Review/Interview: Don’t Kiss the Messenger

Don't Kiss the Messenger

If you like romantic comedies, you’ll love this delightful YA re-telling of Cyrano de Bergerac.

SUMMARY

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 is blindsided 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…

Length: 285 Pages

Publisher: Entangled: Crush

Release Date: April 10, 2017

REVIEW

If your only exposure to Cyrano de Bergerac is Steve Martin’s rendition in Roxanne, then you need to read this book. (Sorry, if you actually liked that movie). Attending the live production  is the best way to go, but until you have the opportunity, you should definitely read this YA retelling.

CeCe has a huge scar across one side of her face from an automobile accident she was involved in, and it’s gnarly enough that she frequently is stared at, gawked at, and whispered about. What I love about this book is that it doesn’t make her the victim. No, she doesn’t feel she’ll ever have a boyfriend because of it. And she does struggle internally, but she doesn’t crawl into a hole and feel sorry for herself. She is the captain of the volleyball team and when others make fun, she puts them in their place.

I loved her crush, Emmett, as well. Yes, he is a football player. But not a stereotypical one. His true love is music. He has a deep, complex and fragile soul. He’s actually the one I felt bad for for most of the book, because he thinks he’s falling in love with one girl who is writing him beautiful letters, but like in the Wizard of Oz, there is someone else behind the screen.

There was one thing that bothered me about the book, though. CeCe and Emmett attend a private high school that borders a college campus. The kids sleep there in dorms, eat there, etc. It seemed like such an unnatural environment for high school kids, and there was a lot of emphasis on teenage sex. Almost like it was intended for college kids, but then she quickly changed the ages so it would be a YA book.

But overall, I really enjoyed this book and am giving it 4 out of 5 Stars.

INTERVIEW with KATIE RAY

Normally I don’t get to do a review and interview in the same post, but we are super lucky to chat with Katie Ray today!

Q: To begin with, can you tell me a little bit about your background before you became a katie raypublished author?

Oh, man. My job experiences can be summed up in one word: RANDOM. I have worked on dairy farms in Wisconsin to movie sets in Los Angeles. One of my favorite job was working as a cocktail waitress at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles (a stand-up comedy club), where I was paid to laugh. I eventually got a high school teaching degree and taught English—that is how I fell into writing teen fiction.

Q: Have you always known you wanted to be an author? If not, when did you begin writing, and why?

Ha, the answer would be no, I never imagined I would be a writer. I was actually kicked out of my honors writing class in high school. My English teacher said, (and this is a direct quote), “Your writing is shit.” She knocked me down to a remedial course. (It’s sort of sweet revenge to prove her wrong). I just never gave up on writing, it’s always been something I need to do, like some people need to exercise or need to hang out with friends. I’m at my best when I write.

Q: Your latest novel, Don’t Kiss the Messenger, was released today. Can you tell us more about the novel and what inspired you to write it?

It’s a retelling of my favorite love story, Cyrano de Bergerac. I have been wanting to retell this story for about ten years now, but I was always in the middle of other series (I wrote a sci-fi trilogy and a contemporary YA series). It was so much fun to finally write this story!

Q: You have a couple kids, how do you balance family life with getting time to write?

It is a constant struggle. My kids come first, and will always come first. Sometimes my writing deadlines get stretched longer than I’d like, but I’ve learned to accept that and not beat myself up over it. If it takes me a year to write a book, instead of two months, I need to be okay with that. I also have an amazing husband who gives me a lot of time on the weekend to write. He’s so supportive.

Q: When you aren’t writing, what do you like to do to relax or have fun?

If I’m not sitting at my laptop writing, I am outside. I love to hike, walk, bike, run, skip, pretty much do anything outside with my dog, my family, or just by myself.

Q: Do you have any advice for those who are wanting to break into the publishing world themselves?

I would say don’t rush it. Practice, practice, practice. I probably published my seventh work of fiction. Yes, seventh! It took me that long to practice writing and storytelling until I got it right. I went through a lot of rejection and it was hard, but it forced me to work harder and become a better writer.

Q: Where can we learn more about you, your work and any upcoming releases?

I am probably the most active on Facebook (Katie Ray Kacvinsky). I’m also on twitter (@TheWeirdists), but I only post book-related material. You can also check out my website: http://www.katieraybooks.wordpress.com

Thank you so much Katie! Don’t Kiss the Messenger is available both digitally and in paperback. Click on the image below to read more reviews and/or to purchase it. And as always, Happy Reading!

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