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Description, Categories and Awards

Description

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. Ages: 12+ Sweet sixteen and never been kissed - and that's the way Aurora Skye wants it to be. She's too busy finding Potential Princes (TM) 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? 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.

Categories

Young Adult
Chip94
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 but inside, the font and spacing looks like Crown of Midnight. What I mean by that, is that the font isn't large and separated by even larger line spacing which many YA novels unfortunately have (cough, the Disreputable History of Frankie-Landau Banks). As a reader, this formatting 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, e.g. 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 would've easily rated this as a 5 star read, however there were some frustrating aspects that brought it down. 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!

thoughtsbyj
3.5 stars As I'm still quite sick and refusing to move around much, I needed a light and romantic read to lift my spirits over the weekend. I actually received this eARC off Netgalley at the beginning of the year, but have only managed to get around to it. So sorry to the publishers for that! How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You (or Kissing You as I'll now refer to it because boy, what a mouthful!), was definitely the pick-me-up book I needed as a weekend read. It's been three years since I graduated high school, but I still remember the fun I had during my time there. This book reminded me of all the memories of high school that I still hold dear to me, and brought along some nostalgia as I laid in bed reading and giggling along to Aurora's escapades.As a fellow Aussie, I was so excited to read a book that was set in the my backyard. Aurora and her friends are 16-year-old high school students that have a little bit of an obsession with each others love lives. Especially Aurora, whose Disney princess dream is to find her prince charming. She's been saving her first kiss for him, which I found to be really cute. At 16, I felt it was definitely acceptable to have such aspirations because she was still rather young. However, there were times when Aurora and her friends' ages felt a little off - I didn't like that Eglington felt the need for them to rock up to school in heels and fancy clothes. For those that do not know, Australian high schools have enforced uniform codes. I didn't think it was necessary to Americanise the story in order to appeal to a wider audience.Aurora herself was not exactly a favourite character of mine. There were many, many times when her action grated on my nerves or I felt she whinged a little too much. Poor Mr Peterson, the drama teacher, who had to deal with such a rowdy bunch of teenagers as he directed the school play. Aurora and her friends certainly didn't help with all their interjections and dramatics. I also had problems with Aurora's friend Jelena. I'm not sure I would really like a friend that consistently put you down subtlely, or thought herself to be above everyone else. I failed to see how that was a healthy friendship. I really did root for Sara, the only one that was brave enough to stand up to Jelena and her antics, but even so she seemed to forgive her too easily.The most fun I had while reading the book was following Aurora on her journey in the play. I would have loved to have seen the play in action in real life, and I felt Eglington did a wonderful job describing it. Aurora's rocky family life was also another well written aspect within the novel. I liked that she wasn't perfect, and her reliance on her cats were so cute.And what can I say about the love interest? OH BOY. If he had existed in my high school life, I would have melted into a puddle of love myself. Even my boyfriend now is not that romantic (how shameful!!), so I was in all kinds of swoon-territory during the final closing pages of the book. All I got to say is: Aurora you lucky thing! Better hold on to Mr Dreamy tightly or you might just find me stealing him from your grasp!Thank you to HarperCollins Australia for providing an electronic copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. - - - -For more reviews, visit Thoughts By J!

thoughtsbyj
As I'm still quite sick and refusing to move around much, I needed a light and romantic read to lift my spirits over the weekend. I actually received this eARC off Netgalley at the beginning of the year, but have only managed to get around to it. So sorry to the publishers for that! How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You (or Kissing You as I'll now refer to it because boy, what a mouthful!), was definitely the pick-me-up book I needed as a weekend read. It's been three years since I graduated high school, but I still remember the fun I had during my time there. This book reminded me of all the memories of high school that I still hold dear to me, and brought along some nostalgia as I laid in bed reading and giggling along to Aurora's escapades.


As a fellow Aussie, I was so excited to read a book that was set in the my backyard. Aurora and her friends are 16-year-old high school students that have a little bit of an obsession with each others love lives. Especially Aurora, whose Disney princess dream is to find her prince charming. She's been saving her first kiss for him, which I found to be really cute. At 16, I felt it was definitely acceptable to have such aspirations because she was still rather young. However, there were times when Aurora and her friends' ages felt a little off - I didn't like that Eglington felt the need for them to rock up to school in heels and fancy clothes. For those that do not know, Australian high schools have enforced uniform codes. I didn't think it was necessary to Americanise the story in order to appeal to a wider audience.


