Author: Tillie Cole
Release date: March 15, 2016
(Sub)genres: Young Adult
Buy: Amazon US ~ Amazon UK
One kiss lasts a moment.
But a thousand kisses can last a lifetime.
A bond that is forged in an instant and cherished for a decade.
A bond that neither time nor distance can break.
A bond that will last forever.
Or so they believe.
When seventeen-year-old Rune Kristiansen returns from his native Norway to the sleepy town of Blossom Grove, Georgia, where he befriended Poppy Litchfield as a child, he has just one thing on his mind. Why did the girl who was one half of his soul, who promised to wait faithfully for his return, cut him off without a word of explanation?
Rune’s heart was broken three years ago when Poppy fell silent. When he discovers the truth, he finds that the greatest heartache is yet to come.
Standalone Young Adult Tearjerker Romance.
It has been three days. Three days since I’ve read A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole. And still, every sad song I hear on the radio brings me back to Rune and Poppy, almost making me cry again. I’ve read Tillie’s other books, and know she can write beautiful stories with the use of normal words, but A Thousand Boy Kisses feels different; no brutal events, no underworld, no spiteful parents. Just two teenagers with a such a powerful love for each other, a love that transcends all.
“Rune lifted his hand to hold mine. He lowered our joined hands by his side. “I’ll give you a thousand kisses, Poppymin. All of them. No one will kiss you ever, but me.” My eyes widened but my heart didn’t slow down.”
Rune Kristiansen is five years old when he moves from Norway to America with his father and mother. He’s very angry with his parents for the move, but the anger disappears when he meets his neighbor girl, Poppy. Poppy becomes his very best friend, growing into something much more when they reach adolescence. But when Rune is fifteen, the Kristiansen family has to move back to Norway, which means leaving Poppy behind. Rune truly breaks when the other half of his soul cuts of all communication, sending him out of control. When the family returns to Blossom Grove two years later, all he wants to know is ‘why’.
“I can’t lose you, Poppymin. I can’t. I can’t let you go. I can’t live without you. You’re my forever always. You’re meant to walk beside me through this life. You need me and I need you. That’s all there is to it.”
Poppy Lichtfield is a sweet, silent girl, deeply in love with her boyfriend Rune and content with her life. When Rune has to move back to Norway with his parents, her heart breaks. But soon Poppy has a much more serious issue to deal with, and in order to protect Rune, she sets him free, or so she thinks. When she returns to Blossom Grove around the same time as Rune, the sweet boy she knew so well is gone, a very angry and cold Rune has taken his place. Although she tries to keep her distance, all she can do is tell him the truth.
“This date was our start. These joined hands, a reminder. A reminder that we were Poppy and Rune. Somewhere under all the hurt and pain, under all the new layers we’d acquired, we were still here. In love. Two halves of one heart.”
From the moment the children meet, Rune and Poppy form an instant bond, and are inseparable. Though they are so young and innocent, their friendship changes into a real love when they reach their teenage years, something that doesn’t surprise the people around them. When Rune and Poppy see each other after two years, both are hurt and upset, but once Rune learns the truth – the reason why Poppy broke things off with him – the young couple slowly reacquaints with one another. Knowing their time is precious, the couple goes on all sort of adventures, including Poppy’s ‘thousand boy kisses’.
As I have said before, Tillie Cole’s writing keeps amazing me. Her other series are sweet and emotional, others raw and gritty. All very different, but all very moving in their own way. A Thousand Boy Kisses is written in the same beautiful style; due to the age of Poppy and Rune it’s a young, sweet romance at its finest, but their story is anything but. It’s brutal, heartbreaking and realistic, and so is the way its written. I love Poppy and Rune and the way Tillie Cole tells their story; you feel their pain and despair, but also the acceptance and love they have for each other.
“Life is fragile, yet in that fragility, there is strength. There is love. There is purpose. It reminds us that life is short, that our breaths are numbered and our destiny is fixed, regardless of how hard we fight. It reminds us not to waste a single second. Live hard, love harder. Chase dreams, seek adventures … capture moments. Live beautifully.”
Poppy and Rune – and their love story – will stay with me for a long time. I give this heartbreaking tale 5+ stars.