Goodreads Summary: Executor of the Find a Prince Program™ and future author, sixteen-year-old Aurora Skye is dedicated to helping others navigate the minefield that is teenage dating. Counsellor-in-residence at home, where her post-divorce ad-agency father has transformed into a NAD (New Age Dad) intent on stripping his life bare of ‘the illusionary’ (i.e. the removal of home furnishings to the point where all after-hours work must be done in lotus position on a hemp cushion) Aurora literally lives and breathes Self-Help.
When the beginning of the school year heralds the arrival of two Potential Princes™ who seem perfect for her best friends Cassie (lighthouse beacon for emotionally fragile boys suffering from traumatic breakups) and Jelena (eye-catching, elegant and intent on implementing systems of serfdom at their school) it seems as if Aurora’s fast on her way to becoming the next Dr Phil.
As Aurora discovers, however, Self-Help is far from simple. Aurora’s mother arrives home from her extended ‘holiday’ (four years solo in Spain following the infamous ‘Answering Machine Incident’) throwing the NAD into further existential crisis. With Valentine’s Day drawing closer and the new Potential Princes not stepping up to the mark, Aurora is literally forced to take to the stage to throw two couples together. However, being cast opposite Hayden Paris (boy next door and bane-of-Aurora’s life) in the school production of Much Ado about Nothing brings challenges of its own. Not only does Hayden doubt that Cupid is understaffed and thus in dire need of Aurora’s help, but playing Beatrice to his Benedict throws her carefully preserved first kiss for a Prince into jeopardy. As Aurora races to save love’s first kiss and put a stop to the NAD’s increasingly intimate relationship with her Interpretive dance teacher (guilty of putting Aurora on detention for a ‘black aura’) she is left wondering who can a self help guru turn to for help? Can she practice what she preaches? And can long-assumed frogs become Potential Princes?
“Why did they call it love? It was torment. It was a thousand flaming arrows striking you in the chest.”
There are all sorts of books out there that talk about the struggle of getting a boy to kiss you. But if you want something fresh, this is the rare one that talk about how to keep a boy from kissing you!
Aurora Skye is staring her junior year of high school as part of her grade’s popular girl clique, and despite the numerous dates she’s been on, has never been kissed. That’s because she’s saving her first for her Prince, for that perfect special someone, instead of just any regular high school boy. Her plan to protect her first kiss gets increasingly difficult–and hilarious–when a stage kiss in the school play is imminent–and not just from anyone, but from Hayden Paris himself, Aurora’s next door neighbor and total enemy.
The first thing I noticed about this book was that the plot felt contrived and exaggerated–not realistic. Readers are told that 16 year old Aurora could become a laughingstock of the school if word got out that she’s never been kissed, but I personally know more people who haven’t been kissed than have, including 17-18 year olds. Furthermore, many of the characters felt like just personifications of high school stereotypes–the drama kid, the player, the boyfriend obsessed girl–and therefore felt flat. The story was also very predictable–I was able to guess from pretty much the first page what the outcome of the story would be.
With that being said, it was certainly funny to see Aurora’s struggles along the way. Things had a way of going wrong around her, placing her in some hilarious situations. The plot almost felt like one of an exaggerated TV show, and Aurora and her friends had a way of really making me smile.
There were also some definitely cute moments in this book as well! One scene at the end that definitely made me swoon, and all sorts of other cute moments that will forever give bookworms unrealistically high expectations for boyfriends xD.
There could also be some serious parts in regards to Aurora’s past. Her mom left her family, leaving behind nothing but an answering machine message, and as a result, she and her dad had a bit missing from their lives. I hurt for Aurora when she struggled, and at the end, was proud to see her grow a bit as a character.
Overall, this was not a particularly insightful book, or one that really made me feel. However, it was still a really fun, lighthearted, funny read to make you smile!
3.5 out of 5 glossy pink stars.
You can also read my review on Goodreads here.