Lydia Reviews: The Italian Word For Kisses by Matthew Metzger

Title: The Italian Word for Kisses
Author: Matthew J. Metzger
Publisher: JMS Books
Pages: 263
Kisses: 4.5


It’s no secret Tav and Luca are going out. After the accident, it’s also no secret that new kid Jack Collins has a raging case of homophobia, and is not best pleased about having given the kiss of life to a gay guy. Either Luca quits swimming, or Jack is going to make him.

Tav favours the tried-and-true method of knocking Jack’s teeth down his neck, only he can’t really afford another school suspension. Luca favours just ignoring him, only ignoring a penknife being held to your throat at New Year’s Eve is downright stupid.

Thing is, Luca suspects Jack is a victim of something himself. And time is running out for Luca to get through to Jack, before Jack gets rid of him.


The Italian Word for Kisses is a young adult/coming of age story by Matthew J. Metzger. This story is one that fans are sure to enjoy, and one I have already read a couple of times. The story takes place in England so the slang and the Oxford English is different than the American version of English, but this is one of the things that makes the story interesting to read.

Luca and Tav pull you into their world right away. Normally I prefer stories that allow you to get to know the couple at the same time that they are learning about each other, but in this story Luca and Tav are already a couple and have been for some time. The boys have also made no secret of the fact that they are dating, although some would like to believe otherwise. Just because their family and friends know about them does not mean this is a happy go lucky book.

The author throws a dark topic into the book which really messes everything up for the boys. When Luca is accidentally injured during swim practice one of his team mates ends up doing mouth to mouth. The problem is Jack is homophobic. When ugly things start to happen, Tav and Luca have a difference of opinion on how to handle everything. Unfortunately things get a lot worse before they get better and I started to wonder if this story would end well. I would love to see a follow up written as these two really made an impression.
This is a well done novel that will make the author many new fans. It grabs you from the beginning and you will find yourself reading it all in one sitting. If you have not yet given The Italian Word for Kisses a try, then I strongly suggest that you do.

Reviewed by: Lydia

Click HERE to purchase The Italian Word for Kisses

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