From talented debut YA author tara Eglington, this is a page-turning, funny and delicious romp of a book that both kissing and non-kissing teenage girls will adore.
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A Must Read YA Romantic Comedy!
I love funny, romantic, YA contemporaries and this was a perfect example of a brilliant one. 50 pages in and I had already laughed out loud countless times, and by the end I was filled up with all the happy feels.
Aurora Skye is smart, funny, popular, and on top of that, shes nice except to Hayden Paris, her annoying neighbor who is always there at the worst moments.She cares about her friends and will do whatever she can to help their love lives.
Aurora has a secret shes never been kissed, and shell go to great lengths to make sure she doesnt get kissed, because she wants her first kiss to be with a prince. An admirable goal to have, I think.
After one of her friends finds herself newly single, Aurora tires to distract her by getting her group involved with this years school production of Much Ado About Nothing.
Which, unfortunately, Hayden is in too.
OMG. Boy did Hayden and Aurora have chemistry! I loved, loved, loved every interaction between these two, like loved it!
Hayden was witty and flirty and hot and infuriating, and its clear to everyone but Aurora why he chooses to antagonize her so much.
The whole cast of charters were full of personality, even the minor ones. They leapt right off the page and I felt like I was right back in high school.
This book was totally swoon worthy. It will make you laugh and feel all gooey on the inside. Hayden is now one of my favourite book boys. Once I started reading, I just couldnt put it down. This is a must read book for lovers of YA contemporary romance. I highly, highly recommend it.
Go read this book!
It was pure awesomeness and I cant wait to get my hands on the second book.
A must-read high school contemporary debut by an Aussie author
'How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You' was a fun, fluffy, flirty read that met all my expectations. After all the dystopians that have infested my 2013 reading list, this intelligent and completely girly contemporary was exactly what I needed and thankfully, it didn't disappoint.
Aurora Skye is a smart, sixteen year old romantic who has never been kissed because she's saving that special 'first' for when she finds a Prince. What's a prince you say? It's a guy with principles and integrity who treats a girl right- and until Aurora finds him (and she's determined to find him), she's not going to compromise or settle for less in a guy. Of course, in high school this can be harder than expected with obstacles like spin the bottle or at the end of a first date when he goes in for a goodnight smooch... but never fear, Aurora Skye and her Find a Prince Program are here to help. Besides this, Aurora's busy finding potential princes for her two best friends, as well as dealing with her dad who's going through a crazy phase, the return of her long-absent mum and the infuriating boy next door Hayden Paris. Then Aurora scores the lead in the school play, and if that's not worrying enough, in the play there's a KISS... and guess who got the male lead- Hayden Paris, who is definitely not Prince material... or is he?
This may sound weird, but the first thing that struck me about this novel was that I liked the look of it. The cover is cute and the back cover is even cuter - both in a contemporary fashion that's sure to attract teenage girls. Inside, the font isn't large and separated by even larger line spacing; a format which many YA novels unfortunately have. As a reader, this tells me that this book is also suitable for an older audience despite the fluffy premise, and that they're not 'dumbing things down' for the reader per se, which makes me happy.
Once I started, this book kept up it's great first impression. Tara Eglington won me over straight away in the first chapter aptly named, "Operation Stop Kiss" with hilarious (and well-written) phrases describing a less than ideal first kiss, such as an "ill judged lunge for the lips". I love the sound of that when I say it aloud!
I also loved that this novel is set in Australia since Tara Eglington is an Australian author. However, I do wish that this fact was made more obvious since references where quite subtle (e.g. summer holidays were in January, they went shopping at David Jones), well until the end when Perth is mentioned. I wanted more Aussie slang and I wish that the school sport was footy (Aussie rules AFL) or cricket instead of basketball, since that's more realistic. But, all in all, yay for Aussie writers!
The concept of this Find a Prince Program is quite clever, with the plot reminiscent of Emma by Jane Austen i.e. a determined matchmaker who is completely blind to her own love life. As the person running it, Aurora is an intelligent character with a distinctive voice who believes in ideals and that girls should be learned, confident and independent. There are references to classics such as Kafka and Shakespeare, the origins of Valentine's day, different concepts of chivalry and many more interesting facts that Eglington brings to a new generation. This made for a refreshing and enjoyable narrative full of advice and encouragements that explore self-worth, family life, forgiveness and overcoming grudges. There are so many personalities represented in this novel, with the result being highly entertaining.
'How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You' is an ode to girls everywhere who are romantically oblivious, and who over analyse everything. So basically everyone at some stage.
In particular, I enjoyed the romance between Aurora and Hayden Paris, or more accurately, the bubbling chemistry that infuriated Aurora but was oh so entertaining. I was like Pavlov's dogs, classically conditioned such that whenever I read Hayden's name, a smile would automatically stretch across my face. The feels were particularly severe in the 'pre-audition scene'. All I'm going to say is I got a major case of the warm fuzzies, as well uncontrollable smiling and swooning. The tension between the two held my attention until the very last page, well it sort of left me hanging...
(NB: the sequel is called How to Convince a Boy to Kiss You *hint hint*)
I easily rated this as a 5 star read, however there were some frustrating aspects. In particular, I felt that Aurora's level of obliviousness to Hayden's attentions went a little too far, and the lack of communication that fuelled this annoyed me. The timeline of events also felt a bit rushed as it was all supposed to culminate into a climax on Valentines day, which is quite early on in the year for us Australians.
But, that being said, I'd still highly recommend How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You, and I'll definitely be reading the sequel for more Hayden and Aurora!
'How can it be beautiful if I'm kissing the wrong person?' I said. 'Letting go of the idea of saving my first kiss for my Potential Prince is like letting go of a dream.'