Juniper, Jasper, and Lenny have been friends forever and co-own a vlog channel called WereVloggingHere. Their fans are huge "shippers" who believe that Juniper and Jasper are perfect for each other, and, despite warnings from friends and family, a simple Truth-or-Dare inspired kiss soon spirals out of control into a whole new world of making out and surprise kisses.
Juniper and Jasper's relationship begins to shift. But as fan requests for different "Kiss Cam" segments keep pouring in, Juniper puts her worries aside and convinces herself that it doesn't mean anything. After all, it's just kissing… right?
Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan's young adult imprint Swoon Reads, debut author Kiara London’s delightfully modern novel Kiss Cam will have you cheering for its quirky and loveable trio of friends.
Praise for Kiss Cam:
"London infuses the plot with funny dialogue and an energetic trio of pals....Lighthearted and all-around fun." School Library Journal
"The best love story I have ever read. A must read!" Rachel, reader on SwoonReads.com
"I absolutely LOVED this book. It's just so inspirational and fun." Jacklyn Reitz, reader on SwoonReads.com
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By Kiara London
Feiwel & FriendsCopyright © 2016 Kiara London
All rights reserved.
I KNOW JAS is up to no good the minute he plunks his tray down across from mine and flashes me a mischievous grin.
"You'll never believe what I convinced Lenny to do," he dares after he's dropped his schoolbag to the floor and seated himself slightly askew on the other side of the bench.
I raise an eyebrow and tip my head sideways to search for Lenny among the lunch lines. "What's he going to do?" I ask curiously, and turn to face Jasper again when I've decided there are too many students blocking him from my sight.
His eyes glint, smile growing when he answers, "He's going to eat a nasty combination of whatever I want."
"That's disgusting," I comment, and snap off the cap on my flavored water. "He's going to puke."
"Who's going to puke?" Allison, my best friend and go-to history project partner, asks as she drops her tray beside mine.
"Lenny's probably going to eat mayo and peaches," I update her. And mayo and peaches it's likely to be. We always grab fruit cups for Lenny, and I dip my french fries in mayo.
"Ew." She grimaces and then shoots a look at Jasper. "And you're going to film it, aren't you?"
Jasper lifts his backpack into his lap, unzips the first pocket, and pulls out his video camera, which he, Lenny, and I all pitched in to buy but is technically his. "Yep!" he chirps, and sets the camera beside his tray.
Allison's eyes narrow at him, and she shakes her head hard enough to make her dark hair sway. "You guys and your vlog," she mutters to herself.
It's no secret that Allison hates our vlogging antics, and it's mostly due to her camera shyness — something I got over six years ago, and it's all because Jasper Lahey, self-proclaimed news broadcaster of his life and all with whom he decides to tangle fates. If it hadn't been for dorky twelve-year-old Jasper inviting me to join in on his and Lenny's shenanigans, I would have remained camera and people shy.
As for my history partner, no one is getting Allison Steele out of her tightly woven cocoon. After all, it is I who does all the talking during our history presentations. For now, the girl has decided to hate the player and the game — covering her face from every camera shot and kicking Jasper under the table for trying to include her.
Lenny now joins our group with a sour face, making Jasper grin wickedly. Looking at the assortment of odd things on Lenny's tray, I can already tell that this will end badly. Not only are there peaches and a glob of mayonnaise, but pickles, coleslaw, ketchup, fruit snacks, lime Jell-O, and a bag of croutons. Just the thought of all those things being combined and consumed is enough to make me gag.
"Oh, please don't eat that," Allison groans, and hides her eyes behind her painted fingernails. I nod in agreement and scoot away from Lenny when he seats himself on the other side of me.
"Puke in the other direction." I frown.
"Nah, man. Spray June. That's comedy gold!" Jasper cheers.
Scowling, I glance up at Jasper, who has now turned on the video camera and propped it up, waiting with a boyish grin on his face.
Jasper is all jokes, dark hair, and long legs. And he would sacrifice me for comedy, too. Back in the day, he almost used me as a guinea pig to see if Mentos and Coke would still fizz up if someone drank it. That was one of the first things he wanted to do after inviting me to join Lenny and him in their games. I was about ready to walk away from it all when Lenny took a bullet for me and did the experiment instead. And, yes, Mentos and Coke still fizz up. Lenny laughs about it now, but he still won't drink anything that fizzes.
"You're despicable," I tell him jokingly.
Jasper knows I'm wearing new leather boots I got for my birthday a few weeks back. It's evil of him to wish for me to get puked on when this is the first day they've made it outside my house.
