Title: How to Keep a Boy From Kissing You
Author: Tara Eglington
Genre: YA contemporary
Length: 384 pages
Published by: HarperTeen Australia
Source: I bought it!
Sweet sixteen and never been kissed – and that’s the way Aurora Skye wants it to be. She’s too busy finding Potential Princes ™ for her two best friends, counseling her sensitive New Age dad and dealing with the unexpected return of her long-absent mum. But always in the background there’s Hayden Paris, the boy next door, the bane of Aurora’s life. Smart, funny, and always around to see her at her worst, he ‘gets’ her like no-one else … and that’s what makes him so infuriating. When Aurora and Hayden are coerced into the lead roles in the school production of Much Ado About Nothing, things can only get worse. How is Aurora going to save her first kiss for the secret admirer who wooed her with poetry and a spectacular bunch of flowers on Valentine’s Day if she doesn’t know who he is and she’s obligated to lock lips with Hayden in the play’s final dramatic clinch?
I could totally picture this book as a movie. One of those guilty please, chick-flick movies you watch over and over again (my favourites are Wildchild and Pitch Perfect, by the way). It’s rare to find this kind of thing in a book, and I really, really enjoyed it.
Things I loved were:
1) Our protagonist, Aurora Skye. She’s so sweet and…well, kind of deluded, but I loved her. She reminded me of Cress from, obviously, Cress.
2) The New Age Dad. He cracked me up.
3) The interpretative dance teacher. In the scenes with her, I actually laughed out loud. OUT LOUD, people.
4) Jeffrey. He’s a side character but everything he had to say was freakin’ hilarious.
5) The adorableness. Hayden is just the cutest love interest ever. I kept picturing Skylar Astin…
WHICH REMINDS ME.
6) Theatre! I’m a bit of a drama nerd myself, and hearing about all their rehearsals was a lot of fun. I haven’t read too many books with a stage production as a main theme. It’s pretty unrealistic that they got a Shakespearean production together in three weeks (we get more than double that to do a ten-minute scene). But I stoically bore this unrealistic-ness.
(why yes, this WAS an excuse to post gifs of cats. You’re welcome)
Yeah, so, if you haven’t figured out I like cats, you should check out my rating system. I use Wonderkitties, from the time I dressed my cat up like Wonderwoman (he didn’t mind). I have three cats: a tabby, a Birman and a ragdoll. Before I even read this book I had a lovely conversation with Tara Eglington about cats, so…basically I was going to love this book no matter what.
It will appeal to people who love The Princess Diaries, because Aurora was very similar to Mia. And also fans of the chick flicks I listed above.
There are a few things that could have been improved, but I’ll keep it brief because the pros much outweigh the cons.
– Friends could have been developed more. I didn’t really relate to any of them, because they were almost stereotypes.
– Ending was quite predictable. But I forgive this one, because it was adorable.
– It was a bit long for such a light YA contemporary. I mean, man, it’s like 400 pages. Some of it moved a bit slowly – I think it could have been condensed more.
– The setting was a little unclear. The characters don’t wear uniform, and fair enough, there’s a school near me like that. But I thought this was set in America to start with, especially since they go to Jefferson High.
But don’t let those things put you off, by any means! It’s basically a really good chick flick in book format. Plus, cats. Go read it!!!
Oh, and also, Aussie authors rock. Just sayin’.
Can’t wait to read the next book!
Rating: 4/5 Wonderkitties