Like any other girl her age, Kathleen was ready for the
excitement of a first love. What she wasn’t ready for was Atticus.
He had been her best friend for as long as she could remember,
and the subtle change in their relationship as they started high
school caught her off guard.
Turns out, the switch from best friend to boyfriend was so
natural, and being with Atticus was so wonderful, Kathleen didn’t
even think about the challenges dating someone like Atticus
When Bobby O’Hara, the most popular boy in school, sets his
sights on Kathleen, she is torn between her love and loyalty to
Atticus and the excitement, popularity, and ease of being Bobby’
s girlfriend. She needs to make a decision. The question is...will it
be the right one?
“Who would you kiss…like that?” Abby had never been one to beat around the
I blushed. At that very moment, I had been thinking about the way Bobby kissed
Sara and wondered what it felt like to kiss him.
Seizing upon my discomfort, she badgered, “Come on, tell me! Who? Who?”
“No one,” I lied, embarrassed by the physical betrayal of my thoughts.
Then, for a brief second, Atticus’ face flashed before my eyes and my
embarrassment faded to confusion.
“Fine, don’t tell me,” Abby admonished. “I know who it is anyway,” she said
“Abby, there’s nothing to tell.” I defended my lack of reply. I shared almost
everything with Abby. Not as much as I used to with Atticus, but close. If there was
someone I wanted to kiss, I’d tell her. Maybe.
“Kathleen, everyone wants to kiss Bobby O’Hara,” she said confidently, and we
continued the rest of the way in silence.
That night, alone in my room, I considered Abby’s question again. Did I want to
kiss anyone the way Bobby kissed Sara? Did I want to kiss Bobby O’Hara? It was
all a little scary if you ask me. This was exactly the kind of stuff that made me miss
Atticus. Whenever something was bothering me, I could count on Atticus to make
me feel better. But it had been a long time since we’d shared anything more than
the most casual of exchanges. What would Atticus think about all this kissing stuff?
As far as I knew, he hadn’t kissed anyone yet. Did boys feel scared about it too?
Instinctively, I reached for my phone but changed my mind; he felt too far away. I
had no idea when the last time I’d called him or even sent a text was. I needed my
best friend back.
At graduation, he finally came around.
“No tears for you?” came his familiar voice off to my right. Atticus glanced around
the gym, surveying the crying fest among the 8th grade girls. I followed his eyes
and smiled at the scene, shrugging in response. Abby was nearly inconsolable,
but she had always been overly emotional. I was pretty sure Abby, being Abby,
simply loved the drama of it all.
She caught my eye and came over to Atticus and me.
“I can’t believe it,” she sniffled as she hugged me. “High school next year.”
As she bent to hug Atticus, a fresh round of tears filled her eyes; she hugged him
a little tighter with each sob. Atticus looked at me helplessly, and I could see him
men-tally counting the seconds until she released him.
Abby composed herself and made a beeline for Timmy Sheridan, her latest crush.
She was launching herself into his arms just as Atticus’ question reclaimed my
“Are you going to Sara’s party tonight?” he asked. The déjà vu of it all hit me; I
nodded my reply. Sara’s invitations were still pink and still sparkly, and her parties
were still exclusive. I surmised correctly that Atticus and his friends hadnt been
invited. He wasn’t friends with Sara, and didn’t care to be. But Atticus still saw the
question in my eyes.
“A bunch of us are going to David’s house later on. You know, a wild night of
Dungeons and Dragons and Star Trek movies,” he teased. But I knew better than
that. Atticus’ circle of friends was an interesting mix of kids, and they did more than
play card games and watch movies. I was glad he had plans for the night as well.
We stood there silently while all around us people were hugging and crying and
laughing and congratulating one an-other. Without thinking, I reached for his
hand; he squeezed mine tightly in his grasp.
Maybe it was the prospect of a new beginning at a new school, a shared memory
tugging at the corner of our brains. The fact we had grown apart those last couple
of years didn’t seem to matter now. A single tear rolled down my right cheek. For
the moment, Atticus was back.
|Kissing Atticus Primble
"Superb fast paced storytelling expertise. I
adored Kissing Atticus Primble and look
forward to more fine works from Ms. Hoina!
Well done!" –Donna M. McDine
"After I finished reading the entire book I lent it
to my 14 year old sister and she also finished
the book in hours. I will definitely read it again,
I can't wait for her next book!!" –Ali
"It made me wish I were young again at times,
with my first love still looming... yet at other
times I was happy all that is behind me!
Excellent work, Ms. Hoina. I anxiously await
another installment to know where Kathleen's
heart takes her." –Anne Guthrie
"I couldn’t put it down!! It was a joy to get lost in
the world of Kathleen Kearney, a strong female
character learning lessons and facing
challenges that most teenaged girls have to
face. Bravo!!" –Cathy Lemay
"Kissing Atticus Primble surprised me more
than once. I was expecting a simple YA tween
feel good story and instead got a lesson in love
and justice." –Kalynn Amadio
"I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED reading, Kissing
Atticus Primble!! It took me back to my
childhood school years and beyond, causing
me to reminisce about friendships and first
"The book will teach any young person a
lesson on first love and life. I was so impressed
with it that I am getting a copy for my 24 year
old daughter." –Deborah Adwokat
"This book is not only for YA. This book is for
anyone that has had to make choices in
relationships or really looked within yourself to
see what you need and what you want...or what
you think you want." –Lisa Onorato
"My husband saw me reading this book so he
picked it up when I was done and, after
reading the novel, had this to say.... " I couldn't
wait to turn the page to see what happened
next." –Victoria Habermann
"As a mom of three teenage girls , I really
appreciated the mom in this book. She gave
her daughter space to make her own decisions
but was there when she was needed." –Phyllis
" In my creative writing class, we were asked
what our favorite book was, and I said " Kissing
Atticus Primble". I would easily recommend this
book to anyone :)" –Sal Allegra
"I originally ordered this book for my teenage
niece but also decided to read it myself! I
finished it in one evening! I loved it!" –Patricia
"I ordered this book for my 8th grade daughter
but decided to read it first. So glad I did! It is a
very thoughtful, well written book about young
love." –Beth Dell'orto
"Reading Kissing Atticus brought back so many
teen memories. The book touches on so many
life experiences that a teen may experience in
high school. Anyone 13 and older can relate to
the characters and their trials and tribulations.
Not to mention it has an ending that touches
your heart." –Marie Pirraglia
"A great story for tweens. It is engaging and
thought provoking. There are several social
issues that could certainly invite conversation
with your tweens. I am hoping for a sequel."
"Great story. Quick read. Couldn't put it down.
It had lots of familiar situations. Hoping for a
sequel. Going to give it to my 14 year old to
read." –Toni Anne
"A beautifully written story of a teen's struggles
with loyalty and first love. An appropriate read
for teens and young adults." –Sylvia R.
"Great coming of age story. Loved the
characters!! Wonderfully written. I could feel
what the characters were feeling. Hoping for a
sequel!" –Phyllis Nastasio
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