Piper, Cassidy, Mei, and Izzy have been best friends their whole lives. And they’ve always agreed on one goal: to get out of tiny Paris, Texas, and see the world. The school’s foreign exchange program seems like the perfect escape: Piper will go to the original Paris; Mei will go to China; Cassidy will go to Australia; and Izzy, unable to afford the program, will stay at home. To add spice to their semester away, and to stay connected to their best friends, the girls start The International Kissing Club, a Facebook page where they can anonymously update one another and brag about all the amazing guys they’re meeting. After all, these girls are traveling abroad: amazing guys abound at every turn! But sometimes fun, flirty vacation flings turn into more serious romances, and sometimes you don’t return from abroad the same person you were. Will the girls’ relationships-and their friendships-be able to survive?
We have four friends: Piper the quintessential non-pageant girl even though that is what her mother wants her to be; Cassidy the super jock daughter of a single-mom; Mei the adopted Chinese daughter of white parents; and Izzy the ordinary daughter of a high school football coach who is invisible behind her older football playing brother and her younger piano prodigy brother.
When Piper becomes the laughing stock of Paris, Texas, and an overnight YouTube sensation for kissing a pig at the Cotton Festival, she wants to escape. Her friends try to comfort her, but there is just so much they can do. Their classmates are relentless in their constant pig squeals and oinking making Piper’s life miserable.
Dreading the first day of school, Piper is excited to learn that a foreign exchange program is being offered. The four girls come up with an idea to each go away for a semester. Piper picks Paris so she can study art. Mei decides on China in hopes to find herself and her biological parents. Cassidy picks Australia because it is the furthest from Texas and Izzy picks Costa Rica so she can study the rain forest.
Being foreign exchange students isn’t all they had planned.
The girls create the International Kissing Club – a Facebook fansite – where they will detail, anonymously, their kissing exploits. They even created a points system.
With the friends about to head it, Izzy drops the news that she isn’t going. Invisible Izzy is told that the finances aren’t available for her, but she knows deep down that her parents are only spending money on her brothers. Izzy feels left out and alone and is determined to at least enjoy her summer.
Piper is kissing her way through Paris while Cassidy is learning to surf from hottie Lucas. Mei struggles in China and quickly discovers that she doesn’t fit in with her classmates there and Izzy, she’s gone to work on Tanner Colt’s farm – resident quarterback for her dad’s team – and current Piper crush.
The International Kissing Club fansite is a huge hit with people chiming in from all over the world, but once the school finds out how the girls spent their time, people are none too happy and there are consequences to pay.
I will say this; this story is very interesting and pretty close to real life. The girls are likable and you can’t help but feel for them. Each one has their own set of issues, but their strong friendship holds them together like glue.
IKC is available January 3rd, but you can pre-order and have it delivered to your doorstep!