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Kiss & Tell  By  cover art

Kiss & Tell

By: Adib Khorram
Narrated by: Pete Cross,Fajer Al-Kaisi,Hannah Choi,Shimali De Silva,Mehr Dudeja,Michael Levi Harris,Huy Nguyen,Eileen Noonan,Lee Osorio,Javier Prusky,André Santana,Elaine Wang
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Publisher's Summary

"Kiss & Tell is a total rush! Perfectly sweet and swoon worthy. I loved every page!" – Julie Murphy, New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin’

A smart, sexy YA novel about a boy band star, his first breakup, his first rebound, and what it means to be queer in the public eye, from award-winning author Adib Khorram

Hunter never expected to be a boy band star, but, well, here he is. He and his band Kiss & Tell are on their first major tour of North America, playing arenas all over the United States and Canada (and getting covered by the gossipy press all over North America as well). Hunter is the only gay member of the band, and he just had a very painful breakup with his first boyfriend—leaked sexts, public heartbreak, and all—and now everyone expects him to play the perfect queer role model for teens.

But Hunter isn't really sure what being the perfect queer kid even means. Does it mean dressing up in whatever The Label tells him to wear for photo shoots and pretending never to have sex? (Unfortunately, yes.) Does it mean finding community among the queer kids at the meet-and-greets after K&T's shows? (Fortunately, yes.) Does it include a new relationship with Kaivan, the drummer for the band opening for K&T on tour? (He hopes so.) But when The Label finds out about Hunter and Kaivan, it spells trouble—for their relationship, for the perfect gay boy Hunter plays for the cameras, and, most importantly, for Hunter himself.

©2022 Adib Khorram (P)2022 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

“Khorram does a terrific job of taking readers inside the world of pop music, especially showing the stress involved in celebrity…[he] handles these dramatic complexities like a master, and readers will be grateful for his skill.”–Booklist, starred review

“This is a love letter to boy bands…[Adib Khorram] effectively encapsulates the ecosystem of celebrity and fandom—and cultivates a strong, contemporary social message…An absolute bop; Khorram’s best yet.”–Kirkus, starred review

Khorram deftly makes the story work, calling on readers to empathize with Hunter’s pride and embarrassment, questions about how he should look and be, and maybe even his belated realization that the band’s other members also receive public scrutiny”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

What listeners say about Kiss & Tell

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

These Are My People

I felt for Hunter. He’s only 17 and his entire life is on display simply because he’s chosen to share his talent with the world. Kiss & Tell is a look into how toxic fandom really is. Hunter is torn to shreds on social media and in traditional media… for existing. Khorram forces you to look at how social media is weaponized against a group of teenage boys, and we let it happen. Make better choices.

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A fun, sparkling and touching ride

This was a terrific listening experience, full of fun, heart, creativity and the twisting tangles of love and career angst. I imagine I’m not exactly the target audience (thus 4 stars) but my teenage self was buzzing, engaged and delighted. Framing devices kept the narrative rhythm interesting - and the tango between business and art offered believable and palpable tension.

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Terrific characters and plot developments

The author puts the main character through a lot of pain, which starts with the actions of a jealous ex-boyfriend. The ex's attempt at revenge when he thinks Hunter might be dating someone else is pure evil. It makes the reader instantly sympathize with Hunter as he deals with the fallout and other pressures of being gay in the public eye of a society that is not as accepting as it likes to think it is. This is a truly outstanding novel that, as soon as I finished it, made me immediately look for and download other titles by the same author.