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Edgelake High School #1

Don't Kiss the Messenger

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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 isblindsided 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…

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book involves one fiercely scarred girl who wants the new guy in town, the new guy who thinks he wants the new girl, and the new girl who really isn’t sure what she wants, and the misunderstanding that brings them all together. This modern Cyrano de Bergerac retelling will make you laugh, swoon, and fall in love.

285 pages, ebook

First published April 10, 2017

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About the author

Katie Ray

8 books50 followers
Hi, my name's Katie and I write teen and new adult fiction novels. My latest book, Don't Kiss the Messenger, is published under my new pen name, Katie Ray. I also have six books published under my legal name, Katie Kacvinsky (First Comes Love, Second Chance, Finally Forever, Awaken, Middle Ground, and Still Point).

My books have been nominated for YALSA awards, and First Comes Love was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. My screenplay, A HIGH NOTE, was a semifinalist in the Austin Screenplay Competition. I live in beautiful Ashland, Wisconsin, on the shores of Lake Superior, with my husband, son, daughter, and a very high-energy dog. To find out more about me and my books, check out my website: www.katieraybooks.wordpress.com

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5 stars
217 (34%)
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242 (38%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 124 reviews
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,094 reviews1,512 followers
March 19, 2017
As a child Cece Edmonds was in a serious car crash that left her with a horrible scar upon her face. Now a senior in high school Cece has developed a tough girl persona to deal with those that comment about her scar. The captain of the girls volley ball team she has her circle of friends that she's close to but has trouble letting anyone else into her life.

Emmett Brady just started classes at Cece's school and when the two end up paired together Cece is immediately taken to him but won't allow herself to believe he could ever be attracted to her. Then when Emmett is blindsided by new girl Bryn DeNeuville's good looks Cece really thinks she will never be given another look. However when Bryn gets tongue tied with Emmett she asks for Cece's help texting and emailing him and Cece gets a bit carried away with her online romance.

Don't Kiss the Messenger is a young adult contemporary read which to me is a modern day teenage take on the story of Cyrano de Bergerac. As Cece tries convincing herself that she's only helping out her friend Bryn win the guy she herself is slowly falling for Emmett who she doesn't believe would ever consider her. I really enjoyed reading this one, a cute read with likable characters.

When finished reading though I did take notice of a couple of things during the read that kept me from rating a bit higher. First, I felt it seemed a bit off for these to be high school seniors in the setting they were in, it seemed a more college like atmosphere. Also, there were several times I felt Emmett should have guessed what was going on but I suppose then we wouldn't have a story either so he had to be a bit clueless. Overall though it was a rather enjoyable story.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....
Profile Image for Annika.
449 reviews101 followers
March 27, 2017

Ugh. I can't recall ever reading a romance less satisfying.
Which is a shame considering the promising premise of a prominently scarred heroine. The thing is, had the author left out the entire romance part and focused on CeCe's character and her struggles, her friendships and family drama instead, it might have been a great book, as those were the passages that really touched me deeply.

The love story, however, has left me wanting for so much more. I wasn't expecting anything profound. I was anticipating something cute and romantic, something to make me swoon and giggle a little. But, while I'm in no way someone who needs my romances "safe", there's certainly nothing romantic about .
Had at least the ending been more convincing, I could've bought into it all. As it is, it all just wrapped up too conveniently for me to believe in a HEA for the two main characters.

Seriously disappointed.

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Damaris (GoodChoiceReading).
611 reviews227 followers
March 3, 2017
Yess!!! I needed this book! Been reading a lot of fantasy and paranormal that I was starting to feel a little burned out. So happy I got the chance to read this one early. Not only is it written by one of my favorite authors, but it was exactly what I hoped for and more. Love Katie Ray's (Kacvinsky) books!

Full review to come!
Profile Image for Nadine Wilmschen.
Author 5 books91 followers
February 21, 2018
4.5 Stars

I don't read a lot of YA. To be honest, I don't like YA that much. Reading about teenagers who fall in love? Ughs. Not my cup of tea.
Anyway, i enjoyed 'Don't kiss the messenger' a lot.

It's the story of CeCe, a girl who had a serious car accident years ago and is left with a big scar on her face. She's a fighter and has developed a bad ass attitude to deal with her looks. I really liked her. She's this girl who is too smart, too witty, too strong to be real. It's all a strategy to cope with her insecurities. I loved that she didn't give up.

Enter Emmett Brady, a new student at her high school and the best guy ever walking this earth. He's a successful football player, a musician and he is as handsome as they get. To make things even worse, this guy reads. We're not talking about Sports Illustrated here. He reads books. The good ones.

Cece and Emmett are teamed up in one of their classes and the connection is instant. These two get each other and while reading you know that these two are meant to be. Unfortunately, life has other plans.

Emmett falls vor Bryn, the beautiful new girl. He falls hard and fast and Bryn is into him, too.
The problem: Bryn is shallow and simple. She doesn't have a clue how to talk to Emmett and one evening Cece becomes the ghostwriter for Bryn. What started as a one time thing developes into dozens of emails and texts.
It's a modern version of Cyrano de Bergerac.

I loved loved loved (!) the literature references and all the quotes and song texts. I believed that Emmett and Cece knew what they were talking about. This was not a story written by an author who wants to sound clever. This is a story by an author who is clever :)

Why not 5 stars? I had some minor issues with the story.
Bryn is one-dimensional and too dumb here and there. She's the stereotype of a good looking girl who never had to use her brains. It was so obvious that she was never able to write those texts to Emmett that he should've find out earlier.

If you like YA, you will love this story. If you're not into YA, give this a try anyway. It's an intelligent so well written story.
July 14, 2017
I'm confused as hell, yet i'm still quite enjoying it.

Don't kiss the messenger. Why is it called like that? How does this even relate to the story? I don't know

When I saw the title, I thought it was the love story between a milkman or a postman and a married woman. Let me tell you, it's not between a milkman and a woman, not even between a postman. Strangely enough, I wasn't put off by the idea, and I read the blurb. Yes, I did. So I read it, liked it, and got the book.

Aaaaaaaaaaand, I didn't expect such a "light" read. Don't get me wrong, there were some "heavy" moments.
"I don't want to look like a monster anymore."

Now, as for Emmet and CeCe, i definitely ship them. They may have a complicated relationship (though they may not know it),through Bryn, but I always shipped Cemmet (CeCe+Emmet=Cemmet).

