Author: Alisha Sevigny
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Publication Date: November 18, 2014
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours
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.
I flop down on my bed, gripped by a sudden fierce home sickness, wishing I had my phone. I have no idea what’s happening with Miles. Alyssa, Ky, and the rest of the crew are probably lounging by a pool having a grand ol’ time, not even missing me one bit. And I’m trapped in a foreign country with people who can barely tolerate me. Not to mention my former nemesis.
Twisting the ring around my finger, a picture of my old self pops up, entering a classroom, late and puffing, red-cheeked and frizzy-haired. The door slams behind me and everyone looks up. In the frantic run to find my class my shirt has come untucked. I look down and see a white splotch of toothpaste on my red pants. So not the impression I want to make on my first day of middle school.
I look around for a seat, feeling awkward and like a total loser. My gaze lands on a familiar face: Travis Henley. He’d been a year ahead of me in elementary. He gives a cool nod of acknowledgement. Probably still sore I’d kicked his butt in the school’s Spelling Sensations contest. I’d won with “inoculate.” He’d spelled it with two n’s. The lingering smugness fades as I realize the seat next to him is the only one empty. Everyone’s staring. I scurry over, arms crossed tightly over my books.
“Anyone sitting here?” I whisper.
“Well, well, look who’s too smart for sixth grade.” He looks me up and down, taking in my disheveled appearance. “Have a seat, Messy Jessie,” he drawls.
And the name stuck. He’d teased me mercilessly right up until graduation, when he’d stuck some toilet paper on the back of my gown as I walked up to receive my award of academic achievement.
Fortunately, we’d gone to different high schools—though apparently not anymore—and I spent that summer before freshman year reinventing myself. Luckily I was a quick study, and during that first year learned to hide the fact that I had a brain. It seemed to make people feel more comfortable. Sophomore year was marginally better, and by junior year “Messy Jessie” was long gone. I applied my book smarts to carefully analyze the formulas for popularity and through strategic learning and hard work, clawed my way up out of Geeksville and into the realm of the Socially Acceptable. Thanks to my mom’s Pilates connections and a bit of luck, I’d managed to befriend the popular crowd, miraculously landing in the stratosphere of the high school hierarchy.
And now it all could be ruined because of some stupid frogs. And Travis, if he decides to spill the beans about my former self. I’m sure Chrissy and Kiki would love to share the news with the rest of Cassels. Nothing like outing the phony.
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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