Book Review: A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole

This book was the most devastating masterpiece I’ve ever read. The story starts off in the POV of one of the main characters, Rune, as a child. He just moved to Georgia from his home town in Norway because of his father’s job. He met Poppy, his next door neighbor. Rune called her Poppymin which meant “My Poppy.” They instantly became best friends, creating a bond that could never be broken, or so they thought.

*This review contains spoilers.*

The next chapter was in the POV of Poppy as a child where her Grandma she called Mamaw died. Her dying wish was for Poppy to fill up a jar with pieces of paper in the shape of a heart and on each heart she had to explain every one of her boy kisses. Her Mamaw wanted Poppy to fill the jar with a thousand boy kisses because one of her favorite memories were the kisses that her greatest love gave her. She wanted the same for Poppy so gave her this task as her last adventure.

Years later, Poppy and Rune are together fulfilling Poppy’s Mamaw’s last wish. But an unexpected roadblock gets in their way. Rune had to move back to Norway for his father’s job, leaving his greatest love behind. They were of course devastated and a few months later after Rune moved back to Norway, Poppy dropped all communication with him, leaving them broken up for 2 years.

Rune moved back to Georgia 2 years later as a different person. Dark, sad, and alone. Little did he know the real reason why Poppy cut off communication with him was because she was trying to save him from the burden of her terminal cancer.

I was crying throughout every chapter in this book, It completely broke me. Poppy and Rune rekindled their relationship even though Poppy had months to live. They stayed together throughout those last few months of her life trying to make those months happy for Poppy.

Toward the end of Poppy’s journey, she and Rune completed Mamaw’s wish by completing the thousand boy kisses jar. The thousandth kiss was the one Rune gave her as she passed to the other side. Rune filled out the last paper heart for Poppy.

“Kiss 1000. With Poppymin. When she returned home. My heart completely burst.”

This book was the saddest, most devastating thing I’ve ever read in my whole life. Poppy and Rune’s connection was so pure and they deserved the world. I loved this book with everything in me. 5/5 stars. Read if you want to cry but also read if you want to read a masterpiece at the same time.

-Kaitlyn D.

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