Book Post: Sunkissed

Don’t just read Sunkissed…Experience it!

I read Sunkissed by Kasie West when I was looking for a light cheerful read. West’s books never fail when I am in that type of mood. Her writing always includes good messages about girls being true to themselves and not being afraid to go for the things they want in life. They take place in fun locations and always have a touch of romance.

Sunkissed tells the story of Avery who wants to live life under the radar without ruffling the feathers of anyone around her, but it’s hard when she feels more and more often like she is holding her true feelings inside. So when she has the opportunity to step outside her comfort zone with the help of a dreamy employee, at the resort her family is staying for the summer, she takes it. Then she must deal with the consequences, both good and bad, that come from her uncharacteristic choices. 

From page one, this book gave me Dirty Dancing vibes. As someone who was thoroughly heartbroken to learn that Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey detested each other- hopefully I’m not pulling down the curtain here for anyone- but continued to adore this movie anyway, I can always appreciate anything that makes me think of Dirty Dancing.  In Sunkissed, there may be no dirty dancing, and no Baby Houseman, and no Johnny Castle. But there is a band, a girl with a hidden talent, a forbidden boy, and a feeling reminiscent of Johnny and Baby. There’s even an outspoken younger sister who seems to have all the fun, never second guessing herself.

I can relate to Avery’s hesitancy to share herself with others. She seems to think why would anyone care about what I can do? These feelings of self doubt kept me firmly inside my shell during my high school years and then some. Fortunately, it usually only takes one person to see something in you that helps you see yourself as worthy, and Avery finds that person. Just like Baby’s journey to self discovery, Avery’s isn’t always easy. Her priorities evolve, what she needs from the people around her changes, yet her parents expectations of her remain the same. Avery knows she wants more, it just becomes a question of how far she will go to get what she wants. Will she lie, sneak around, bring others down with her? What hard choices will she have to make? Or is it just easier to fall back into old habits?

Maybe she’s not dancing in a lake practicing lifts with cold water bringing her dangerously close to hypothermia, but Avery has her moments, and it’s fun to watch her test the waters and take charge as she discovers what she wants from life.

So there you have it, curl up on the couch on a rainy day, dream about summer, and press play on Dirty Dancing. Think about what talent you have that you’d like to share with the world. See what other similarities you can find between this beloved movie and Sunkissed, as if we ever really need another reason to watch Dirty Dancing anyway. 

If you haven’t already read Sunkissed, what are you waiting for? If you already have, why not pick it up again? Either way, take my advice when you do- don’t just read it, experience it!

Want information about purchasing this book from Neighborhood Reads, a local Washington, MO book store? Click above!

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