I’ve always been a huge Christopher Pike fan…since forever…or at since least middle school/high school (so close to forever). I read all of his books, most of them twice. Love, LOVE, LOVED him.
So, in getting into the Halloween spirit this year, I was ecstatic to stumble upon an old paperback Christopher Pike, Gimme a Kiss.
In the scheme of things, forever is a fairly long time, and reading this book again after so much time was a little like reading it for the first time. There were bits and pieces, and lines here and there, that had been enmeshed into my tome-of-Christoper-Pike memories. But for the most part, Gimme a Kiss was a surprising blank of who did what, why, and how it happened, and I found myself reading along anxiously.
For most people, high school isn’t ever quite the same as we imagine it. It certainly isn’t for Jane Retton…which is why she fakes her diary. Instead of writing about her so-so blah everyday life, Jane writes about the kind of things that she wishes happened. And it’s no big deal, because no one’s going to read her diary. At least, no one is supposed to… In a mad rush, Jane accidently brings her diary to school with her. And out of spite, someone shares Jane’s diary with the entire school—In particular, the last entry. And everyone believes it’s true. After all, it’s Jane’s diary, Jane’s handwriting. And even though hardly any of it IS true, Jane’s boyfriend certainly isn’t denying it.
Jane is MORTified. And I absolutely LOVE the cover blurb:
Some girls would simply die.
Other girls would kill.
But Jane Retton…she would do both.
Jane plots an intense revenge scheme, unaware that someone is willing to go even farther than she is… and is planning to help make Jane’s plans into a reality.
And while I was leaning toward who-dun-it, I absolutely couldn’t remember who it was, why, or how. Needless to say it was a perfect reread and kept me on edge the whole way.
So why did I remember some parts, tiny little details, like the cop (Lieutenant Fisher), who, in trying to ingratiate himself with a suspect/witness, lies about having an ex-girlfriend who’s father was a dentist? Seriously, that little tidbit of randomness has been stuck in my brain for I don’t know how long, while the major parts evaded me.
Then there were a few parts that I’m glad to have forgotten… I have to admit, some of the language comes off a little dated. Normally, I’d read right past that. Here’s the little scene that gave me pause:
In the beginning of the book, Lt. Fisher is questioning Jane’s friend Patty about recent events, when Patty’s father ‘looks doubtful,’ and asks Lt. Fisher if he isn’t “sort of young” to be a policeman.—A question that Lt. Fisher is all too accustomed to hearing, even at the age of 33, after having “been a police officer for a dozen years.”
Now, fast-forward to later in the book, where Fisher’s training as a MEDIC in VIETNAM, come in handy.
Yes, the 33 year-old police Lt. was also a medic in Vietnam. After reading that part, I had to reread it. Then I went back to the beginning to verify his age. Then I went to the cover page to look for the publication date. 1988. Subtract a dozen years on the police force=1976. *shakes head*
That little teensy piece of math, which I’m sure I had no problem skimming over the first time I read Gimme a Kiss, totally took me out of the story for a few seconds.
And aside from my little math equation, I could go either way on her diary entry; I don’t think it’s near as scandalous as it might have twenty years ago-ish. But then again…having something so personal read BY. THE. ENTIRE. SCHOOL.???? Um, yeah, that could maybe set someone on the edge.
But even slightly dated, Gimme a Kiss was still the fast-paced, riveting Christopher Pike I remember being glued to way back in the ‘90s. It’s a pretty quick read, perfect for imbibing your nostalgia, or just for a fun, gripping, twisty-turny edge-of-your-seat read.
(\__/)p.s. in a weird coincidence, I currently find myself living very near the very real setting of the fictional story. very random. very Halloweenie.
p.p.s. also goes toward my Read Me Baby, 1 More Time challenge. woot woot.