Some scenes were funny, (spider scene), others romantic (balcony scene), and others heartbreaking (mother-daughter conversation.

CeCe is a girl. A girl with a scar. She's used to people being disgusted and scared by her scar. Until Emmet. He just treated her like a normal person, and that started our romance. She goes though some emotional moments.

“I’ve waited forever for someone to notice me and now I thought he did, I thought maybe this guy was different, that there might be such a thing as having chemistry, deeper than the physical attraction. I thought he was the one who could see past all this.”
Some funny moments at a party where she finds better insults for her scar...
Disgusting: you know, with the right tattoo art, you could make it look like a vagina. Sexual: you know what they say about girls with scars. They’ll try anything.
Cinematic: Is your favorite movie the Lion King?"
And some weak moments.

"I need you to let me be weak for a second. Let me be break. I can’t be strong all the time. It’s exhausting.”

But in the end, happy ending. All's well that ends well.

Profile Image for Natshane.
537 reviews53 followers
April 10, 2017
I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of Don't Kiss the Messenger provided by Entangled Teen and the author. Thank you for showing me that scars can be beautiful too.

"Love has two sides. First, it amazes us with its force. Then it humbles us with its sincerity."

Entangled Crush is best known for their cute and straightforward high school romances, some titles make you laugh, while some make you feel young at heart. On the other end of the spectrum, there are books like this whose blurb and cover promise you a lighthearted read, but you emerged feeling emotionally charged *cue the neverending thoughts about life * while battling your inner child to stop fangirling at the characters.

This has been one of those books.

I dived into the story expecting a storyline that has been written gazillion times (I'm a sucker for cliches), hoping to satisfy my cravings for YA high school romances. What I got in return surpassed all of my expectations and left me desperate for more. Katie Ray's writing is phenomenal!

I could spend hours telling you just how much I enjoyed CeCe's (or Brynn's) conversation with Emmett, incredibly poetic and deep, I look forward to reading their exchange every single time. I could literally feel their passion for music and shakespear and there's nothing I enjoyed more than a good literature.

Another plus point for DKTM was that the characterizations were so on point. The author did a fantastic job with CeCe's character by portraying her as a scarred young girl who used sassiness as a makeup for her insecurities. It was heartbreaking to read how CeCe hides behind her scars, but it was also wonderful to see how she broke through the shell and embrace her own self. I love her voice and she's the main factor for my 5 stars rating!

On the other hand, the secondary characters were also beautifully written. I couldn't even bring myself to hate Brynn for her simple-minded demeanor because she added so much humor to the story!

Definitely, worth the read, you know what, I think I'll give this a reread!

Profile Image for Shirley.
851 reviews195 followers
April 14, 2017
Original review

Don't Kiss the Messenger tells the story of CeCe Edmonds. CeCe had a car accident when she was younger and because of that she has a scar on her face. She's been dealing with a lot of stares and whispers about her scar, so now she's tough and doesn't back away when someone's mean to her. It looks like she's fine, but she's not. She desperately wants someone to love her for who she is, but everyone only sees her scar... Until Emmett...

I really liked Don't Kiss the Messenger. I thought it was going to be like all the other books but it wasn't. I really liked the fact that CeCe got to know Emmett while she was texting/mailing for Emmett. But I do think Emmett is kinda stupid lol. It was so obvious that Bryn wasn't the girl he thought she was.

There are also some deep conversations about beauty and scars, and I really loved that. I have scars myself and sometimes I think that's the only thing other people see, but my scars aren't the things that define me. I really loved that Katie Ray put something like this in Don't Kiss the Messenger. It's such a life lesson and thank you for that!
Profile Image for ★ Belle The Bibliophile ★.
876 reviews243 followers
April 17, 2017
What I got from this tale: it doesn't matter if you have an attractive personality, if you're ugly, that guy will never notice you. Ever. Unless you make it obvious--even then he still won't notice you, not when there's an ethereal beauty in front of him. Looks matter, people!!

So yeah if you're ugly? Tough shit.

I'm mostly, sarcastic.

Not really.
Profile Image for Roxanne.
789 reviews51 followers
June 15, 2017
Many thanks to Entangled Teen Crush for the free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion!

Wow! This little book completely blew me away! Although I've read a few books from this particular imprint before, they in no way gave me any indication that I would fall in love with "Don't Kiss the Messenger". I expected a cute, contemporary YA romance with a few fun times and a couple of swoons, maybe some sweet characters, but a predictable plot and an overall lack of depth. Still, sometimes that is exactly the type of read I'm looking for, and I'm completely okay with that. In this case, however, I was surprised and thrilled to get way more than I bargained for.

First off, I have to talk about CeCe. She is amazing! She's smart, sarcastic, funny, loyal, strong and athletic, as well as competitive, and she's confident in her abilities. She's also extremely sensitive when it comes to her looks, specifically her facial scar, although she tries to cover her scar either literally with her hair or figuratively with her bold and engaging personality. She is under no illusions that any boy will ever want to be with her long term -  she's messed around occasionally with boys, but nothing has ever lasted more than a single encounter, and she's never been out on a date. My gosh, I totally empathized with her. There were a couple of times in this book where I felt sucker punched right in the feels, and I damn near bawled my eyes out! Embarrassing, yes, but I love it when a book makes me feel all sorts of emotions.

DKtM is not all tears and sobs, though - there are plenty of laughs and swoons, frustration and angst. I loved it all, including Emmett - he was a real sweetheart - and some of CeCe's volleyball teammates. Bryn, not so much - let's just say she's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and I found her to be oh so annoying. She has a good heart, though, so it's hard to dislike her entirely.

So even though the Cyrano de Bergerac tale is familiar, and some might say this plot is predictable, to me it felt fresh and unique because of the wonderful characters and excellent writing. I'd surely recommend this book to any contemporary YA fans - it's lovely! 

My rating: 4.5 stars
Profile Image for Taylor Fenner.
Author 12 books108 followers
April 10, 2017
CeCe Edmonds is used to people not being able to see past the disfiguring scar that runs down the side of her face. She's used to the staring, the pointing, and the taunting. To protect herself she's hidden behind a thick emotional armor and a witty talent for self-deprecation. She spends so much time focusing on her classes and her varsity volleyball team at her prep school, Edgelake, in Madison, Wisconsin that she can almost forget that she never gets asked out on dates and guys usually don't want more than a hook-up from her. Almost.

