4.5 Hearts · YA Contemporary

Don’t Kiss the Messenger (Edgelake High School #1) by Katie Ray

Don’t Kiss the Messenger (Edgelake High School #1)  

by Katie Ray

Date: April 10, 2017 

Publisher: Entangled Teen Crush 

YA Contemporary

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 isblindsided 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.


Received a Advance Readers Copy from Entangled Publishing provided through Netgalley  in exchange for an Honest Review. 

In middle school one of my first plays I was in was titled  “A Middle School Romance” it was based off the story of Cyrano De Bergerac, but instead of the boy having a larger than life nose, the boy in the play had a larger than life pimple on his forehead. It was super silly and fun as a kid playing the lead girl at the age of 12/13, so this story was kind of funny that the larger than life body element was on a girl and not a boy. It just added to the shallowness of how much boys can be.

Cyrano de Bergerac is known in this story as Cece Edmonds. She doesn’t have a big nose or a giant zits on her. She has a scar. A scar that is big, a red, and stands out were ever she goes. There is no hiding from the scar or the history that comes from it. She has to be brave every day. Cece puts up a tough front, just so people will leave her alone. She has gotten used to the stares people send her way, and the whispers, name calling, but she always has a quick-witted retort to those less then intelligent individuals. She thrives on two things volleyball and music. She is gifted with her brain. Smart, sassy, and incredibly witty. She pushes herself to be the best and not allow other people to dictate her life. She tried to maintain control, but when the new volleyball player who is everything Cece is not comes to campus, Cece ends up losing more than her confidences, she ends up losing control of her heart.

Emmett just started at the high school/college. He got away from where he grew up, because of the horrible memories regarding the loss of his dad. He didn’t have really anyone to turn to. He ended up at a new school, playing QB for the football team and creating music. His love for music keeps him sane. However, he is a guy, and guys can’t help their hormones that drive them towards the opposite sex. When he sees a beautiful girl on the volleyball team, he knows he needs to sweep her off her feet. It starts with small talk through text messages, a few group outings, and then emailing back and forth. He loves what he sees and how he feels around Bryn, but the person he speaks to in person isn’t the same person that writes to him in email and text. He first feel in lust for Bryn with his eyes, but he fell in love with her through her written words. The only problem is Emmett doesn’t know that he is talking to two different girls.

Bryn ask Cece to help her win over the hot new QB on campus and Cece doesn’t see any harm in that, at first. A few short texts messages to help Bryn understand Emmett’s music text lingo. Then tagging along on some group outings to help the conversations move easier between the two. A few emails, doesn’t seem to be a bother, but when the conversations through email continue to become deeper. Cece’s emotions get in the way. She realizes that her heart has been talking to Emmett and the thought of him with Bryn breaks her. Cece is convinced that Emmett wouldn’t want her anyway because of the monstrous scar across her face. She is convinced that no boy will ever want to be seen in public with her. In the dark with the lights off is one thing, but to been seen by all, boys run away. Why would Emmett be any different?

Emmett is enamored with Bryn, but he has grown a strong friendship with Cece. Cece and him work together in the English Shakespeare class and have fun interaction with one another. Emmett begins to feel a type of protection towards Cece. The scar don’t scare him or turn him away. He believes it enhances Cece’s appeal. He values their friendship, but when he finds out the betrayal that was happening under his nose, he no longer is sure who is real or what is going on.

I have read a few different stories where the female character hides her identity from the male character she is writing. It is like Catfish on MTV, but without the cameras. It is never good when the other person finds out that they have been deceived. If you have read Ella and Cinder by Kelly Orem (and enjoyed it) then you should read this story.

One thing that I was confused by was the college/high school atmosphere and how that all worked out. It was confusing how they were the same but different.

The story is told through alternating POV’s of Cece and Emmett. It is not equally distributed, but consistent throughout the story.

I really liked it and I think the story was intriguing.

I wish there was more romance between our two characters at the end,

but the angst and build up was consistent.

 4.5 hearts


Parental: mild/active swearing, heavy make out scenes, drinking, drunk teenagers, sexual innuendos, bullying.



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