Notions of “expected” first moves confuse the male mind, and no matter how clear a stay-away-from-me vibe a girl tries to give out, the majority of the species will make an ill-judged lunge for the lips.
Title: How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You
Author: Tara Eglington
Publication: October 25th 2016 by A Thomas Dunne Book for St. Martin’s Griffin
Source: Publisher in exchange for a honest review
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
Romantic and funny, Tara Eglington’s How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You is a feel-good tale of finding love where you least expect it.
Goodness gracious, the contemporaries are fighting back. How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You is not only a hilarious, poignant, and rom-com-esque adventure, it is a brilliant statement about expectations pressuring both young men and women. It’s all about first kisses. Should I kiss on the first date? What if I want to save my first kiss for someone special and it’s required in a role? Not to mention there was a crack up of a list on kiss avoidance tactics – which was amazing. Long story short, How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You is the most adorable, chick flick of a contemporary book that’s subliminal (not really) message is especially important.
I think one of my favorite things about this novel, besides the obvious answer of pretty much everything, was the romance itself. It wasn’t necessarily the focus of the novel, but at the same time it was? That’s unclear. The main plot was mostly finding love in the most unexpected of places, AKA the boy next door that you say you hate but secretly start to like. But, it was the avoidance tactic behind the finding of said love that made this book truly special. You don’t read a lot of books where the main character is actively trying to avoid falling in love, hell, avoiding their first kiss. It’s all about that fight to save something precious to you when facing off against the expectations of society. It’s fantastic. It’s sort of super sweet to the point that it’s practically puke worthy, but it is oh so important all at the same time.
Aurora herself (yay for Sleeping Beauty reference in a story centered on a sixteen year-old’s first kiss) is quite the protagonist. She is opinionated, intelligent, and a take no prisoners sort of gal. She is amazing! Honestly. Now, I don’t mean amazing in the scope of never doing anything wrong – she makes plenty of mistakes and did make me want to bang my head against the table at some points, but it only added to my overall opinion of her character.
Another source of brownie points for this book was its focus on friendship, specifically: positive friendship between girls in high school. There was no mean girl screwing everything up for our protagonist. There were no real stereotypes present at all, which was a relief. Anyway, back to the main point: friendship. The friendship between Aurora, Jelena, Cassidy, Sara and Lindsey was superbly handled. It was so raw and real. It was far from perfect, which is what made it so spectacular. They get jealous, they get annoyed, they need time apart, but they also love and care for each other. They protect each other and hold each other up when other people are trying to tear them down. It is literal girl power.
How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You is one of those books everyone should read. Not only is it a feel good, happy-go-lucky read to put a smile on your face, it is also a specific discussion about that real life Disney fairy tale kiss. What happens when everyone is telling you to do something but it goes against everything you believe in? How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You is a brilliant tale of friendship, first love, first kisses, and standing up for what you believe in. It is fun, entertaining, and so adorable it might just give you a tooth ache (in the best way possible, of course).