Don’t Kiss the Messenger by Katie Ray, Entangled Publishing, 2017. ISBN: 9781544236797. Reviewed by John R. Clark, MLIS.
What happens when a traumatic accident creates an emotional prison you believe will hold you forever? That’s CeCe Edmonds’ reality. She and her mom were hit by a drunk driver when she was little and the resulting scar that runs from her forehead to the corner of her mouth is what she believes everyone sees first. Maybe, but someone completely unexpected is able to see the amazing person behind it, although neither realizes it at first. Football quarterback Emmett Brady has his own locked away pain, in his case, the death the previous year of his dad.
When they meet, as literature critique partners, neither can imagine where that meeting will lead them. CeCe’s a star volleyball player and when her new transfer teammate Bryn DeNeuville, catches Emmett’s eye, Bryn panics. She’s never had to talk intelligently to a guy she likes. After coercing CeCe into texting and emailing Emmett while pretending to be her, things become an awkward mess. The more CeCe and Emmett go back and forth, the more they realize how they spark each others passions, but only one knows who the players are.
Emmett loves music as much as football and is struggling to create an original song for his performance class. Guess where the inspiration comes from? Watching the whole convoluted situation unravel, in part thanks to some wise and quirky secondary characters, makes for a very enjoyable read. This sits on the edge between YA and NA romantic fiction and is equally appropriate for either collection in a library.