Melody Carlson has once again proven her skill when it comes to confronting difficult teen issues with honesty and discretion. Never Been Kissed is an up close and personal account of Elise’s experiences in a new school. As the daughter of a struggling single mom, Elise lacks many of the advantages enjoyed by some of her classmates and is also somewhat naive compared to several of them. Her desire to belong seems to be realized when she is apparently accepted by a group of Asher’s friends, but she quickly finds that they have turned on her. Clandestine romantic emails from Asher lead her to believe he cares for her even though he urges her to ignore him at school. Clues abound that something is amiss but in her naivete Elise fails to catch on. Subsequent serious accusations open her eyes nearly too late to salvage her reputation.

To many parents, Never Been Kissed may seem to have inappropriate subject matter for their daughters. However, at a time when my local news is reporting one high school with over ninety pregnancies and one doctor in that area reports treating pregnant girls as young as ten, my opinion is that our children are already being exposed to much more than parents realize. Never Been Kissed is one attempt to warn these teens about the dangers of inappropriate behavior and helps to point them in the direction of a Savior who can help guide them through the pitfalls around them. My daughter is now grown but I plan to pass on my copy of Never Been Kissed to a friend with a teenage daughter. I believe this is one book that both mothers and daughters should read and discuss.

This book was provided for review by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


Bestselling Author Explores Teen Trend of “Sexting”

Melody Carlson helps teens understand the harsh realities of “sexting” in her latest touching and thought-provoking YA-fiction novel.
Readers will be encouraged to value purity regarding their bodies.

All Elise wants is to have her first kiss before she turns sixteen. Is that so bad? But when a friend’s poor advice and the powers of electronic technology combine, Elise heads down a dangerous road. She is accused of “sexting” and gets kicked out of school. But is she really the one to blame?

This powerful and realistic story from beloved author Melody Carlson shows teen girls the impact of their choices when it comes to respecting themselves and their integrity. Honest and relevant, Never Been Kissed will make girls laugh, cry . . . and think.


Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books, several of them Christmas novellas from Revell, including her much-loved and bestselling book, The Christmas Bus. She also writes many teen books, including Just Another Girl, Anything but Normal, the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series. Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books, including the Notes from a Spinning Planet series and Finding Alice, which is in production as a Lifetime Television movie. She and her husband serve on the Young Life adult committee in central Oregon. Visit Melody’s website at