming-of-age novel, that explores themes of sexuality, gender, religion, and homophobia. The characters are realistic, full of flaws, and have motives that make sense. Kiss Number 8 reads at a leisure but engaging pace, sprinkled with a few twists. It has a vintage-looking art style, that gives all of it’s characters their own unique look. Despite a few issues of unnecessary foreshadowing, Kiss Number 8 is a fantastic graphic novel that is worth reading.— From Alice
A 2019 New York Public Library Best Books for Kids
A 2020 Tayshas Reading List Selection
A 2020 Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List Selection
Mads is pretty happy with her life. She goes to church with her family, and minor league baseball games with her dad. She goofs off with her best friend Cat, and has thus far managed to avoid getting kissed by Adam, the boy next door. It's everything she hoped high school would be… until all of a sudden, it's not.
Her dad is hiding something big—so big it could tear her family apart. And that’s just the beginning of her problems: Mads is starting to figure out that she doesn't want to kiss Adam… because the only person she wants to kiss is Cat.
Kiss Number 8, a graphic novel from writer Colleen AF Venable and illustrator Ellen T. Crenshaw, is a layered, funny, sharp-edged story of teen sexuality and family secrets.
"Venable’s frequently heartbreaking recollection of the abuse and torment that people went through for being 'different' — and the fact that it still happens all too frequently — is a powerful reminder of how far we still have to go." —New York Times
"[This is] a story of family and friendship and love in all its forms, perfect for the graphic novel format and elevated by the combined art and narrative...the characters shine, fully human and permitted to be flawed. Hope prevails. A rare blend of tender and revolutionary." —Kirkus, Starred Review
"Thought-provoking... A solid addition to YA shelves." —School Library Journal
"The interest here is in comparing GLBTQ experiences across a gap of generations—it was difficult then, it can be difficult still, but there’s a promise of genuine happiness that makes following the heart worthwhile." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books