"C'mon, June, take one for the team." Jasper laughs and turns the camera on me, the red light glowing in the corner. I should have known he'd document the moments leading up to the gross food challenge.
"I hope the splatter is so violent that chunks hit you," I deadpan, and Allison squawks her disapproval of my word choice while Jasper cracks up.
Meanwhile, Lenny mixes together the pickles, lime Jell-O, and whatever else is on his tray. Having gained confidence now that the camera is on, he begins talking smack and placing bets on how much he can eat.
There are two things one should know about Lenny. First, he can't say no to anything. Second, he's the easiest person to make laugh. The first one is relevant in this case.
"Just don't eat it," Allison whines, shielding her eyes behind her hand. I glance at her and laugh a little, thinking the only strong thing about this girl is her jawline.
"Twenty bucks I can eat all of it," Lenny barters, ignoring Allison's pleas. "Thirty if I can keep it down."
"Deal," Jasper chuckles, and then sprinkles ground croutons over the slimy and very chunky food combination.
Lenny leans down to take a whiff of the concoction but pulls back quickly, trying not to make a face. "Well, that doesn't smell poisonous at all."
"I'm sure it doesn't," Jasper comments, and then charmingly adds, "Juniper, darling, could you show the camera how absolutely revolting that looks?"
"Juniper, darling ...," I mumble under my breath, and give him the stink-eye while I accept the camera from him.
Lenny leans back while I scoot forward and bring the lens right up to the slightly green and watery mixture. The pickles, peaches, and fruit snacks make it extra chunky and colorful, while the Jell-O has been mushed into slime. It looks the same way it's going to look when it comes back up.
"Would you eat this for twenty bucks?" I ask the camera with a grimace. "I wouldn't."
Jasper snatches the camera away from me and looks up at Lenny. "On the count of three you have to eat all of that for twenty bucks. Keep it down and it's thirty." Lenny nods and lifts his plastic spoon, looking nervous but still wearing a goofy smile for the camera. "One. Two ... Three!"
I have to look away when Lenny dives spoon-first into the hearty-style peach-mayo-and-more soup. Like Allison, I can't watch him take that first bite, swallow, gag a little, and push forward. Unlike Allison, I sneak tiny peeks at Lenny, who struggles to spoon another glob into his mouth.
It proves to be too disgusting to watch, though. He spits up a little, and I shield my eyes while Jasper cheers. Lenny lurches forward like he's going to puke, and I ram into Allison to get into the splatter-free zone while Jasper closes in on him.
In the end, he eats it all.
"That was the grossest thing I've ever done next to eating those worms a couple years ago," Lenny moans, and buries his face in his arms to let the challenge try to settle.
Jasper's eyes light up, and he laughs. "Hey! I filmed that, too! Good times."
"Is it over?" Allison asks, hesitantly removing her hands from her eyes and peeking over at Lenny's blond head, red face concealed by his arms. Looking around, I can see we've attracted the attention of other students. Some of our peers are actually leaning across their tables to see if he'll spew.
"I might throw up," Lenny admits after a couple of minutes. "I feel sick."
"No shit, Sherlock," Allison snaps back, and drops her hands down on either side of her tray. "You guys are so gross."
Jasper and I share a look across the table, hiding smiles. She's always in a foul mood when one of us is doing something stupid. I think she takes the hit for all the embarrassment none of us ever seem to feel.
After a few more minutes of filming Lenny groaning and bellyaching, Jasper decides to end the video.
Turning the camera around to face himself, Jasper salutes the audience, saying, "Well, folks, this is what we got up to today. So, stay out of the way. We're vlogging here."
Just as he presses the off button, Lenny blows chunks all over my new boots.
* * *
I fall onto Jasper's bed and flip onto my side when he turns on the box light in preparation for our weekly Q&A video on VlogIt. The bed shifts beside me, and I know Lenny sat down as well, leaving all the work to Jasper.
"I'm really sorry about your boots, June," Lenny apologizes for the hundredth time.
"It's fine," I say, trying not to laugh. "Besides, I blame Jasper."
My boots really are all right. They got a good scrub-down in the school bathroom. Luckily, Allison had some body spray in her backpack, so I didn't smell like vomit for the rest of the day.
After lunch, Lenny went to the health office and then home. He didn't look good before, but now he's looking chipper as ever. Good thing, too, seeing as this is the only night this week we can do our weekly questions video.
