Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Review: How to Keep a Boy From Kissing You (Aurora Skye #1) by Tara Eglington


Published: October 25th 2016
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
Sweet sixteen and never been kissed . . .

That’s Aurora Skye’s big secret. And the way she wants it to stay. She’s not going to give away her first kiss to just anyone. Busy dodging suitors and matchmaking for her best friends, Aurora (not so) patiently awaits her prince.

But everything changes when Aurora is coerced into a lead role in the school production of Much Ado about Nothing. Which means she’ll have to lock lips with her co-star Hayden Paris—the smart and funny boy next door who also happens to be the bane of her existence, always around to see her at her worst.

Now Aurora is more determined than ever to have her first kiss with the one who’s truly worthy of it. But first she’ll have to figure out just who that person is. - Goodreads



An adorable book wrapped up in a cute and charming package, How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You is a delight to read. While at its core this book stays true to the spirit of the romcom nature, it adds some surprising wit for me not to feel bored.

Aurora, the protagonist, has a common dream of her perfect Prince, the one whom she's saving a first kiss for. While if this fact made her passive, I would have been thoroughly annoyed, she's a very active character, searching for her Prince with a plan and determination. I like her spunk, and the way she's a dynamic whirl of energy, whether it's verbally sparring with her bane of existence Hayden or cheering up her best friends. Her interactions with her cats are sweet, and they play some very integral part in the book, a fun little quirk that I enjoyed.
However, my Find a Prince™ program has nothing to do with glass slippers, poisoned apples, or talking woodland animals. It's about us girls valuing ourselves and saying no to boys who use or abuse us. (taken from ARC~5%)
I also loved the way the friendships were portrayed in this, with each of the girls getting a definitive personality and role, without being props to stage Aurora. I personally love Sara and Cassie, both of them are utter sweethearts and Sara especially made me laugh a number of times. There's some interesting dynamics here and while the romance is a main plot here, the cracks and mends in the girls' bonds were seamless integrated and were not sidelined for the ship.

The romance was well done as well, despite following a very predictable path. There are quite a few toads in this book, and I thought they were trounced rather nicely, although I'd prefer to be a little more bloodthirsty, and I did enjoy how our intelligent heroine did not suddenly lose brain cells when it came to boys, especially since this is a common maneuver I see in such books like these. She was still the fierce Aurora who was determined to find a true Potential Prince, and I liked how she did not let her morals waver in the face of love. Bonus for the love interest being an intelligent sweetheart, I absolutely adored the snappy dialogue between Aurora and him. Also kissing scenes, I'm hoping for more in the sequel, but I was quite pleased with what the author doled out in this.

"You stayed up the whole night...Why?" 
"Because I wanted to see you smile again" (taken from ARC~93%)

All in all, while not perfect, which was due to my intense secondhand embarrassment in a few scenes and my lack of secure attachment to the characters, I was quite content with the pure rush of entertainment I received from it. It's a gem of a contemporary YA, and it manages to balance humor with heart.

Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martins Press for the review copy.

My Rating:★★★(3.75 stars)

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