Blog Tour Review: 6 Times We Almost Kissed (And One Time We Did) by Tess Sharpe

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A story that is about so much more than romance

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond Tours and Tess Sharpe for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with complimentary ARC and media kit!

Book Information

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Published: January 24, 2023

Six moments lead us to two girls, one kiss, and three little words that were maybe always true in this gorgeous novel perfect for fans of Nina LaCour and Jenny Han.

Penny and Tate have always clashed. Unfortunately, their mothers are lifelong best friends, so the girls’ bickering has carried them through playdates, tragedy, and more than one rom-com marathon with the Moms. When Penny’s mother decides to become a living donor to Tate’s mom, ending her wait for a liver transplant, things go from clashing to cataclysmic. Because in order to help their families recover physically, emotionally, and financially, the Moms combine their households the summer before senior year.

So Penny and Tate make a pact: They’ll play nice. Be the drama-free daughters their mothers need through this scary and hopeful time. There’s only one little hitch in their plan: Penny and Tate keep almost kissing.

It’s just this confusing thing that keeps happening. You know, from time to time. For basically their entire teenaged existence.

They’ve never talked about it. They’ve always ignored it in the aftermath. But now they’re living across the hall from each other. And some things—like their kisses—can’t be almosts forever. 

About the Authors

Born in a mountain cabin to a punk-rocker mother, Tess Sharpe grew up in rural northern California. She lives deep in the backwoods with a pack of dogs and a growing colony of formerly feral cats. She is the author of Barbed Wire Heart, the critically acclaimed YA novel Far From You and the upcoming Jurassic World prequel, The Evolution of Claire.

She is also the co-editor of Toil & Trouble, a feminist anthology about witches. Her short fiction has been featured in All Out, an anthology edited by Saundra Mitchell. 

Tess is represented by Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret Literary Management. Please send all rights inquiries and blurb requests to Jim.

Author Links:

Review (no spoilers)

If you’d like to follow along with the rest of the tour, you can find the tour schedule here.

Hello friends! A quick disclaimer that I have not been doing very well mentally, so I listened to the audiobook of this instead of reading the physical copy I received for the tour. As many of you who have listened to audiobooks in the past probably know, a narrator can really affect the overall rating of the book depending on if you liked or didn’t like them. I personally didn’t care for the narration for this—which was particularly surprising because the audiobook is actually narrated by Tess Sharpe herself—so I imagine my rating would have been higher if I physically read the book. Anyways, on to the review!

6 Times We Almost Kissed is a story about two high school girls, Penny and Tate, who have been circling around each other since they were kids. Both girls have had a lot to deal with recently. Tate’s mom has been suffering medically and needs a new liver. Penny, on the other hand, lost her father in a tragic accident and her relationship with her mother has been strained ever since. When Penny’s mom decides to donate her liver to Tate’s mother, the two families decide to combine households to save money during the recovery process.

While this is often advertised as a sapphic romance novel, the heart of this book is actually about the depth of grief, and how it can affect us all in vastly different ways. The book explores the twists and turns that are present in all relationships, whether they are romantic, platonic, and/or parental in nature. Don’t get me wrong, there definitely is an element of slow-burn romance to this novel, but there is also so much more than that.

As someone who suffers from depression and anxiety and is currently trying to figure out the best way to get a therapist, I’m always a huge fan of books who normalize therapy and coping mechanisms. There are many lessons in 6 Times We Almost Kissed about mental health and how a strong support system is one of the best things you can have when you’re struggling. Tate and Penny may not be the best of friends, but they have always been there for each other when times got rough. I wouldn’t call this an enemies-to-lovers because Tate and Penny were never enemies. They were like twin souls who just happened to bickered a lot.

Going into why I rated this a 3.5, I felt like the chapters between Penny and Tate were too similar to be able to tell them apart from each other. This became particularly tricky when one of them would talk about their mom, because I would have to wait a bit longer to realize which mom was being referenced. The easiest way for me to tell the narrators apart actually happened to be the main reason why I didn’t like Tess Sharpe’s narration: I felt like Penny was always screeching at me during her chapters. The second reason why I felt this novel didn’t vibe with me as well as it could have was because I wanted it to be longer. I felt like the conflict between Penny and her mom was never really resolved. Instead it felt like a quick bandaid fix was applied at the end of the book that wasn’t going to last very long. Similarly, I wanted to see more of Penny and Tate at the end to see how much their relationship has changed over the course of time.


2 thoughts on “Blog Tour Review: 6 Times We Almost Kissed (And One Time We Did) by Tess Sharpe

  1. ratmom February 1, 2023 / 2:55 pm

    it sounds interesting, thanks for the great review. I hope you are feeling better soon too.

    Liked by 1 person

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