Aurora herself was not exactly a favourite character of mine. There were many, many times when her action grated on my nerves or I felt she whinged a little too much. Poor Mr Peterson, the drama teacher, who had to deal with such a rowdy bunch of teenagers as he directed the school play. Aurora and her friends certainly didn't help with all their interjections and dramatics. I also had problems with Aurora's friend Jelena. I'm not sure I would really like a friend that consistently put you down subtlely, or thought herself to be above everyone else. I failed to see how that was a healthy friendship. I really did root for Sara, the only one that was brave enough to stand up to Jelena and her antics, but even so she seemed to forgive her too easily.


The most fun I had while reading the book was following Aurora on her journey in the play. I would have loved to have seen the play in action in real life, and I felt Eglington did a wonderful job describing it. Aurora's rocky family life was also another well written aspect within the novel. I liked that she wasn't perfect, and her reliance on her cats were so cute.


And what can I say about the love interest? OH BOY. If he had existed in my high school life, I would have melted into a puddle of love myself. Even my boyfriend now is not that romantic (how shameful!!), so I was in all kinds of swoon-territory during the final closing pages of the book. All I got to say is: Aurora you lucky thing! Better hold on to Mr Dreamy tightly or you might just find me stealing him from your grasp!


Thank you to HarperCollins Australia for providing an electronic copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

n3l
Great Story! i received a free book to review, and i'm very happy to say its one of the best books i've read all year!
'How to keep a boy from kissing you' is a sweet romantic with a lot of fun!
I would have read this book in a day if i could.
completely loved it!

FicThoughts
For Aurora Skye, romance is one of the most important things in life. And first kisses should be reserved for a worthy Prince. Armed with strategies and avoidance techniques, Aurora wants to save her first kiss for her true love (she even engages stealthy spy like operations to stop unwanted advances) even when it leads her into some rather embarrassing situations.

With Hayden Paris, a boy-next-door who is the bane of Aurora’s existence and a New Age Dad (NAD) who seems to think that Aurora and Hayden are a couple, Aurora’s Find a Prince Program™ has some obstacles to overcome. But like her Disney Princess namesake, Aurora is willing to go the extra mile to make sure that True Love’s first kiss prevails.

This book is adorable! It reminded me very much of a Disney Channel movie (and in a good way. I love those!) crossed with the film Clueless. Everything from the slightly eccentric dance teacher to the girls doing the glide-by on the first day of school – I could picture Aurora and her friends’ antics so very clearly in my mind. With all the books about teenagers saving the world it was refreshing to read a book that reminded me of my own school years where first kisses were regarded as sacred. Aurora is a very sweet leading lady. She’s somewhat melodramatic and confused but her heart is in the right place – I could tell that she really did have her friend’s best interests at heart no matter what the situation. And what I loved most about her is that I saw so much of myself about her. Trying to advise others with no practical experience to her name? She’s a character that I think a lot of girls could relate to.

Much Ado About Nothing is one of the few Shakespeare plays that I am completely unfamiliar with and despite the play being central to the development of Aurora and Hayden’s friendship and relationship, this book does a great job of not requiring any previous knowledge of Shakespeare’s work. And as a former drama nut myself, I appreciated the dynamics of just what it takes to put on a school play (although how that managed to put in on in a matter of weeks? I have no idea how they achieved that!).

This is one of those books where the characters are teenagers. And they’re believable teens – not seventeen year olds going on forty. Whilst I found Hayden a little bland I found myself loving him for Aurora. The supporting characters were fun and I liked how they contrasted the leads but also the other minor players.

How to Keep a Boy From Kissing You is an enjoyable and entertaining read by a debut Aussie author. The characters are adorable. Whilst the plot was somewhat predictable this is definitely one of those books that you read not for the destination but for the quirky and fun journey. I’m delighted to see that this is not the last of Aurora Skye. How to Convince a Boy to Kiss You will be published late in 2013.