Release Date: October 25, 2016
How to keep a reader from enjoying a book: unlikable and stereotypical characters and a predictable and cheesy romance.
Unfortunately, How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You (Aurora Skye #1) by Tara Eglington fell victim to many items on this list. How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You follows Aurora Skye who refuses to kiss a boy until he qualifies as a Potential Prince. This is threatened when she lands the leading role in her school’s production of Much Ado About Nothing alongside her irritating neighbor, Hayden Paris. When a kiss in the script threatens to destroy Aurora’s perfect first kiss, she will stop at nothing to stop the stage kiss from happening.
I had many problems with this book, the biggest problem being the main characters. Aurora is an extremely unlikable and overdramatic character, even for a sixteen-year-old. She hates her neighbor for seemingly no reason so much that she has frequent outbursts and temper tantrums in the middle of class. She focuses her “Potential Prince Program” around superficial traits and feels like it qualifies her to butt in and sabotage her friends’ love lives. Aurora’s antics became more understandable at the end of the novel, but I felt like they never justified the way she acted throughout the novel.
The other characters in the book were no better. Hayden Paris was the “hot” boy she despised, and even though she was rude to him for YEARS, he still loved her and (minor spoiler) gave her a kiss fit for a Hollywood movie. Aurora’s friends were also flat and stereotypical. Jelena was a total snob who did nothing but throw insults at other characters. While I appreciated Sara’s girl power attitude, she was extremely disrespectful to the teacher in charge of the play. Cassie was the good girl, so of course, her love interest had no personality other than falling all over her feet. I only slightly liked Lindsay, who learned to stand up for herself, but was only disappointed by her actions in the end. Each of these characters were too flat and stereotypical to be believable.
This trend carried onto Aurora’s parents. Her mother was snobby and negligent and her father started becoming New Age and dating Aurora’s teacher, who obviously hated her. While these aren’t impossible situations, it came across and cartoonish and unrealistic. It seemed like her parents only served to show how terrible Aurora’s life was and not deeply explore the family dynamics that clearly affected Aurora’s life. The most interesting part of this book was Aurora (briefly) reflecting on her family, so I wish the author included more of this throughout the book.
As for the plot, I have mixed feelings. The beginning of this book moved incredibly slow for me. I found myself putting it aside for a few days before picking it up again. Since I’ve read books extremely similar to his book before, but I wasn’t invested in the characters, I had a hard time pushing through this book. The gym/dance scenes were exceptionally cringe-worthy because they were supposed to be comedic, but they were too outlandish and seemed irrelevant after the teacher was introduced. Even other moments, like Aurora and Hayden’s audition were supposed to be comedic, but fell flat, because they always ended with Aurora throwing a fit and dragging the scene on longer than needed.
Even though I had many problems with this book, I did enjoy the final 10-15% of the book. Aurora finally started to grow as a character and I actually started to sympathize with her. The ending was incredibly cheesy and felt a little juvenile, but it was more fast-paced and moved a lot more smoothly than the rest of the book.While I enjoyed the last portion of the novel, I really struggled to connect with the plot or characters in this book. I rate How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You as two out of five stars.
I recieved a this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.