I feel like I’ve been waiting for this book forever, so as soon as I got approved for an arc I had to immediately jump in. And I am so glad I did!
I’ve loved Chencia’s books since I read Wolves of West Texas, and seeing her story-telling grow and develop is just amazing. A Little Kissing Between Friends is such a delight of a book and had me laughing constantly. The friendship between Jucee and Cyn is so wonderful, and I also love how much community they each have around them. This is such a prime showing of chosen family, as well as the love blood family can have and foster, and how growing up loved and around love creates empathetic caring people. I really, especially love Cyn’s dad and I sincerely hope we’ll get to see these characters again (Cody is just begging for his own story!!). Not to say Cyn is perfect by any stretch, and nor is Jucee to be clear. They both have their hang ups to work through in order to redefine their friendship and navigate towards a romantic relationship,
I also really loved a lot of the like casual messages throughout the book. I love that Jucee is proud of her work as a dancer and the ways Cyn supports her and how the community she’s built supports her. I also really loved Jucee’s relationship with Samir, her ex and the father of Amani. The way they were able to stay friends and be there for their son was so good. Like, there are so many relationships throughout this book and interpersonal dynamics that I really enjoyed watching play out.
This is also a book that really interestingly navigates the third-act breakup because as keeps getting reiterated, they’re not actually together through most of the book. So it felt a lot less like a “breakup” breakup and a lot more like working through their individual issues so they’d be able to be stronger together and better able to support one another in healthy and happy ways.
All around, I just had so much fun with this book and I’m so glad it exists and I can’t wait for others to read it because (I know I keep saying this) it is so fun! There’s banter, there’s dirty talk, there’s these descriptions that just make me giggle and kick my feet in delight. Definitely a new fave!
Content notes: minor biphobia (contested), past where MC was kicked out of parents’ for queerness (brief mention), sexually explicit content
Disclaimer: I received an advance copy from the publisher via Netgalley for review purposes; all thoughts and opinions are my own, freely given. A Little Kissing Between Friends releases May 28, 2024.