Review: Don’t Kiss the Messenger by Katie Ray

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Overall Score: 7/10

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Series: No

Publisher: Entangled: Crush

Release Date: April 10, 2017

Source: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Book Summary (From GoodReads)

For most of her teenage life, CeCe Edmonds has been dealing with the stares and the not-so-polite whispers that follow her around Edgelake High. So she has a large scar on her face—Harry Potter had one on his forehead and people still liked him.

CeCe never cared about her looks—until Emmett Brady, transfer student and football darling, becomes her literature critique partner. The only problem? Emmett isblindsided by Bryn DeNeuville, CeCe’s gorgeous and suddenly shy volleyball teammate.

Bryn asks CeCe to help her compose messages that’ll charm Emmett.CeCe isn’t sure there’s anything in his head worth charming but agrees anyway—she’s a sucker for a good romance. Unfortunately, the more messages she sends and the more they run into each other, the more she realizes there’s plenty in his head, from food to literature. Too bad Emmett seems to be falling for the wrong girl…

Review

Don’t Kiss the Messenger was an absolutely adorable, quick read. After reading that it is a retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac, I wanted to immediately go read the original.
Cece is an incredibly smart, vivacious character. Captain of the varsity volleyball team at a school where sports are everything, she should be one of the most popular students at school. However, the large scar on her face from a childhood accident seems to define her to her classmates more than anything else. I loved how tough and resilient Cece was in general (with the exception of one scene where she was more of a bully). The glimpses we get of what lay beneath her hardened exterior really rounded her out as a character.
Her developing relationship with Emmett was adorable. I was rooting for them from their very first interaction in English class. Emmett himself was another interesting character, the football player and musician. Both main characters were very well-developed and multidimensional. However, the secondary characters, particularly Bryn, weren’t well-developed. I had a difficult time believing that Emmett seriously didn’t at least have an idea that Bryn wasn’t the girl he was messaging.
I’m fully supportive of the messaging confusion plot in the book but Bryn really didn’t have to be such an airhead. Very little time is spent on her athletic abilities or the training and determination it took to get her there. Instead, Cece is portrayed as the well-rounded person who is also an incredible athlete while Bryn is a shallow person who has no other thoughts than rating a guy’s hotness. Other than one mention at the beginning, we don’t really hear about her performance on the team. The main focus is on how gorgeous she is and how boys are incredibly attracted to her.  The author does Bryn a disservice by not developing her more fully.
Overall, this story was a quick and enjoyable read. I would recommend to fans of light YA contemporaries.
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