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Don't Kiss the Messenger

Don't Kiss the Messenger

4.5 8
by Katie Ray

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“Unputdownably romantic!” —Tammara Webber, New York Times bestselling author of Easy

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


“Unputdownably romantic!” —Tammara Webber, New York Times bestselling author of Easy

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 is blindsided 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.

Product Details

Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date:
Edgelake High School
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File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Katie Ray (also known by her previous author name, Katie Kacvinsky) writes teen and new adult fiction novels. Her books have been nominated for YALSA awards, and First Comes Love was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. Her screenplay, A High Note, was a semifinalist in the Austin Screenplay Competition in 2015. She currently lives in Ashland, Wisconsin with her husband, two children, and a slightly insane dog.

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Don't Kiss the Messenger 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Arys 17 days ago
Don’t Kiss the Messenger by Katie Ray is a YA contemporary re-telling of the play, Cyrano de Bergerac. In Ray’s novel, CeCe Edmonds (this version’s Cyrano) has been left with a large scar on her face after being in a car accident as a child. Teased and whispered about growing up, she has formed a hard and tough persona as her shield. Now a senior in high school, she’s never cared about her looks at least until the new transfer student, Emmett Brady, becomes her new literature critique partner. CeCe may be attracted to him, but to her dismay, he seems to have eyes for her beautiful volleyball teammate Bryn DeNeuville, who seems to clam up when talking to boys, specifically Emmett. So Bryn asks CeCe to help her talk to Emmett via emails and texts, which CeCe agrees to do. And just like in Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac this good deed definitely does not bode well for the players, especially as CeCe begins to fall more and more for Emmett, while he’s falling for the wrong girl! Don’t Kiss the Messenger by Katie Ray follows Cyrano de Bergerac in regards to the highlights from the play like the deception, the love interest Emmett (Roxanne character) falling for the wrong person and not realizing who the messages are really coming from, and the ending with the revelation. So if you're familiar with Cyrano de Bergerac, the tale fits that well worn narrative, but Ms. Ray gives us a story filled with humor and characters who are both endearing and interesting, in their own modern setting and situations. While reading, I was completely reminded of the 1996 movie The Truth about Cats and Dogs with Janeane Garofalo and Uma Thurman. And just like with that movie that I loved, I felt Emmett really should have been able to tell the difference between CeCe and Bryn especially after talking with Bryn in person! The connection and chemistry between CeCe and Emmett was so palatable that it drove me crazy how CeCe was not telling Emmett the truth and how Emmett was completely blind to who really was the girl behind the emails and texts. All in all, Don't Kiss the Messenger by Katie Ray was a well-written novel, of a timeless tale, filled with romance, laughter, and learning to love oneself just as you are, no matter the outer shell. I happily recommend. (I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book I received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my open and honest review.)
TheThoughtSpot 18 days ago
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review. Thanks to Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Don't Kiss the Messenger by Katie Ray! Katie Ray has previously published works under the name of Katie Kacvinsky and her books have been popular with my library patrons. I believe that this new book of Katie's will be a popular read also. Don't Kiss the Messenger is a retelling of sorts. The story line is similar to the play, Cyrano de Bergerac where inner beauty overpowers outer beauty. This book is intelligent and eloquent in many ways, while still staying a young adult contemporary story! CeCe and Emmett take turns by alternating points of view throughout the book. CeCe has a scar on the right side of her face that she prefers to not be the focal point when she meets someone for the first time. Emmett is new to the school and a known high school football player. They both attend Honors Shakespeare class and are partnered on the first day. CeCe and Emmett share the trait of clever wit and they have tremendous similarities with their tastes in and knowledge of music and literature. They are both intense and dedicated athletes also; CeCe is the captain of the volleyball team and Emmett is the star quarterback. I love this book with its romantic gestures, self-esteem building thoughts and loyalty and friendship. 5 stars for this amazing realistic fiction read!
