Don’t Kiss the Messenger
(Edge Lake High School, #1)
by Katie Ray
Publication Date: April 10, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen Crush
For most of her teenage life, CeCe Edmonds has been dealing with the stares and the not-so-polite whispers that follow her around Edgelake High. So she has a large scar on her face—Harry Potter had one on his forehead and people still liked him.
CeCe never cared about her looks—until Emmett Brady, transfer student and football darling, becomes her literature critique partner. The only problem? Emmett isblindsided by Bryn DeNeuville, CeCe’s gorgeous and suddenly shy volleyball teammate.
Bryn asks CeCe to help her compose messages that’ll charm Emmett.CeCe isn’t sure there’s anything in his head worth charming but agrees anyway—she’s a sucker for a good romance. Unfortunately, the more messages she sends and the more they run into each other, the more she realizes there’s plenty in his head, from food to literature. Too bad Emmett seems to be falling for the wrong girl…
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book involves one fiercely scarred girl who wants the new guy in town, the new guy who thinks he wants the new girl, and the new girl who really isn’t sure what she wants, and the misunderstanding that brings them all together. This modern Cyrano de Bergerac retelling will make you laugh, swoon, and fall in love.
About the Author:
Katie Ray (also known by her previous author name, Katie Kacvinsky) writes teen and new adult fiction novels. Her books have been nominated for YALSA awards, and First Comes Love was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. Her screenplay, A High Note, was a semifinalist in the Austin Screenplay Competition in 2015. She currently lives in Ashland, Wisconsin with her husband, two children, and a slightly insane dog.
One (1) SIGNED copy of Don’t Kiss the Messenger
Quick Reasons: loveloveLOVE the message here; this novel is packed with growth, courage, and morals; subjects are touched with sensitivity and tact; the snark and witty banter made this penguin swoon; cute, endearing characters….though I’m a bit iffy about the role of parents in this novel
Huge thanks to Katie Ray, Entangled: Crush, Netgalley, and Chapter by Chapter Book Tours for granting me free access to a digital galley of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.
I have to be honest, penguins. I sort of totally forgot I had this tour coming up. As in, I sat down in front of my computer on Saturday after work, opened up my calendar…and panicked because I hadn’t even STARTED the book yet. I promptly, of course, dropped everything else–told the boyfriend to watch his youtube “watch later” list and clicked open the galley on my Fire tablet. I fully expected to be sliding into Sunday with only half the read finished, in a blind panic to get to the close before the night’s end so I wasn’t RUSHING to get my review written before falling into bed. I totally forgot this book tour was coming…and it snuck up on me, but when I sat down today to read, I did not expect the whirlwind that was this book.
Because this read? Was a whirlwind. It’s boarding school, and opposites-attract, and poetic, and beautiful. I read this in something like three hours–maybe less, I don’t know because I was in such a hurry to read that I didn’t really keep track of the time I spent doing just that. This is teen angst at its best, and I adored every minute of it. The characters are endearing, and redeemable, and beautifully woven throughout. I fell in love with the witty banter, especially spouting from CeCe. She is such a fierce, tough character…and I honestly feel like she is, at the heart of things, the sort of role model girls in today’s world need. Because she’s fierce, and honest, and she doesn’t so much “hide” herself from the world but instead tackles it head-on. She challenges her classmates to see BEYOND the scar, to see anything outside the one feature people insist defines her. She challenges people who might in other ways be “bullies” to move past that, to accept her as she is, and to get over the pettiness that appearance sometimes brings with it.
This is a story of growth, and acceptance, and standing up for yourself. This is a journey that focuses on the emotional and, sometimes, damaging ways the world effects us. I was, however, a little put off by the role of these kids’ parents throughout. It is made clear, early on, that CeCe and Emmett are a bit…on their own? They are cut off from their families, sort of striking it out alone. Of course, they do have backstories and reasons for the distance…and in some cases, this distance is bridged in the journey, but… I felt like the parents were more cardboard cutouts than actual characters, I guess. I suppose this makes sense, though–they are away at a boarding school of sorts, and therefore, not under their parents’ or guardians’ supervision. It just bugged me a little…but not enough to put a damper on the read!
This was a fun, snarky, angst-laden title, and I cannot WAIT to lay hands on the next book in this series–it’s bound to be just as entertaining a journey! The characters are endearing and adorable, the witty banter scenes were delicious, and I blew through this like a whirlwind. I recommend the read to lovers of cutesy contemporaries, characters struggling to understand the world, and tastefully handled morals. Like the title says, penguins–don’t kiss the messenger. You might just like it.
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