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Kiss (Fearless, Book 5), by Francine Pascal

Updated on June 23, 2016

As "Kiss" opens, it is the day before Thanksgiving and Ella is hiring a plastic surgeon. She doesn't want to have work done on herself; she wants to have work done on Gaia. The surgeon has a sideline doing other kinds of work with a scalpel and Ella wants the surgeon to attack and disfigure Gaia and leave her in a coma. Her thinking is that if Gaia is hospitalized, Tom will come out of hiding.

Ella gives the doctor a tracking device to aid him in his pursuit of Gaia. While she is planting the corresponding GPS device in Gaia's coat, she and Gaia get into a fight. As a result, things come to blows (literally), and Gaia takes her coat and runs away.

Gaia runs into Mary, who takes her to some of the hotspots favored by the locals the night before Thanksgiving. Afterwards, they go to the place where they are blowing up the balloons for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Gaia and Mary sit on the balloons as they are filling up, then slide down them.

Mary invites Gaia to her family's Thanksgiving dinner. She gets Gaia all dolled including a red stretch velveteen dress (I think I actually tried that dress on once in the 1990s just to see what it would look like on me and I had too much tummy for it). When Gaia has to leave unexpectedly, she takes her jacket but leaves the rest of her own clothes behind at Mary's. This means that she spends nearly the entire rest of the book, which mostly takes place the night of Thanksgiving, in that stretchy red dress.

Meanwhile, Heather has decided that she has had enough of Sam being partially with her and partially with Gaia. At first, she manipulates him into being sorry for her by displaying the scar from the night she was attacked, but on Thanksgiving, she asks him to choose between her and Gaia. The scene where she manipulates Sam goes a long way towards keeping me from feeling sorry for Heather, despite some of the difficulties she's faced.

Ed goes to visit his grandparents in Pennsylvania, which means that he is basically incommunicado for the duration of the book.

One of the themes in this book is the colors red and green, which seems to be a metaphor for whether Gaia should stay (red) or leave (green). We start out finding out that Ed has a fairly stereotypical red/green color deficiency. He can see neither color at all, though that is not typical of all people with a red/green color deficiency. My own son has a mild color deficiency. He can see saturated shades of red and green, but the more muted the shade of red or green (and even some related colors like orange and purple) is, the more likely he is to see it as gray or brown. I also had an art teacher in college who was completely color deficient. His primary form of art was carved wood, which I thought was appropriate. Wood is nearly always brown, so he always knew what color it was. However, my teacher actually could tell what shade of grayish brown corresponded to what color. It was eerie.

The night Gaia runs away, she ponders the way that the traffic signal changes the color of her skin, then later the choice of balloon she and Mary have to climb on are red and green M&Ms. And, of course, there is the red dress, which she wears with her overcoat, which is green, when she leaves Mary's house.

So far, this is one of my favorite books of the series. It has lots of action and character development. And, of course, someone gets kissed at some point in the book. But I won't tell whom or when or who the kissers are.


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