Kiss N’Tell – Blog Tour, Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler

Posted 31 October, 2012 by Danny in Blog, Blog Tour, Danny, Danny's Book Review, Featured, Giveaways / 27 Comments

Today I have author Janet Gurtler who wrote the cute Contemporary “Who I Kissed” with a phenomenal Guest Post about “Body Swapping”, a Review and a Giveaway for you! Awesome hu??



Author Body-Swapping by Janet Gurtler

As a YA writer, Janet Gurtler often has to embody the lives and emotions of her character.  This time, we’re asking her to channel Sam and tell us some of the character insight we’re dying to know – first crush, most embarrassing moment, favorite books, music, & more!  And Janet reveals a little of how she creates such realistic teen characters.


“Sam, Sam, Sam. What are we going to do with you?”

If you can’t tell, I’m using my mother voice. Also I’m talking to a fictitious character.  But we’ll ignore that part. When I write teen characters I have to turn my mother voice off.  (And embrace the crazy.)  Truth be known, I am able to remove my mother voice pretty easily and I find it kind of natural to slip inside the head of a teenager.

I had a tough time when I was a teenager. I had a lot of internal struggles. I majored in insecurity and angst. And I remember many of those feelings really well. Really, really well.

So, getting inside the head of a teenager isn’t as hard for me as if should be. Of course, my characters aren’t me.  I give them different challenges and different personality quirks. And then I have to try to think the way they would think. I have to slip into their shoes.

Fortunately, I enjoy imagining getting inside a character’s head. I like to go deep inside and look at things people sometimes try to hide. From themselves and from the world. I like to go there. To places that are uncomfortable. Especially with the challenges of today’s world around them. Technology. Expectations. Social media.

I took Samantha to some uncomfortable places in Who I Kissed. Imagine feeling responsible for the death of someone else. How horrifying would that be?  How would you possibly get over it? Especially when you’re dealing with your own issues.  Sam had some things to overcome even before the accident, but the accident brought them to the surface with a rush.  Ultimately, Sam has to learn to let other people in.  And that’s not always an easy thing to do.  To me she’s a fully formed person with a history and built in likes and dislikes. So let’s take a deeper look at Sam. Let me slide back into her skin for a moment and tell you some of her secrets.

Favorite Book – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time  Indian by Sherman Alexie.

Favorite Song – Tonight Tonight by Hot Chelle Rae

Favorite Movie – The Avengers

Favorite Food – Jelly Bellies of course! But as far as real food goes, she likes Mexican.  Bean Burritos.  Even though they give her gas.  She probably wouldn’t eat them on a date.

First serious crush. Zee.  First heart aches. Zee.  Best kiss ever. Zee.

Celebrity Crush –   Corbin Bleu. She is waiting for his acting career to extend beyond High school Musical

Personal Hero –  Missy Franklin

Secret Talent– Sam loves to dance. She practices in her room with her iPod. At some point, she’s going to try to convince her swim team to record a dance dare (dancing behind people without them knowing) for the Ellen show. She knows every dance step to Party Rockin by LMFAO.

Most Embarrassing Moment- When her bathing suit split down the butt at a swim meet and she had to finish her race, which was thankfully backstroke.


Well, I can tell that you did a phenomenal job with Sam!! She was a great, genuine and wonderful characters. She struggled but still was so very strong! 

Find Janet Gurtler:

website | blog | twitter | facebook 


Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler

Genre: YA, Contemporary
Publication: October 1st 2012 by Sourcebooks Fire
Copy from publisher
Janet Gurtler: website | blog twitter | facebook 
Get your own: amazon | BookDepository

Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler on goodreads: 


She Never Thought A Kiss Could Kill. . .

Samantha is new at school and just recently joined the swim team. She’s been flirting with one of her teammates, Zee, who invites her to a party and just as quickly dumps her for another girl. Hurt, but pretending not to care, she turns to his best friend, Alex, and gives him a kiss. And he dies—right in her arms. Alex was allergic to peanuts, and Samantha had eaten a peanut butter sandwich right before the party. She didn’t know. Overnight, Samantha turns into the school pariah and a media sensation explodes. Consumed with guilt, abandoned by her friends, and in jeopardy of losing her swimming scholarship, she will have to find the inner-strength to forgive herself for the tragedy.

Books that make you cry are the best. There is no denying that when a book makes you that emotional, the author did something right! Who I Kissed was such an emotional book!

