Fierce Ink Press
For release November 18, 2014
According to a myriad of fairy tales, you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince, though Kissing Frogs protagonist Jessica seems to be convinced she's already met him in gorgeous Miles. Sadly it explains why she's failing Grade 12 biology, having missed a lot of those classes to spend time with him. Guess it was worth it to claw her "way up out of Geeksville and into the realm of the Socially Acceptable" (pg. 20) Except now she has to give up on a trip to South Beach with Miles and her other uber-popular friends, and instead join her biology teacher, Mr. A., and the conservation group on a trip to Panama to help some endangered frogs and complete a make-up research project.
It's evident to her trip mates that Jess would rather be elsewhere and, as they had needed to fundraise to take part in this amazing learning opportunity, there's some animosity towards her as a last-minute addition, especially from two snarky girls, Chrissy and Kiki. Moreover, she's surprised (shocked?) to learn that a former middle-school friend, Travis Henley, who'd teased her relentlessly, calling her Messy Jessie or Princess, is also on the trip, though he'd known her as the brainiac she was before she'd reinvented herself. Other kids rounding out the group are a quiet girl Harp; Juan, a short funny guy who is friends with Travis; and Steven a.k.a. Shaggy.
While Jess vacillates between her new popular self (and desperately tries to connect with Miles and her friends) and the smart girl who'd dreamed of going to Berkley (and desperately wants the others to know she's neither mean nor an idiot), she draws the attention of Enrique, the very handsome son of the villas' owners, while Travis insists on taking her on non-dates to prove he's not the same annoying guy she'd known.
|Photo by Brian Gratwicke. Retrieved from |
"You should just make sure that the people you give up your dreams for are worth it," he said finally, looking back at the computer screen. "We shouldn't have to compromise who we are for others." (pg. 71)Alisha Sevigny has written a light and breezy YA novel whose only angst is that which the teens experience as they try to navigate through the treacherous dating roads of not knowing how to act around those they may be interested in. Getting a first boyfriend or girlfriend, or perhaps the first one that really matters, is scary, especially if you're not sure who you are yourself. Jess may have reinvented herself but it's clear that, without her supporting cast, the role doesn't quite fit her. Alisha Sevigny certainly gets that right, demonstrating that it's easier to just be yourself. So you trip a little bit and skin your knees here and there. In the end, you're able to pick yourself up and know which way the role is taking you without becoming a farce or a tragedy. At the trip's onset, Jess' attitude indicated that she thought she was going to be stuck with a bunch of unattractive frogs in Panama, leaving her true prince, Miles, behind. Thankfully, with sufficient time and a fresh perspective, it's amazing how cute those frogs can turn out to be. Spoiler alert: happy ending!
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