Don't Kiss the Messenger by Katie Ray
Publication Date: April 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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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…
Cece meets Emmett the first day of school in her literature class. They seem to get along and Cece can’t help but notice how hot Emmett is. Of course she doesn’t think anything will happen between them because of a scar that she has on her cheek. Despite knowing most of the kids at her private high school there are still times when someone sees her for the first time and is horrified by her face. Cece tries to take it in stride but sometimes it just hurts.
Cece is the captain of her volleyball team at her private school and she’s not one to mess around with it. You’re there to work and to win. The school even recruits a girl from California to come and play on their team. The new girl, Bryn, is insanely beautiful. Despite a rough start with Cece and comments about her scar the pair actually become friends. The problem is that Emmett is awestruck with Bryn’s beauty and asks if he can text her. They exchange numbers. Bryn is soon asking Cece for help because she’s just not good talking to guys. Cece texts Emmett for Bryn but ends up telling him her feelings for him. Of course he thinks that it’s Bryn where does that leave Cece?
This was a cute book. It’s a play on the Cyrano de Bergerac story but slightly different. It’s also has a very close resemblance to the 1987 movie Roxanne, also a Cyrano story. Cece talking under Emmett’s balcony acting like she’s Bryn, Cece giving a dozen better insults to her scar after a girl comes up with a
“unoriginal” one – even prefacing the insults as Steve Martin’s character did in the movie. It was funny, don’t get me wrong, but a little too close to the movie.
Emmett and Cece are truly perfect for each other but Emmett likes her as a friend. He’s so blinded by Byn’s beauty that he can’t see anything else. Bryn is a great girl but not all that intelligent. When she asks Cece to text and email Emmett she has no idea when they’re saying and just doesn’t care as long as she can sleep with Emmett. Totally shallow but that’s Bryn. While I found Emmett and Cece intelligent I found them to be almost too mature for their 17 or 18-year-old selves. I kept having to remind myself that it was YA because it read like a super mature NA novel.
Despite those couple of things that I found a bit annoying I have to say that I really liked the book. Emmett was a great guy and Cece was a wonderful girl. They were written so well and I loved their perceptions of the world, literature and music. The supporting characters in the story were well written as well and they made things more young adult in the end.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5