Pages: 384 pages, paperback
Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads): When Alex meets Kate the attraction is instant.
Alex is funny, good-looking, and a little shy – everything that Kate wants in a boyfriend.
Alex can’t help falling for Kate, who is pretty, charming and maybe just a little naive…
But one of them is hiding a secret, and as their love blossoms, it threatens to ruin not just their relationship, but their lives.
My review: This review is probably going to be shorter than my usual review length - simply because saying too much about this one will reveal too much about the plot and I don't want to post any spoilers, I just want you all to read it and discover the twists and turns for yourselves!
As you can see from the summary, lies and secrets are the two central themes in A Kiss in the Dark. We see Alex and Kate's relationship blossom from the beginning of the book and it's as we see their love develop that you begin to realise, at some point, one half of the couple's secret is going to come out and when it does, well, it's going to be earth-shattering for everybody involved.
A Kiss in the Dark has Clarke's trademark shocks threaded all the way through the story and this is a pacy read that you'll absolutely fly through. As soon as I found out what the secret was I could not put this one down, and I mean it when I say I didn't put it down. I was reading this while I was cooking dinner, while I was in the bath, while I was drying my hair - constantly. It's such a compelling story and it's the strength of the character development that makes it such a joy to read.
Our central characters, Alex and Kate, share a dual narrative and this was a stroke of genius. Letting us hear events from both Alex and Kate's points of view is what brings A Kiss in the Dark to life. Hearing about the secret from the relevant character themselves makes it much easier to understand the burning questions - the why, the how etc etc. I think if this had been written in third person it wouldn't be such a strong book, so Clarke's decision to bring us the story from both Alex and Kate's points of view was a winning one.
I loved A Kiss in the Dark, I really did. It's a realistic look at teenage love, even with some of the extraordinary situations that present themselves, and it's full of Clarke's usual wit, sharpness and spot on teenage dialogue.
Final thoughts: She's done it again! That makes four books that absolutely knock it out of the park. Can we just bow down now and revel in Cat's talent? Yeah, let's do that.