I turn over and watch Jasper bounce from his laptop to his camera, dodging electrical cords as he goes. If it weren't for his video setup, this room would be pretty tidy.
We're not the highest quality of video bloggers, yet we're one of the most subscribed-to vlog channels on VlogIt — which also means we've partnered with the site and get paid.
We could be a quality vlog channel, but Lenny's laziness, my spending tendencies, and Jasper's fondness for the "kids-next-door" feel keep us doing what we've been doing for three years. And, thanks to us being laid-back and random, our channel WereVloggingHere has made leaps and bounds since its start.
Our success has enabled us to set up meetings with other vloggers and meet-and-greets with our subscribers from across the globe, but in town we aren't well known at all. To our neighbors, we're just an eccentric group of teens with a camcorder. It does a good job of keeping us grounded.
One of the most popular things we do on our channel is answer our subscribers' questions on camera. There's a different theme for each ask, and tonight is Truth or Dare.
"You know," Jasper comments while he sets the camera on its tripod, "it kind of looks like we're filming a cheap porn video."
Lenny stares at him blankly for a second and then bursts out laughing. I sit up and purse my lips. "How do you figure?" Jasper grins at Lenny's easy laughter and chuckles himself. "Oh, c'mon, June. How can you not see it? Lighting, a camera aimed at the bed, three horny teenagers. Things could get pretty risqué."
At this, Lenny laughs harder and falls back on Jasper's orange bedding to cover his red face.
I snort. "Speak for yourself."
"Meaning?" he asks distractedly while unhooking his laptop from his charger. He wiggles his eyebrows at me when he comes to sit between Lenny and me.
"I'm not horny," I reply simply.
"All teenagers are horny," he says with a shrug, and pulls up the comments from our last video on his laptop.
Lenny raises his hand. "I second that."
"Whoa," I laugh. "I don't need a mental image of what you two get up to in your free time."
"Not together," Lenny huffs, shaking his head as he sits up.
"Or maybe we do. ..." Jasper winks and Lenny punches him in the arm, making him recoil and bump into my shoulder.
Laughing, I push him away and stand up, making to leave the room. "I'll leave you two to it, then," I tease.
"No!" Lenny wails. "Stop! Just sit down. We have to shoot this video tonight. I don't have time for it tomorrow. Babysitting the twins, remember?"
Lenny's excuse for everything is his twin sisters. Sometimes he doesn't want to tell us he'd rather not hang out, so he lies and says he has to babysit. Except he doesn't know we know his grand excuse.
It's Friday night tomorrow. He doesn't have to babysit. Jasper and I both know that Desperate Housewives reruns are on Friday nights, and Lenny has a crush on Eva Longoria. He can't trick us. We've known each other too long for that.
"Fine," Jasper sighs, and gives me a sly smile. I try not to grin too widely when I think about Lenny watching Desperate Housewives and eating popcorn with saucerlike eyes, drooling every time Eva shows some skin.
"Any good questions?" I ask over Jasper's shoulder when I've reseated myself.
"Don't know, they've just loaded. Want to go in order?"
Lenny and I both nod, so he sets his laptop in Lenny's lap while he hits record on the video camera. When Jasper's sitting back down, we all look at the camera and smile.
"And we're vlogging here!"
Jasper takes the laptop from Lenny, and I remind the audience what tonight's theme is.
"Hey, guys. We asked you to send us Truth or Dare questions this week, and it looks like there's quite a few," I say, glancing over at the comment count. "We're going to go in order until we get sick of telling you our biggest secrets and eating questionable things out of Jas's pantry."
Jas snickers at this because the last time we chose the Truth or Dare theme, I had to eat raw macaroni noodles and cold goopy cheese.
"Lenny, would you like to read the first Truth or Dare? It looks like it's a top comment, too," Jasper notes while leaning back to make room for Lenny. "Should be interesting."
I rub my hands together like a super villain and wait to see who the Truth or Dare is directed at. I have my bet placed on Lenny, since he will do just about anything. He never uses his chickens.
"TeamJacob3012 says," Lenny reads. His eyes scan the comment, and then he bursts out laughing. It's not until his laughing slows to spaced-out intervals that he can announce, "For all the Jasiper shippers out there, I dare June and Jas to kiss!"CHAPTER 2
I CAN'T TELL if my eyes have widened or my brows have furrowed or even if I'm just sitting there staring at the camera blankly. I do know one thing, though. My insides are being tickled by the wings of a thousand butterflies.
Since the beginning of our video blogging days, I've found myself being paired up with either Lenny or Jasper as a couple ship. To make things clear, a ship isn't what one might think it is — at least not in this case.
