Monday, March 21, 2016


Age 5:

Rune moves with his family from Norway to Blossom Grove, GA. They moved next door to Poppy's family. In fact, their rooms are directly across from each other. 

“Rune,” she said, her voice serious and strong, “you live right next door, you’re a Viking and I just love Vikings. I think we should be best friends.”
Age 8:

Poppy's grandma dies and leaves her with her life's grand adventure. 

“I’ll give you a thousand kisses, Poppymin. All of them. No one will kiss you ever, but me.”

Age 15:

Rune's father is transferred back to Norway so the family has to move. The thought of separation is brutal for both Rune and Poppy.  For a couple of months they talk on the phone every day, but one day Poppy stops returning Rune's calls. He can't find out what happened. All he knows is that Poppy's family has left town and no one knows why. Rune blames his father for forcing him to leave Poppy and starts to hang out with a rough crowd, partying, and smoking. Anger is all he feels.

Age 17:

Rune's family moves back to Blossom Grove. Poppy has returned to town, too. She is nervous to see Rune and neither know how to act. They just know that things aren't the same and that they might never be again. Poppy is determined to keep the reason she disappeared a secret. She's convinced it's for the best and that she's protecting Rune from devastation, but staying away is harder and harder as time goes by. Poppy realizes she can't stand seeing Rune with other girls and when she's finally had enough when she sees him at a party she runs away only to be chased home by Rune. 


When Rune catches up with Poppy in their favorite cherry blossom orchard he demands to know what happened. Eventually, he wears her down and she confesses everything. Poppy and Rune begin the process of getting to know each other again. Poppy is also determined to bring out the old Rune again - the Rune she fell in love with when she was a child. It turns out that what Rune needed was his Poppy because slowly but surely he lets go of his anger.

“Kiss four hundred and thirty-four, with my Rune at the beach … when his love came home.”
A THOUSAND BOY KISSES is a beautiful story. It is different from any other book that Tillie Cole has written. Her other books are pretty edgy and this one is a true young adult novel.  Be prepared though, you'll need kleenex from the get go. 

You'll fall in love with Poppy and Rune and won't want the story to end. While I'm thrilled that this is a standalone novel, I was sad when it was time to leave their world. But when I did, I totally felt like I'd been through the wringer. A THOUSAND BOY KISSES is definitely an emotional ride. Be sure to download your badge of honor after you finish this heart-wrenching love story. I did!

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