Enter the incredibly hot new quarterback, Emmett, who captures CeCe's attention while playing classical music while CeCe is on her way to class. Emmett first lays eyes on the bold girl with the scar when he arrives late to his Shakespeare English class and he doesn't seem at all bothered by the scar. Could Emmett finally be the guy who could look past CeCe's scar and appreciate the girl underneath?

CeCe doubts it because when Emmett spots Bryn, the Volleyball team's newest member and Edgelake's other new transfer student he instantly is attracted to her model-like looks and CeCe casts herself into the role of matchmaking best friend. But Emmett is looking for more than good looks, he wants someone he can talk to as well, and Bryn enlists CeCe's help to break the ice.

Like a modern-day Cyrano de Bergerac, CeCe swoops in and soon she's exchanging emails and texts with Emmett, pretending to be Bryn. CeCe quickly learns that Emmett is anything but a dumb jock and he could be just the guy she's been waiting for all this time. But Emmett thinks he's falling for Bryn - who sounds witty in her emails but acts completely different in person. Will Emmett figure out who he's really talking to? And if he does, can he look past CeCe's looks and actually love her for herself? Or will CeCe lose the first guy she's been able to be carefree with? The guy she's starting to love?

When I first picked up Don't Kiss the Messenger I was expecting a light, breezy, quick read but it is so much more than that. It's a breathtaking story about learning to love yourself and people looking past exterior beauty to get to know the person inside.

This book had me laughing out loud one moment and nearly crying the next because of how raw and relatable it is. Anyone who's ever thought themselves to have any sort of flaw will be able to see pieces of themselves in CeCe and be rooting for her the whole way through. Emmett was an amazing character, the rare type of guy that you hope actually exist in real life. And Bryn - OMG, I loved Bryn! She was the ditzy friend I always wished I had!

Overall, I loved everything about this book. The writing was absolutely beautiful! Perhaps it caught me at precisely the right moment, the moment I needed a story like this most. This is definitely a feel good book and I'm so glad I got to read it!
Profile Image for Tami .
1,123 reviews33 followers
March 10, 2017
It was a very adorable read. A very cute YA romance. More than just the class made me think of a specific playwright. This parallels a certain Shakespeare play.

This review is based on the ARC provided by the author and/or the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Dísir.
1,663 reviews168 followers
March 8, 2017
Too many shades of Cyrano de Begerac’s tragicomedy are at work here as CeCe lets herself get carried away as she helps a flighty teammate win the new Quarterback she likes through lyrics and poems (synchronicity matters in hobbies, after all), as things go predictably pear-shaped and minds get scrambled.

Yet ‘Don’t Kiss the Messenger’ has put me in such a bind. It’s cleverly written really, with bona fide depth to it like those arty teen movies of the ‘90s, with a kind of teenage-philosophising that comes when it gets melancholy. The insights into music, songs and life—written into the characters—do lend them a maturity that I don’t always read about, as they burst at the seams with literary references merged with heightened teenage angst. The hr was immensely relatable: made out to be the everyday geek-artistic girl who’s also an athlete, though I wondered if her personality—and the tough, razor-sharp exterior—had been shaped by the scar on her face. Her tendency to get lost in fiction, the prickly way she reacts because of her physical appearance...I could relate to all of it. Emmett himself was one of a kind: the artistic all-rounded guy who excelled in sports and music, with a sensitive side that made him a catch for any girl.

What frustrated me though, was that CeCe let it go that far for it to all blow up in her face, inevitably making this a story where there was always a third party in this awkward not-quite relationship throughout. I couldn’t understand how Emmett never did recognise the discrepancy in intelligence, or in the difference in CeCe’s and Bryn's voices (again, a scene taken straight out from Cyrano) and how that didn’t cause him to question anything more as he still went ahead with their physical relationship when he’d explicitly stated that he wanted to be in love with Bryn before falling into bed with her.

Yet the deception still went on; Emmett still ended up in bed with the other woman and that pretty much ruined it all for me, even though he realises in the end that he and CeCe had a soulmate connection. The epilogue felt almost like Emmett’s insistence at covering his bases—that he and CeCe were inevitable no matter what, but by then, I was less than convinced.

*ARC by netgalley
(always grateful, mind)
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 8 books331 followers
August 2, 2020
This was a really enjoyable read about a strong female character and a refreshingly multi-faceted male character. I really loved getting to know Ceecee and Emmett, in particular Ceecee who the book tended to show a deeper perspective on. So many times characters with a so called "flaw" whether it's social anxiety or pimples or weight or a medical condition tend to be portrayed as very weakened and ashamed, and I thought it was neat how although CeeCee certainly had some work to do before she cold be herself freely, she is a strong confident girl in so many ways, and that is really awesome to read.

I also really enjoyed the character of Tuba and thought she was well drawn, The relationships CeeCee has with the volleyball teamates, since there is little familial presence in the book, is an interesting one to look at, and sort of seems to serve as a surrogate. All in all a very enjoyable book.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author.

Please excuse typos. Entered on screen reader.
Profile Image for Rê .
455 reviews56 followers
April 10, 2017

3.5 “Scars, Sports & Illusions” Stars

ARC via NetGalley.

Thank you, Entangled Teen (Crush).

I'm still not sure how to rate this book, to be completely honest. While the main character took me on an emotional ride, giving me all the feels, I had problems with how the romance was portrayed here among other things.

Don't Kiss the Messenger didn't go at all as I expected. I've read my fair share of Entangled Crush books to expect sweet and cute stories with popular tropes (like the "falling in love with someone while thinking they're someone else" one). I didn't get sweet and cute from this book, though. This isn't exactly a critique, since I'm all in for angsty, smart and mature love stories, but getting that when I was expecting something else threw me off for a while.

This is a book about mature teenagers with a smart language and lots of references to literature and classic music--this last subjectisn't something I'm particularly familiar with, but I still enjoyed how it added layers to the story. You know when sometimes you read something and you feel like the characters and writer are way smarter than you? That's how I felt reading this. It isn't something that bothers me, because I'm always open to learning new things, but... again, it wasn't something I was expecting.

CeCe, the main and my favorite character, was a strong teenager with a rich backstory and a dry sense of humor that spoke to me. She was tough--and I LOVE though female characters. I love when they aren't afraid to show themselves as leaders and as someone with strong personalities. I don't know if CeCe was always that way, but after the car accident that left her with a scar taking over the entire left side of her face, she had to adapt and be tougher than those bullying her.

I high-fived her every time she stood up for herself. She had some "Ella Harper" (from Paper Princess) moments, and I LOVE myself some of that.

CeCe's journey made me laugh, root for her, want to slap her so she got her mind and actions straight, and even made me a little emotional toward the end. Despite disagreeing with how far she took things as the "fake Bryn", I still connected with her enough to want to follow her journey and get all the feels while I did it.

But while CeCe won me over, Emmet and Bryn, the two other major players in this story, didn't.

My problem with Bryn's storyline was more related to how people treated her (including the author) than with the girl herself. Look, I'm a bit tired of how people tend ot make girls who are into fashion, celebrities and hot boys into the dumb ones. Sure Bryn didn't show a lot of deapth, but I'm blaming that entired on how the author wanted to portray her. Being into celebrities and fashion doesn't necessarily mean that's all you're into, and it doesn't make you unable to have conversations about other things. I thought the way Bryn was written was unrealistic, stereotypical and damaging. Not to say unecessary. The author could've easily kept her as someone smart enough to have a conversation that didn't involve the words "hot" and "hair" and "make out" and still make her the wrong match for Emmet. There was no need to label her the "dumb girl".

CeCe's reactions to Bryn were some of the opportunities when she got on my nerves. She could be so condesceding at times. I think she really cared for Bryn and was initially trying to help her, but I wasn't okay with how she was basically rolling her eyes every time Bryn spoke. It felt too close to slut-shaming (which is something I'm finding myself less and less tolerant with, especially in YA)...except it was like dumb-shaming, or something in that sense.

Emmet, for his turn, didn't get the chance to dumb-shame Bryn, but that's only because he never got to know the real girl. He was too busy staring at her or making out with her to realize she wasn't exactly who she thought he was. I mean, come on, it was pretty obvious. Whenever he talked with CeCe, she spoke like the girl who emailed and texted her, but it never even crossed his mind that she was the one behind the e-messages he was getting from "Bryn". Really? I think CeCe's conclusion toward the end was spot on: Emmet was too busy wanting everything--the perfect face and the perfect brain in the same girl--to even consider anything else.

Emmet wasn't a bad character. I liked how smart he was. How he balanced his love for music with his love for football. How he never thought of CeCe as "the girl with the scar". He had some good things going for him, but the fact that he remained clueless for so long irritated me.

That and watching Bryn and Emmet get together. I mean, I was disappointed at the romance development here. I didn't pick this book up so I could read about Emmet and Bryn making out. I knew it was a possibility from the blurb, but I expected Emmet and CeCe to do some making out of their own, since this was supposed to be their love story. It took way too long to get to that, which made the whole romance aspect of the story (which was supposed to be the main aspect of the story) lacking.

Having said all of that, I can't say I disliked the book. It wasn't what I expected, but it still kept me reading. I liked how smart it was, how developed CeCe was as a character and how different the setting was. I was initially confused at the whole live-on-campus high school system, but I can see a lot of promise there for future books in the series. I only thought it was a bit strange to have all those high school students living in dorms without any supervision, since I'm assuming most of them were underage. Is that common? *shrugs*

Overall, I think this book deserves a mostly positive rating because of CeCe and her journey.
Profile Image for Sharon Mariampillai.
1,988 reviews86 followers
June 29, 2017
Actual Rating: 4.5

Thank you Sharon J for recommending this book to me. This was an amazing read. It tugged at my heartstrings a bit. There were a few points where I cried while I read the book. The characters were great. Although, I did get annoyed by the heroine, Cece. She is a girl who write emails to a boy for another girl. I wished that she would have told the truth. Emmett was a sweet guy. I thought that he had a way with words because he had a very poetic way of speaking. Bryn is an arrogant, superficial, yet kind transfer student. This book frustrated me a bit. I thought the ending was great. The writing was very good. I can't wait to see what happens next in the series. Overall, an incredible read.
Profile Image for Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer.
1,512 reviews5 followers
April 10, 2017
Thanks to Chapter-by-Chapter and Entangled Teen for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

When Emmett and Bryn start attending Edgelake High their senior year they re-enact their own modern Cyrano de Bergerac love story with CeCe smack in the middle. CeCe, while a leader on the volleyball court takes a back seat in love due to the large scar on her face. Emmett, the new football quarterback is blindsided by the gorgeous looks of fellow new student Bryn but falls in love with her emails and texts sent by her secret messenger CeCe. Will they sort out this love tangle?

Right off the bat I really enjoyed how all of these teens were athletes. They had other interests too so they weren't two dimensional meatheads but this isn't a book about the stereotypical nerds (not that there's anything wrong with nerds :) that we read about all the time in contemporary books. Their lives did revolve around their games and competitions though and that added another element to the classic high school story. In fact it honestly felt more like a college book at times which isn't a bad thing necessarily but definitely focused on those sorts of concerns (sex, drinking and partying). Watford and the Shakespeare class was a good side element.

The setup was really strong and made me root for all the characters even Bryn. Smart choices were made by the author that sucked you into the story: Shakespeare, playlists, science, just to give you a few clues! Part of what caused me to enjoy the book so much was how individual each character felt. CeCe was a sum total of dealing with the stares caused by her scar. Even her family life was affected by that accident and this was the time she had to deal with it before she went into the larger world. Emmett's ticket to college will be his sport's scholarship but he is the person he is due to the music he shared with his father. Will a football groupie really make a satisfying relationship? Bryn has always relied on her body and appearance to make a connection in her relationships and to do otherwise makes her feel very insecure. This depth really informed the plot so that by the end I wasn't surprised at all by any of the character's actions or conclusions. This is the kind of writing that I love: well thought out, developed storytelling!

I also loved the ideas she presented as the characters took these journeys of self-discovery. Like this from Emmett:
"Some of our best memories were made inside here, driving at night and dissecting music under a broken sky of stars. Some things I refused to let go. Some memories were worth the weight of carrying."

And this perspective on sports by CeCe:
"I loved that sports gave women a reason to be unpretty, in the traditional sense. It made stamina, strength, endurance, and mental toughness attractive. Flushed cheeks were your makeup, muscles your accessory, and sweat your glitter."

Honestly I could quote many passages in this book... I can see where CeCe gets caught up relating so well to Emmett online and how freeing it is that he doesn't know they are her words. She has no pressure from him at all and can be herself. On the other side of it are the feelings she is starting to have when she is with him... This is definitely CeCe's book but there were moments where Emmett could be protective but in a modern way where her femininity remained intact.

A little past 60% I was quite surprised where the story went, it wasn't bad and the moments were just as stellar post-50% as pre-50% but I was hoping that the pretending would end and the story would develop past the lies before the book ended. CeCe gets in way too deep... and I loved how that happened with the chemistry experiments, skinny dipping and the SPIDER (which I hoped would end things...!) But to be frank this is where the story shows to be about high school and not college.

I did really enjoy how this helped CeCe to break through the walls she'd built between her and her mother... Their conversation was poignant and beautiful even though she wasn't hearing what she wanted to hear. And I wasn't surprised when she makes a left turn with Tucker... it worked to me and I was so relieved it wasn't worse! I enjoyed how music helped Emmett adjust to the idea two woman had been in his life (rarely do we get such a well done dual story!)

Love how Bryan broke it off with the truth... I really loved that she was never made out to be a villain she was just a girl with her own hangups even though she was gorgeous looking. Oh and I loved Tuba's pep talk! What a friend! We all have things we are rejected for or are insecure about... CeCe is such a regular girl, an athlete too but just as needy and insecure as everyone else! All girls need to learn how to self love themselves before others can too and this book gives a great rendition of how we do that...

BOTTOM LINE: Modern athlete version of the Cyrano de Bergerac love story!
Profile Image for Ira.
688 reviews10 followers
March 21, 2017
Wow, this book drew me in! From the first page on I was hooked and didn't put the book down till the end.
I can't even tell what I felt exactly, because due to the unusual circumstances (and some insecurities and some stupidity and...well, you get the point, right?) my feelings changed every other minute. I was sighing and grinning foolishly, was really really upset the next minute, started ranting and swearing am second later and would have loved to kick somebody or other - well, sometimes.

Take CeCe, you just have to love her - and I was so upset when people reacted badly to her scar and I just would have loved to hug her - while kicking somebody's back. And then Bryn - clueless, sweet, egocentric, beautiful - every guy's dream. At least as long as he doesn't want to dig too deep and doesn't try to look for more. Together - they are irresistible, aren't they? Is it possible to fall, hard, for someone's inner beauty instead of the obvious beauty on the outside? Or is it really just beauty that matters?

When Emmett falls for Bryn, he can't believe his luck - perfection on the outside and a perfect character, all in one. Well... There might be something else - or rather someone else. How is it possible to fall for one person, to feel so close to her and somehow it never really adds up? Something is off and he is desperately trying to find out what it is and how to really connect with the wonderful woman Bryn promises to be. At least, ...well, read for yourself, it's definitely worth it!

I loved how strong Cece was and I loved to see her rattled and realizing that sometimes life may have more in store for you than you can imagine.
This is a wonderful book about getting to know somebody, really getting to know somebody, it's about self-acceptance, insecurity, peoples' strengths, their weaknesses and about finding the one with whom you feel just right. The one who loves you and who doesn't care whether you have a scar, are big or tall or -whatever because you are just right, just the way you are.

Sometimes it takes a bit longer and the way to happiness may be a bit longer and a bit less straightforward than you may have wished for but love is worth the fight and worth the wait.
I really loved this book, I liked the "First comes love" and "Awaken" series that the author wrote as Katie Kacvinsky but this book is much more intense and I just couldn't put it down.

So, no matter what, don't shoot, ummm, kiss the messenger, you never know if he (or she) is really the one who sent the message!
Profile Image for diana.
815 reviews116 followers
March 9, 2017
This is, like, the most adorable and the most frustrating book I've come across. Ever. Which wasn't at all what I expected to get from this. Honestly, I just couldn't sleep so I figured why not read a few pages just to tire myself out? But before I know it, it's already three in the morning and I was already turning the last page. Don't Kiss the Messenger surprised me in a really welcome and pleasant way.

Let me start off by saying that our MC, CeCe, puts a whole new twist at badass-ery and sass. I don't think I've ever come across an independent, bold and daring heroine as CeCe. I liked her from the get-go. And when she started spouting off Shakespeare with the effortless way of saying one's name and shown her love and passion for writing poetry and music, I just couldn't help but LOVE her. Honestly, I would love to be her friend. I'm pretty sure she's the kind who would have your back no matter what. I like her dry humor and her love of science. The author created a very complex character in CeCe and I just LOVE it... Have I mentioned I love it?

And Emmett Brady. Man that guy. Is there by any chance that he’s one of Will Herondale’s descendants? Because I’ve never seen any guy in all of the YA contemporary books I’ve read who’s as gentlemanly and old school and soulful and romantic and intense as Emmett is. He never does anything halfheartedly which is one of the things I love about his character. He’s very passionate and… well who wouldn’t love a passionate guy who’d sweep you off your feet? Not to mention someone very good at writing music and is very poetic. Um, YES PLEASE.

Honestly, I would have given this book a five-star rating if it weren't for the whole drama about who's emailing/texting/chatting who. I really could have punched Emmett in the face for being so naive and clueless. How could he not have figured it out? And CeCe was just as annoyingly maddening when she kept on denying what is so glaringly obvious. But damn it if it didn't made me love and root for them more. Seriously, the romance was slow-burn and every exchanged words/quotes/poetry/song lyrics between Emmett and CeCe just turned my heart to goo.

This book is an absolute must-read. The author's writing is lyrical and very engrossing. You wouldn't want to stop reading. Oh and have I mentioned CeCe’s amazing friends? They wouldn’t coddle and smother you but you bet they’ll be right behind you when you need them. Tuba is an absolute favorite of mine. I wouldn’t be surprised if the author decided to give Tuba her own book. There wasn’t much backstory on the supporting characters so I’m really quite intrigued.
Don’t Kiss the Messenger sets itself apart from other YA contemporaries with the emotional depth it packs that would surprise and ensnare you. It is a heartwarming, emotional and lovely story about family, friendships, love, self-acceptance and just being brave enough to be who you really are despite all your flaws- physical or otherwise.

I received an e-arc to read and review.
Profile Image for Sophie.
274 reviews
March 12, 2017
Netgalley copy in exchange for an honest review.

Great story + good writing + amazing main characters + dual povs + intelligent cast = AMAZING BOOK.
Profile Image for Sabina.
156 reviews8 followers
March 9, 2017
A book with lots of playlists recommends itself to me instantly. Cece and Emmett aren't average sports people, they are both very passionate about music and literature. I loved their eloquent and frequently artistic discussions, the metaphores they used. Cece feels alert all the time since people pay a lot of attention to her scarred face, but she learns that the scare actually made her who she is and she slowly accepts it. It's a romantic love stroy full of uncertainties and love letters. I really enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Erica Chilson.
Author 34 books431 followers
March 28, 2017
I received a copy of this title to read and review for Wicked Reads

4 Angsty Stars

Young Adult age-range: 14+ due to sexual situations and adult language.

Katie Ray is a new-to-me author, and I was instantly hooked from the first paragraph. Swift pacing, easy to relate to characters, and realistic emotions. Beyond frustrating for an adult to read.

CeCe is a strong character: athletic, a true leader, crazy about music and literature- deep and cerebral-centric. She is also scarred on her cheek from a car accident as a child. It doesn't matter how amazing she is in all aspects of her life, first impressions matter. Before anyone gets to know her, all they see is her scar. Once they get to know her, their friendship is easy. But the problem is, in order to have a love life, the mating dance begins in the most shallowest of ways... by first impression.

CeCe is confident, but relegates herself in the friend-zone, never even daydreaming that anyone would ever want to date her. This isn't a self-esteem issue. Simply looking in the mirror and recognizing who is staring back. I'd love to say this isn't realistic, or that teenagers grow out of the vapid view they have on beauty, but it still holds true from birth to death. A disturbing fact of life, no matter how deep a person we all pretend to be, the bright and shiny attracts us first and foremost.

As the volleyball captain, CeCe is friends with her teammates. One girl in particular, a new transfer, latches herself onto CeCe. Bryn is sweet and clueless, but she's even more beautiful on the outside. She's not malicious, just immature and uneducated. I wouldn't say she's shallow. She's a teenage girl, and it doesn't make her vapid because she doesn't want to listen to sonnets or classical music or experience deep, intense conversation during makeout sessions. She just needs to find the right fit, friend-and-boyfriend-wise.

Bryn gives the best first impressions.

CeCe does not.

Bryn doesn't have the ability to retain the sparkle after a few minutes.

CeCe shines as soon as her mouth opens.

Bryn begs her new friend to help her out with the hot guy. Having a crush on the same guy, CeCe knows she doesn't have a snowball's chance after spying the boy eyeing Bryn, so she agrees to help her break the ice. The ice breakage turns into glacier proportions, some of which was difficult for me to read.

One sentence by CeCe had me cheering. For all of his intensity, Emmett was the most vapid character on the pages for being blinded by Bryn. Bryn is a great girl, but not what he's looking for, but he was obsessed with the outside packaging. Emmett is the epitome of vapid- because depth doesn't mean deep talks and writing music, it's first impressions and wanting Bryn without knowing her. Everything he voiced he belied in action.

Emmett is a teenage boy first and foremost. His intensity was a bit over-the-top for me to swallow. How a switch was flipped between the cerebral and the physical- if Bryn took a piece of clothing off, Emmett lost 100 IQ points. Hormones. Idiots. He kept saying he wanted love first, yet he kept jumping Bryn's bones. How can someone so intelligent be so... blind? I can't buy into that. It would take 2 seconds to figure out Bryn had no clue what he was talking about, and it had nothing to do with opening up emotionally. No way. No how. If you say you don't like specific genres of music, that isn't an emotion- that's an opinion. But no alarms sounded in his mind when Bryn in person contradicted Bryn in email? He believed what he wanted to believe, saw what he wanted to see... Emmett was a vapid, vapid boy who was obsessed with being in love... the fake, false, romanticized version of love- the fantasy that is NEVER reality... moving on.

I struggled while reading the novel, having to repeatedly remind myself that Emmett's a boy. I'm a grown woman, and I know a few things, so for a large part of the novel I was strangling my Kindle, envisioning it was the characters. No matter how frustrated I may have been, their actions/reactions were exactly as idiotic, shallow, and book-cover-deep as human nature predicts. Doesn't make them bad, just human.

I don't want to spiral down the rabbit hole where I complain, because I truly loved this angsty gem of a novel. But it was a bit much for my adult mind to find entertaining at times. Teens will go flipping nuts for it, no doubt. Seriously.

I just had a hard time finding the balance between two characters who spewed their intelligence on the pages, being so unintelligent the rest of the time. I can't quote books, and I'm a writer and avid reader. But these athletes, the top of their sports, who write music, play and compose music, know literature better than those who wrote the stories...

Too much maturity and too good at everything, almost making them so deep if felt like they were playacting what they thought was sophisticated, highlighting how shallow it was to want shoes or wear makeup and not be involved in intense conversations about music and literature... Yet they were the most immature and blind of the cast of characters.

Emmett's friend even told the idiot he was catfished- and I was like, hallelujah! We're finished with this fiasco -Emmett just smiled and nodded his head. The genius Emmett... crawling out of that rabbit hole- apologies.

All in all, as I said, I loved it. Teens will find it deliciously angsty. The grown adult in me had a difficult time not shaking the characters and grounding them, teaching them life lessons... because the moral of not messing around with people's emotions and taking responsibility for it was glossed over on the pages... how you're not better than someone else based on your interests... how shaming anyone different is wrong, in order to highlight how right you are. .. how romanticizing love makes it false emotion.

Don't be pretentious.

Signing off before the adult in me lets loose. My apologies.

I want a book featuring Frank, just saying... I think most of the readers would agree.

Girl power! Confession, I loved both CeCe and Bryn, even though I would have a stern talk with them. However, nothing was going to get me to like Emmett. He's the phony type who will repeat this trend for life. That's the grown woman in me talking. Reminds me of Noah from The Affair. LOL!
Profile Image for Cassie.
328 reviews60 followers
April 13, 2017
Don’t Kiss the Messenger is a gender-reversed, high school retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac. It’s a story about disguise, miscommunication, and hidden crushes. Often I find stories about deception frustrating because I am so impatient for the truth to be revealed, but in this book the use of modern technology to disguise flirtation is creatively thought out and well executed. I thought (and loved) that the book gave off vibes that reminisced the classic independent heroine and witty banter that is portrayed in the movie 10 Things I Hate About You.

One of my favorite parts of Don’t Kiss the Messenger was the constant references to Shakespeare. You cannot go into a story focused on disguise and deception without Shakespeare’s works making an appearance. And every time Cece, the main character, quoted a Shakespeare play, I would get so excited. It’s not every day you read a character that appreciates the language of the Bard.

Not only is Cece a Shakespeare fanatic, but she is also likable, sarcastic, confident, and fierce. Although she faces scrutiny every day from strangers who take pity on her or are awe-struck by the scars on her face, Cece keeps her head up high and tries to excel in every way she possibly can. She tries not to let her flaws define her, but it’s hard because she lives in a world that focuses on perfection as a defining factor. Cece has excellent taste in music, she’s fearless, and I love that she knows that sometimes a good cry is the best medicine.

I also liked Emmett, Cece’s crush. Emmett is not set up as the perfect high school jock. He has a past that is heartbreaking, and a future that needs mending. Emmett might be clueless on a few things, but his interest in literature, music, and defending his friends makes him stand out.

Cece and Emmett’s friendship and relationship is an emotional roller coaster. And even though they have their twists and turns, the chemistry between these two characters is electric. Their friendship is based on witticism, sarcasm, and laughs. I love how they feed off each other’s energy and their banter is so cute and hilarious. I rooted for them the entire book, even when the disguised messages were grating my last nerve, hahaha.

Although stories that use disguises as a tricking mechanism sometimes frustrate me, the deceiving charade that takes place in Don’t Kiss the Messenger is heartwarming and swoony. Yes, I might have gotten annoyed at times, mainly because I wanted the truth leaked, but deception was perfectly set up as a steady beat throughout the pages and had me hooked to the very end. I highly recommend this book to fans of Shakespeare, literature nerds, music fiends, and anyone who appreciates a good love story.
Profile Image for Tara (Spinatale Reviews).
555 reviews50 followers
April 11, 2017
Don't Kiss the Messenger was an absolutely adorable, quick read. After reading that it is a retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac, I wanted to immediately go read the original.

Cece is an incredibly smart, vivacious character. Captain of the varsity volleyball team at a school where sports are everything, she should be one of the most popular students at school. However, the large scar on her face from a childhood accident seems to define her to her classmates more than anything else. I loved how tough and resilient Cece was in general (with the exception of one scene where she was more of a bully). The glimpses we get of what lay beneath her hardened exterior really rounded her out as a character.

Her developing relationship with Emmett was adorable. I was rooting for them from their very first interaction in English class. Emmett himself was another interesting character, the football player and musician. Both main characters were very well-developed and multidimensional. However, the secondary characters, particularly Bryn, weren't well-developed. I had a difficult time believing that Emmett seriously didn't at least have an idea that Bryn wasn't the girl he was messaging.

I'm fully supportive of the messaging confusion plot in the book but Bryn really didn't have to be such an airhead. Very little time is spent on her athletic abilities or the training and determination it took to get her there. Instead, Cece is portrayed as the well-rounded person who is also an incredible athlete while Bryn is a shallow person who has no other thoughts than rating a guy's hotness. Other than one mention at the beginning, we don't really hear about her performance on the team. The main focus is on how gorgeous she is and how boys are incredibly attracted to her. The author does Bryn a disservice by not developing her more fully.

Overall, this story was a quick and enjoyable read. I would recommend to fans of light YA contemporaries.

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Olivia.
2,973 reviews66 followers
March 14, 2017
"Don't Kiss the Messenger" was a sweet (albeit predictable) book about the misunderstandings and missteps of young love- in the style of Shakespeare. The book takes place at Edgelake, a combinating high school/college where the students live, attend classes, and compete on athletic teams. It's senior year, and CeCe is captain of the volleyball team. She is taking Shakespeare as an elective, and on the first day, she is paired up with the handsome new transfer the football team has been raving about- Emmett Brady. Later in the day, both are introduced to the gorgeous new transfer, Bryn, who is joining the volleyball team and can't stop turning heads.

Bryn and Emmett immediately have a physical connection, but Bryn is too shy (and shallow) to understand/reply to Emmett's texts (and later emails). She recruits CeCe to help her and chaos ensues, as CeCe begins to fall in love with Emmett, and Emmett is falling in love with the person he thinks is Bryn. Emmett and CeCe are continuing to socialize, due to class and due to Bryn, but CeCe believes (due to her past experiences) that no one will be able to see past the huge scar on her face- or love her more because of it. The book reminded me quite a bit of Shakespearean comedies, and I have to assume this was the intent (due to the Shakespeare class peppered in the story).

Overall, it was a fun and cute story that tackles the issues of physical insecurities (as we learn, not only CeCe has them) and what makes love- the substance of it. Bryn was a bit of a foil, as she was shallow and beautiful (pretty one-sided) and really only served as a marker for the opposite of CeCe/didn't really seem to be a developed character. It was a cute and predictable (although frustrating) love story, and overall, I really enjoyed it! I also really liked the science references/fun with chemistry, which was a cute touch. The book moves quickly and it was a fast read- a great summer/beachy read!

Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Jordan Marie.
239 reviews9 followers
April 8, 2017
****I received a copy of this title to read and review for Wicked Reads****

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up liking Don't Kiss the Messenger (DKTM) and was immediately hooked after just a few pages! CeCe Edmonds, the main character, is a strong female and very relatable. Katie Ray has easily won me over with this one. DKTM is a modern day retelling of Cyrano Bergerac, which I haven't read, but I am certainly intrigued by it now. Although, this is Katie Ray's first book under this pen name she has other books under Katie Kacvinsky and I will definitely be looking into what other gems she might have!

With a large scar on her face CeCe Edwards has dealt with the stares that follow her around Edgewood High School. However, CeCe never really cared about her looks, at least until Emmett Brady, recent transfer student and star football player, ends up as her partner in literature. But, when Emmett sees gorgeous Bryn, a recent transfer and one of CeCe's volleyball teammates, he's immediately smitten. When Bryn comes to CeCe to help her compose messages to charm Emmett she reluctantly helps, but suddenly finds herself falling for a guy who's into the wrong girl.

My one complaint was that I think this would've easily fit as a NA book by tweaking the private high school aspect to a college one to make it slightly more believable, but nonetheless I had no trouble being captivated by Ray's story. I think fans of Colleen Hoover's Maybe Someday will easily fall in love with this story and should definitely being adding this to their TBR piles! Five Stars for Katie Ray's DKTM *****

Profile Image for Illa .
558 reviews17 followers
March 11, 2017

I had so much fun reading this. I loved both Emmett and Cece. For me this felt real. You didn't need sex scenes to feel this two feelings. I know that I will rate a book high when no sex scenes or dirty talking is needed to feel the chemistry between the two leads, and Katie Ray did that exactly. I loved the friendship CeCe had with her roommates. I loved that guys even do they weren't romantically interested they weren't rude or mean to Cece. We did get to read about her being bullied by certain girls but she stood up to them.

I'm not going to lie there was a few times I wanted to slap Cece, more than Bryn. I really dislike that Bryn asked so much from Cece. And I dislike that Cece didn't have the guts to say NO!. Oh and she confused me, I know it must be hard to be scarred specially in the face where everyone can see it. She even stood up to anyone that had to say something about her scar, yet she still felt bad about herself. Is like she was a contradicton walking. She didn't want hide it with make up but she would cover it with her hair. She hated her scar more when Emmett walked in the picture because Emmett was like any other teenage boy who is fascinated by beauty and that hurt Cece because she confirm how import looks are in this society. But Cece was amazing, she was smart and nice. I loved her positive things more than the few negative things she had.

Emmett oh Emmett. This guy was super sweet and talented. Sadly he was confused for a while. Sincerely I really love him. I wish my son grows up to be like Emmett a guy that sees beyond a scar.

The only thing I missed here was a guy that liked Cece I was shipping Frank and her. I think they would of made a good couple for a few minutes until Emmett open his eyes. Jealousy does that to guys open their eyes to see what they are missing.

Overall I loved it!!

"Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review"

Profile Image for Heathery.
228 reviews7 followers
March 14, 2017
I received a copy of this book in exchange for review.

Emmett: I'm so hot. I'm a star football player, but I'm also a deeply emotional pianist. I speak in lyrics.

CeCe: I have a scar on my face. I'm so hideous. But not my 10/10 body. I'm also very deep/emotional and speak in lyrics.

Bryn: I'm a complete moron. I buy shoes. I have hair the color of soft wheat in the afternoon sunlight.

Tuba: I'm the only remotely normal character in this book.

These are the main characters. Despite my snarkiness about them, I actually DID find this book to be adorable and enjoyable. I just wish there wasn't so much... non-dimensionality to the characters. That's not a word, but whatever. CeCe tried so hard to be cooler than you. She knows everything, spouts off quotes at random, etc. She came off sounding like a preachy mouthpiece for the author at times. She does get better in the second half of the book, but she was pretty unlikable in the first half. Emmett took way too long to realize that Bryn was not the one emailing him. It made him seem rather dumb. Tuba--bless you, Tuba--was the only sane person with a voice of reason. I found myself saying YES to pretty much everything she said.

Again though, I did rather like this book, as is evident by my 4-star rating. The author does a great job at tugging at your heartstrings and getting you to root for the hero and heroine. You WANT their relationship to succeed. I'd just like to see a bit less self-projection from Ms. Ray in future books.
Profile Image for Gill.
141 reviews
March 12, 2017
This was such an adorable read, I loved almost everything about it. I had every intention of reading a chapter or two before bed but ended up finishing the entire book in one go because I just couldn’t put it down. Rarely does a book really surprise me but this one did, very different than what I was expecting.
Our protagonist CeCe takes the badass, 'I don’t care what you think of me’, sassy attitude to a whole new level and I love it. Emmett is the perfect love interest for her, he is old school gentleman, passionate, honest and straight talking. He’s definitely swoon worthy.
At times the story was frustrating because it was so obvious who was doing the emailing/texting/whatever and Emmett was clueless, it seemed like he believed what he wanted to rather than questioning the obvious. The frustration didn’t ruin my enjoyment though, if anything it made me get into the book more because I wanted Emmett to see what was in front of him.
What put me off giving 5 stars is the I found their email exchanges to be really pretentious, I felt a bit like I was Bryn whilst reading those parts. I understand both the characters were super into Shakespeare and poetry and that’s why the emails were written the way that they were but I could’ve done with a bit more age appropriate dialogue at times.
The friendship and blossoming romance was perfect, it had it’s lovely moments and it had me wanting to shake them both but I loved every second of reading about them.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough, it’s a must-read. You will end up completely captivated by the story and characters. I think Don’t Kiss The Messenger manages to make itself a very unique read and it has surprising amount of depth and intensity.
Profile Image for Emily Carter-Dunn.
506 reviews20 followers
March 18, 2017
I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley.

Don't Kiss the Messenger is all things I usually hate: a 'damaged' girl, popular guy, denial of feelings and cheesy cliche teen romance. Despite this, I LOVED this book.

CeCe is captain of the volleyball team and finds it hard to fit in due to a prominent scar on her cheek from a car accident. She meets Emmett, the new quarterback, in her English class and soon helps set up Emmett with the new volleyball team member, Bryn. Poor Bryn cannot string 2 words together, so Cece writes emails and texts to Emmett, helping him fall in love with Bryn. Surprise, surprise, CeCe soon falls in love with Emmett and emotional torment ensues.

The story is very predictable and cliche, but what makes it enjoyable is the wonderful writing style of Ray. You cannot help but become emotionally invested in Emmett and CeCe (not Byrn - eurgh) and I couldn't stop reading.

I only gave this 4 stars as it was nothing new and it really isn't believable that Emmett could not tell that it clearly was not Bryn writing the emails and texts.
March 14, 2017
I received a copy of this book from netgalley for review.

What I loved most about this book was CeCe. Her intelligence and strength covered how vulnerable and sweet she really was. I know she was guarded because of her scar, but I do believe it made her who she was. I loved Emmett, too. Bryn made me crazy. I know I was probably supposed to like her, but she was shallow and clueless. Not my favorite qualities.

I loved the music and the writing in this book. The chapter with the chemistry experiments was my favorite.

This quote really stood out to me: "But if you think about it, science and music are pretty similar," she said. "They're both just mixing different elements together, hoping to make a new discovery. Something fresh. Something inspiring. Or maybe it's just and answer to a question." I'm definitely going to be reading more books from the author.
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