Rhondaz 20 days ago
Don't Kiss the Messenger by Katie Ray.......What a fun sweet book that brought me back to my high school. This book hooked me from the beginning to the last word. I loved Emmett the new high school jock that is hot and a mystery. CeCe is beautiful inside and out, but has a scar on her face and doesn't date, thinking no one will like her for more than a friend. She is everything Emmett wants, but Bryn is in the way, will they figure it out before it is to late. I highly recommend this book. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book from publisher via NetGalley.
taramichelle 20 days ago
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
kateyrossie 20 days ago
I received an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review from Entangled Publishing, so I’d like to say a huge thank you to the team there! CeCe is a teenage girl who is fierce, strong, and used to being stared at. With a scar on her face from a car crash when she was young, she has to deal with staring eyes and dumbfounded looks every day. Never did she imagine that the cute new football player would ever pay attention to her – not to mention hold a conversation with her. But, Emmett has his eyes on Bryn – the tall, dark, and irresistible new teammate on CeCe’s volleyball team. However, Bryn can’t hold a conversation with Emmett, so she asks CeCe to do it on her behalf. The summary of this book had me interested from the start – but when I actually dove into the story, I loved it even more! Katie Ray has built a story with wonderfully deep character development in just a short novel. CeCe is strong and puts a wall up around herself because she assumes no one will want to see past her scar. Emmett is cast as the handsome jock, but has another side devoted to lyricism and music. It is clear from the start that these two characters are meant to be together, but the actions and decisions that get them there are the fun part of this story. It is so emotional and well-written. CeCe starts to let her guard down to Emmett – and they are connecting on a deeper, more personal level – but she is behind the mask of the beautiful Bryn. I got just the right amount of frustration from this romantic story. I mean the kind of frustration where things just aren’t going the way you want them to, but they eventually end up there. Emmett just kept thinking that Bryn had a much deeper, philosophical side to her…but she just thought he was hot. That was literally it. Overall, I think CeCe and Emmett’s story was so adorable. I almost kept forgetting that they were high school students because the atmosphere of Edgelake High School is so college-esque. Ray has done a fantastic job with this story, and I would recommend this to anyone who loves romance!
KikiD870 20 days ago
I loved everything about Don't Kiss the Messenger! For me, this story was very much driven by the varied cast of characters. I loved that they weren't cast as ideals, but with the flaws and hangups that we all can relate to. CeCe Edmonds was in a devasting crash that left her scarred in what was probably the worst place for a girl/woman... her face. For her entire life, she had to endure the stares, the comments, even the outright cruel jeers. Eventually, she learned to cope by accepting it and herself as she was, dealing with it with a combination of humor and outright badassery. Emmett Brady is the new guy at school, popular and gorgeous. But he also has his own story and his own baggage. CeCe is instantly attracted to him, but does nothing about it because she knows there is no way someone like him would ever consider being more than friends with someone who looked like her. And this belief is solidified when he meets Bryn DeNeuville, the new girl. Bryn is CeCe's friend, but her polar opposite. Where CeCe is into interesting music and thought-provoking literature, Bryn is all about everything that is popular. And she has set her eyes on Emmett. The only problem? He seems to be the one guy she can't talk to OR relate to. So, she turns to CeCe to help her. It is Cyrano de Bergerac all over again, but modernized and set in the world of teenagers. There are emotional ups and downs, funny moments and sad. There were times when I wanted to jump into the book and talk some sense into one character or another. It is a story that really makes you think about love, relationships, friendships, real beauty, and what it means to be true to yourself. An amazing read!
onemused 20 days ago
"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.
Steph_B 24 days ago
4.5 out of 5 stars Don't Kiss the Messenger is a young adult contemporary read based on the story of Cyrano de Bergerac. As Cece tries convincing herself that she's only helping out her friend, Bryn win the new hot guy on campus she herself is slowly falling for Emmett who she doesn't believe would ever consider her due to physical imperfections. I enjoyed reading this cute read with likable characters. I do believe Cyrano would be proud of Cece with the antics Ms. Ray puts her through to finally realize she is worthy of love. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the eARC.