Release Date: 11/18/14
Summary from 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.
But I’m not happy. I’m miserable. Utterly bereft, depressed, and completely regretting my temporary moment of insanity.
I’m also mother-effing hot. Fanning myself, I look around the stifling van containing our driver, Hector, one oblivious teacher and six sweaty, hostile strangers. I didn’t pay much attention to them on the plane, consumed with my own inner turmoil, but none seem overly familiar. Besides, it’s not like we run in the same social circles—not anymore anyway. No one speaks a word to me. I get the vibe they’re less than thrilled about my last-minute annexation of their trip. Talk about joining the club.
I take a long drink from my water bottle, chugging hard. Sunglasses slide off the back of my head and a hand goes up to grab them.
“Better hang on tight to those Pradas, Princess,” says a voice from my past.
Water sprays out my nose and mouth, splattering the backs of the two girls sitting in the row in front of me, their shrieks simultaneous.
“What the hell?” the blond says, turning around and wiping her neck. The other girl, with the inky tresses, looks at me in disgust. I ignore them as I’m busy choking to death.
There are a few thumps on my back, and a cheery, “Easy does it, Messy Jessie.” I turn my head, everything in slow motion. I’m hearing things. My disbelieving eyes rake over the boy on my right, whose once cherubic face has morphed into something slightly more… archangelic? Probably why I hadn’t recognized him.
The world speeds up again.
“Panama is supposed to be pretty safe, Trav-ass,” I somehow manage to gasp between coughs, eyes watering, “but I would’ve thought you knew that.”
“Oh, I do,” he says, handing me the sunglasses I hadn’t been able to save from falling. “I’m just surprised you do.” He pushes wavy brown hair out of dark green eyes that glint with familiar mischief.
“There happens to be this fabulous invention called Google,” I retort, wiping the water dribbling down my chin. “In fact, you’re there under the search term ‘annoying-know-it-all.’”
He grins, straight white teeth competing with a faded image of him in braces. “At least you’re still aware of the fact that I do. Know it all.”
Too shocked to think of a decent come back, I face forward, staring out the bug-splattered windshield, my heart racing. You have got to be kidding me. Since when does Travis freaking Henley go to Cassels Prep?
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.