According to any Internet slang dictionary, a ship can be described as:
1. an unrealistic relationship that makes your heart swell with all the "feels," causing you to pound your head against a wall, cry to the heavens, or dissolve into giddy giggles. May include "cannons" (confirmed relationships).
2. to support a romantic pairing. Shipping is often the purpose of many fanfiction stories. Used for characters in books, TV shows, movies, anime, manga, video games, etc.
3. Short for a romantic relationship followed by a fandom.
Ships are probably one of the most dangerous things on the Internet; well, that and the hundreds of porn sites waiting to poison the minds of our children.
Lenny, Jasper, and I didn't even know we were part of a large fan ship circle until our names started to be combined in the comments under our videos to show which couple one supported.
Our viewers have always been rooting for a pair of us to become a couple. Not only are there Jasiper (Jasper and Juniper) and Leniper (Lenny and Juniper) ships, but Jenny (Jasper and Lenny) ships as well. However, the most popular among our viewers is the fictitious romantic relationship between Jasper and me. And anything could set off our viewers, too. If Jasper and I look at each other too long or touch each other too often in a video, the fans of our ship will go crazy.
You guys are such a cute couple!!!
Admit it, you're a couple!
Why are you hiding your relationship from us?!
The love in their eyes is so obvious! Jasiper feels!!
Sometimes our viewers get carried away. Not all of them are like this, of course. Some people watch our videos simply because we're entertaining. But it's the crazy ones who stand out the most.
And it's not like we ever deny anything happening between us, either. In fact, Jasper and I joke about Jasiper quite often on camera. We think it's funny that some of our viewers are so invested in our nonexistent relationship. We tease them, which is probably what lead up to this somewhat uncalled-for and chicken-worthy dare.
I laugh somewhat awkwardly and turn to Jasper for help. "Kiss, huh?" Jasper looks down at the computer screen to confirm Lenny's words. "Looks like it."
My insides knot up further, and I have to hold back a groan while Lenny muffles laughter on the other side of Jasper.
"I mean, it's just a kiss, right?" Jasper checks, nudging me in the side. "No big deal."
"Are you kidding?" I scoff in surprise. He's being remarkably cool about this whole thing. His expression remains neutral, his demeanor bouncy and excited. Kissing is kissing. It's intimate no matter how you look at it. With the opposite sex, friend or not, it surpasses all boundaries.
"Oh, c'mon, June," he says with a roll of his eyes. He passes his laptop back over to a still-snickering Lenny and turns his body to face mine. "It'll be a less-than-a-second, quick little lip touch. Besides, we kiss each other on the cheek all the time."
My mouth is still agape as I continue to stare at him in disbelief. I have previously saved my mouth kisses for those I had deep feelings for — relationships. What Jasper and I have is friendship. And sure, we're close. We're neighbors, have had sleepovers, slept in the same bed, changed in the same room. And it's because of this that I don't want to cross any boundaries. People have already considered us too close as it is.
Excerpted from Kiss Cam by Kiara London. Copyright © 2016 Kiara London. Excerpted by permission of Feiwel & Friends.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: WereVloggingHere,
Chapter Two: Avoiding Tongue,
Chapter Three: The Dance with No Pants,
Chapter Four: Truly, Madly, Deeply,
Chapter Five: Maybe We've Had Better Ideas,
Chapter Six: Virgin Panties and Lacy Bras,
Chapter Seven: Rescue Breath,
Chapter Eight: Kiss Me,
Chapter Nine: Hot and Bothered,
Chapter Ten: Twelve Days of Kissmas,
Chapter Eleven: Voluntary Tasting,
Chapter Twelve: Ride Me Like Rudolph,
Chapter Thirteen: Kinky,
Chapter Fourteen: Condoms for Christmas,
Chapter Fifteen: The Faults in Our Kissing Arrangement,
Chapter Sixteen: For the First Time,
Chapter Seventeen: Half a Heart,
Chapter Eighteen: Verbal Smack-Downs,
Chapter Nineteen: Another Obstacle,
Chapter Twenty: No Pressure,
Chapter Twenty-One: Ice Cream and Desperate Housewives,
Chapter Twenty-Two: Can You Put a Shirt On?,
Chapter Twenty-Three: No Room for Jesus,
Chapter Twenty-Four: You Know Why,
Chapter Twenty-Five: Your Flirting Sucks,
Epilogue: When the Fandom Takes Control, There's No Going Back,
About the Author,