Rated Reads

Kissing the Bee

by Kathe Koja

Rated: High

In this short novel, there is a love triangle: between Dana and Avra and Emil. The darling Emil is the boyfriend of Avra, Dana’s best friend. And while Dana is the expert on all things bee, Avra is clearly the queen bee. While Dana is planning on college in a few short months, Avra just wants to GO — to leave the claustrophobic hive of high school and get away from her parents and the shadow of her older sister. Emil is keeping his own plans to himself.

Bee lore and culture are woven throughout the text so flawlessly — the comparisons shine a light on and add to the plot. As much as it is a book about love, it’s also about friendship, and what a strong girl needs to do when she realizes that being a worker bee for the rest of her life is not enough.

I gulped this book in about an hour and a half. It’s fantastic and the bee thread just adds sparkle and interest. And the love takes me RIGHT back to high school. Be aware that for younger teens, there are a few instances of strong language, but really, it should still be read, in my opinion.

Rating: High, for 7 uses of strong language and other language. References to teen sex, but no scenes.

— Reviewed by Corinne Edwards

Corinne Edwards is always happiest when a book is in her hand. If her current read needs to be closed for a short time, either in her backpack while she leads her three rambunctious children on adventures, or on her nightstand while she sleeps, that's okay too. Her book thoughts and reviews land at her bookish blog, The Book Nest.

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  • Kissing the Bee
  • by Kathe Koja
  • Rated: High
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: