Published by Swoon Romance on November 18, 2014
Genres: contemporary, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Source: eARC from Publisher
Popular party girl and high school senior Jessica Scott has a secret: she used to be a nerd — a big one; a goody two-shoes, grade-skipping, all-state spelling bee champ. But she lost the braces, put on some contacts, and applied all her academic genius to studying and imitating the social elite. Now she rules the school from the upper echelon of the high school realm. With her cool new friends and hottest-guy-in-school boyfriend, life’s a beach — and that’s where she’s headed for Spring Break. That is, until her teacher breaks the bad news that she’s failing Biology — and her only chance to make up the grade is to throw away the culminating trip of her hard-earned popularity and join the Conservation Club in Panama to save the Golden Frog.
Unable to let go of her faded college dreams, Jess finds herself in a foreign country with a new social crew, and one handsome face that stands out as a blast from the past, threatening to ruin her queen bee reputation. Travis Henley may have grown up, but he still likes to play childish games and as payment for retrieving Jess’ lost ring from the bottom of a jungle pool, he wants three dates. While Jess does battle with spiders, snakes, wildfires and smart mean girls, she desperately tries to hang on to the last vestiges of her popular existence like the Golden Frog from its webbed toe. But as she starts to care about something more than tanning and texting – a species on the verge of disappearing forever – she may realize the worth of her inner nerd, and the one frog in particular that could be her prince in disguise.
Set in the lush and tropical El Valle de Anton, this modern fairytale re-imagining of “The Frog Prince” is toe-curling contemporary romance with an environmentalist heartbeat, in the tradition of Stephanie Perkins.
Kissing Frogs is a modern day re imagining of the Frog Prince. I will admit that I have never read the frog prince, and that I didn’t even know it was a re-imagining until after I was done reading and I saw the final summary. I know the basic idea, but I am not familiar with the details of the story. I just thought that Kissing Frogs sounded like a cute book. So I can’t tell you how close this rendition of the tale was, but I can say that Kissing Frogs was a cute read in a rich and beautiful setting.
The main character from kissing frogs, Jess, is a super brainy girl that wants to go to Berkeley, but you would never be able to tell because she reinvented herself between middle school and high school. She used to be teased a lot, and she went to great lengths to become one of the popular kids. Which was all good and well, but it made me sad that while she was doing this new version of herself that she felt like she had to hide the smart parts about herself. But she made up for it through the story because as time went on, you could see her becoming more and more interested in the things she used to love about learning. She called it letting her nerd out, but I just looked at it as herself re-learning what she loved about her brainy side.
My favorite part of the book was the Panama setting and the golden frogs. I loved learning about them and about the legend and lore that surrounded them. The school trip sounds like a blast. I would love to go on something like that. My girl scout troop in high school did a service trip to Mexico where we not only got to visit the country and explore, but we also did a service project for the community. It is such a rewarding experience and reading Kissing Frogs took me back to that time and those same feelings, which was great.
The romance in Kissing Frogs was cute as well, but I wanted a little more backstory on Jess and Travis. We know that he used to poke fun at her when they were younger and he was easier to read, but I never really knew where she stood on him from before? Did she have a crush on him? Did she never like him like that? I thought it would have been better to have more of their back story established early on. It would have helped me with their current dynamic better, but I still enjoyed reading about Jess. Kissing Frogs will take you to a beautifully rich and exotic setting, and it is a cute story to boot.
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