Before I go any further if you want to win an e-copy of this YA-Romance all you have to do is drop a comment below this post and I will randomly draw a winner from the names on November 22! ** Canada Only! **
You have two opportunities to enter – today on this Review Post or next week where I will post my Q&A with the author.
I’m not a big reader of YA romance, but this was a well-told story that really takes you back to high school (at least if you were a raging nerd like both Jess and I were). Jess is the protagonist of the story and spent most of her school career as a great student well on her way to attending her dream college Berkley. She suffers (as we all did) from the usual tribulations of the shark tank that is middle-school with the added humiliation of a terrible nickname: Messy Jessie. Well as of the beginning of the book Jess has done what so many of us wish we could have – she has changed her fate – dramatically. She turns herself into a whole new person, using the intelligence that was focused on good grades to build herself into a popular high schooler. She has a popular boyfriend and popular friends, and no one at her new school knows that she was once the nerdiest kid in middle school.
Sadly a failing grade in biology threatens her high school utopia and Jess is forced to take remedial steps with a conservation trip down to Panama. This wouldn’t be so bad except the boy who started the whole Messy Jessie phenomenon is on the trip too… and he’s changed a lot too.
I’m not going to spoil the story for you but I will say it brought back a lot of memories of my own high school experience. Sevigny manages to speak with the voices of the teenagers without making this a morality story or an after school special. The kids are the kids we all grew up with, and the mistakes they make are the ones we all made. It captures the time and place so well I had to ask Sevigny how she did it (see that in the Q&A next week)! Finding out you are the person you tried so hard to run away from and that is alright is a message I think everyone will understand and appreciate.
I hope my 12-year-old son learns that when he reads this book (he started it last night).
What I didn’t expect was that I would learn so much about Panama and the conservation programs around the frogs. Loved that. Found myself googling a lot of the information so I could learn more.
If you like coming-of-age stories or have a kid in your life who is trying to find their place in the shark tank – I suggest you grab a copy of Kissing Frogs – you will not be disappointed.