Guilt, Death and Grief

There is a lot of sadness in this book. Sam changes school and finally can get away from the rumors that she’s gay. Trying to change and trying to be more social she tries to make friends and also.. starts kissing boys. Just one kiss ends with the death of a boy. Suddenly her life changes, but not for the best. She’s full of guilt and also stops swimming, in order to punish herself. It’s horrible to see Sam so tragically burdened by an accident and the reader would just wish to be able to help her get through this.

Who’s there when you are down?

What I loved most was how the secondary characters were willing to help Sam. There is an eccentric aunt who is just wonderful and awesome! But then there are also new friends. There is nothing worse than being alone in such a situation and even though Sam doesn’t really want to deal – she’s forced to deal. Also, how can she face Alex family? His sister who is attending the same school? It clearly was an emotional situation.

Love and Hope!

There was so much hope in the book. Truly, without hope this book would have been unbearably but Janet Gurtler draw a fine line between grief and finding hope to move on. It was delicate, precious and wonderfully described and played out. There are two boys in Sam’s life. One makes her forget everything and I have to say there was one scene with this boy who was really hard on the limit! I won’t say much, other that I felt horribly sad for Sam in this moment!  But there is this other boy Zee, and he brings hope… I loved him! Zee was a wonderful and such a genuine character.


My only complain is the way the story ended and was resolved. The time frame from the accident to the final result was way too long. I felt like this was dragged out that long to serve the story, but normally these kind of things are resolved in a few days, maybe 2 weeks but not that long.

Bewitched Rating  

Bottom Line

Who I Kissed was a powerful, heart wrenching book full of emotions. Guilt, grief but also hope and love, it had everything I wished for. In addition the characters felt incredibly real and genuine, something I always admire and seek for in Contemporary stories!



Much Love,

And noooow my friends, it’s Giveaway time!

Thanks to the awesome people at Sourcebook Fire, I have one copy for you to win!! Just fill out the Rafflecopter. US/Canada only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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27 Responses to “Kiss N’Tell – Blog Tour, Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler”

  1. I swear I started freaking out by the time I got to the peanut butter part in the blurb! I’ve actually read on the news of something EXACTLY LIKE THAT HAPPENING to another person. I loved your review as well, and always will because of your well laid out format.
    I love the guest post and learning more about Sam, because it makes me able to see as a person more easily! Love!
    Grace Lo recently posted..Haunted Week 2012: Written in the TombstoneMy Profile

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  2. I can’t imagine competing with a split-open bathing suit! Definitely would rank up in the most embarrassing moments…

    This is an excellent story! I love how Sam works through the issues in her life (uhg, what a tragic issue, too!).

    Reply »

  3. Death by a kiss. You usually expect that from fantasy books and not from contemp. Since I have no allergies, I never considered it fatal… but this has definitely got me thinking.

    The author gave a nice insight to getting to know her characters. I need to check this book out.

    Great review, Danny 😀
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  4. I really enjoyed this one too. And even though there were hints I don’t think I really realized the twist that would happen at the end. I mean, I did before it happened, but not too long. I guess I was so immersed in the story I wasn’t trying to figure out what might happen.
    It definitely was a sad story, but I agree, one with hope. This was my first book by Janet and I’m definitely going to give more of her books a try now.
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  5. Kristin

    Er, you didn’t like the way this one ended and the way it was resolved? Think I may need a spoiler here, I hate sucky endings.

    And if your suits got to split in the back, backstroke is the best stroke to have to swim! Of course you still have to get out of the water.

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  6. Christine

    This book sounds great! I’m really into contemporary YA right now, and this sounds right up my alley (angsty, with characters forced to work through difficult situations). Thanks for the review and giveaway!! 🙂

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  7. Lindy Gomez

    I can’t imagine how horrible it would be to feel responsive for another person’s death. This book sound really good but I imagine there would be a lot of emotion reading it! I liked the interview where you get into Sam’s head. Especially her most embarrassing moment lol!

    Reply »

  8. Danielle

    I really can’t imagine how I would feel if I accidentally killed someone. I’m dying to read this book just to see how the author deals with something that I can’t even imagine and would feel so horrible about too. Very interesting topic.

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  9. Amber

    i really want to read the book! nowadays most books all revolve around the same style of writing and its nice to see something fresh and different! i really want to get to know sam~~~

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