Thursday, November 20, 2014

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Kissing Frogs by Alisha Sevigny

Title: Kissing Frogs
Author: Alisha Sevigny
Release date: 11/18/14
Publisher: Swoon Romance

Book Description via Goodreads:

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.

Buy it here: Amazon

About the Author:

Alisha Sevigny holds a degree in Sociology and Professional Writing from the University of Victoria, is a film school graduate, former literary agent and current Social Media and Communications Director for an award-winning English school. A shameless romantic, Alisha and her husband have travelled the world together. On a recent trip to Panama with their new daughter, Alisha fell in love with the country, culture, and their national emblem, the Golden Frog. She was inspired to write her first Young Adult novel, Kissing Frogs. Born and raised in Kitimat, British Columbia, Alisha has always had a strong connection to the environment and conservationist spirit. She now lives in Toronto with her family.
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Four and a half stars.

I'll let you all in on a little secret: I was suckered in by the cover. I mean, just look at it. Look at how cute it is! I want a physical copy for my shelves, because it is absolutely darling. And I'm very happy to announce, that the story inside is just as lovely. This book is charming, well-written, and will hook you in from the start.

At first I didn't like the main character, Jessica. I really, really dislike girls who pretend to be stupid for popularity reasons. I knew people like this growing up and it just made me sad. Jessica was snarky and judgmental and I wasn't sure how I was going to like this book. And then I "got" it. Jessica didn't like having to pretend to be that way either, she just didn't know it yet. I loved watching her shape and grow throughout the trip to Panama, I liked seeing how she started to care about the project instead of just seeing it as a way to pass a class. And I loved watching her sort out her feelings, especially when it comes to Travis.

I adored Travis. He's smart and attractive and funny and passionate. It's easy to see why any girl would be smitten with him. I felt that all of the characters had unique voices that were brought to the table, and I got attached to most of them for different reasons. Jessica's new "nerd" friend Harp, for instance, is absolutely adorable and I wish I had a friend that sweet.

The setting and background of this story also add to its charm. Like Jessica, I fell in love with Panama and the allure/mythologies of the Gold Frog. The way that Sevigny describes every detail, from the gorgeous landscapes to the native animals, to the specific places and even the smells of local foods, it felt like I was actually in Panama. I have never been there. I have never wanted to be there. But I'll be damned if Sevigny didn't stir up an interest. There's also a lot of fun facts in this book. Because they're members of the conservation club, the whole group is well-versed in their studies, and chime in with information and tidbits about various things. I found these really interesting, and most importantly, it was done well-enough where it didn't feel like facts were being shoved down my throat.

My only real annoyance with this book was the fact that while Jessica is in Panama for her conservation report, her boyfriend and "best friends" are partying it up in Florida. I grew up in a pretty average town, neither rich nor poor. And no one, not even the popular clique, in high school would have gotten away with going to party unsupervised across the country. It made the book feel a bit more collegiate level in nature at time, when the characters are all still in high school. This didn't detract too much from the overall story, but it was something that bothered me.

I loved the sweet, clean, and admittedly cheesy romance (the characters comment on how cheesy it is too) that is Kissing Frogs. To the best of my knowledge this is a standalone, but I really, really hope to read more from these characters in the future. I recommend it for fans of YA contemporary romances.

I received this book via YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for my honest reviews. Thank you!

Follow the rest of the tour here!


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Blog Tour Organized by:
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  1. Omg that cover really is freaking adorable! I love it! And the story sounds great too, I must admit I don't easily pass up stories with a Travis in them anymore, and it's a good thing I don't, or I'd miss great finds like Kissing Frogs.

    1. It was such a good book. I'm happy about this, considering Swoon Romance's books haven't been my thing much so far.