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Review: Kissing Games (+ Five Questions With Tara!)

Tara Eglington - Kissing Games
Published: June 5, 2018 by St. Martin's Press
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher (Thank you so much, Wednesday Books!)
Rating: 2.5/5

The course of true love never did run smooth. For a girl who shares her name with a princess (a.k.a Aurora from Sleeping Beauty) Aurora Skye’s life seem fathoms away from a fairytale. Sure, she’s landed Hayden Paris, Potential Prince extraordinaire. And she got her wish -- one first kiss with all the knee-trembling, butterfly-inducing gloriousness she’d hoped for. 

But Aurora’s learning that a kiss is just the beginning of a story. Instead of being the truly transcendent, utterly epic follow up it should be, her second attempt at kissing has literally landed Hayden Paris in the emergency room. If that’s not mortifying enough, the whole school is now referring to her as ‘Lethal Lips’.

Meanwhile it’s all systems go for her best friend Cassie - she and Potential Prince Scott are totally loved up and can’t stop kissing. Jelena (Jefferson High’s answer to Helen of Troy) has moved on from the heinous betrayal by Bad Boy Alex West and has unleashed her plan to rule the world by running for School Captain. Problem is Alex is running too and Jelena’s pulling out all the stops to prevent him from stealing her rightful place as ruler of Jefferson High - including offering Aurora’s Find a Prince/Princess Program as one of her campaign initiatives.
How is Aurora going to prove her program is foolproof and help Jelena win the election when her matchmaking manoeuvres seem to be throwing all the wrong people together - including the NAD and the hippy-dippy Ms Deforest -- and she can’t even convince Hayden to kiss her?
Firstly, this book is clearly is not YA, it's Middle Grade. Prior to actually having my first kiss, I would have devoured this read, however, but Hayden's near death experience in the first chapter will make the book for you. He risked his life in the name of love. Bless the innocence.

Only in novels are parents okay with their teenagers on a "study dates" without repercussions. WHO wears red lipstick to a pizza-study date, if you want that desired kiss or not? Do you realize how difficult it is to apply that???

Aurora Skye (bless this fair hearted Mary Sue) has a fabulous, supportive group of girls. Literally, they group text. They are so fab, but after her monstrous first kiss with her mostly requited crush, Hayden, she is deemed "Lethal Lips" by the student body, much to her dismay.

Regarding the lipstick thing AGAIN, they're obviously teenagers, although this reads more like an MG, considering how it's so innocently written. Lipstick is so hard to remove, and they wear it RELIGIOUSLY. Even to simple events like the movies with friends, I literally can't. Wear lip gloss, please.

Aurora could've EASILY done the ol switcheroo, ala Easy A, and accepted her haters in stride but she didn't. Hence my rating. I still adored her friends because they were supportive and amazing. I would love a college spinoff of Aurora and her best friends. Just abandon the boys altogether, and join a sorority.


1.       Do you have a designated writing/creative space? 

Yes – my husband and I live in a very small apartment in Sydney, Australia, but thankfully have a second bedroom, which I’ve made into a writer’s space – I have a big glass desk, a wall of bookshelves and a vision board, where I pin up images or quotes that relate to my current work-in-progress. My third book was a top ten bestseller in Australia (still in shock over that!), so I also have a copy of that bestseller chart for 2016-2017 pinned up, as a ‘you can DO THIS’ motivator for when I’m tired, discouraged or battling writers block.

2.       What do you do when you’re not writing? 

Besides writing, I’m passionate about two things – travel and cooking. So you’ll generally find me scrolling through TripAdvisor planning real or hypothetical holidays, or kneading pizza dough in my little kitchen. Or watching cat videos – LOTS of cat videos ;-)

3.       Any guilty pleasures? Television shows? Books of the moment you’re absolutely obsessed with?

I love The Bachelor, and Bachelor in Paradise, because they’re so OTT. I also love reality TV cooking shows, like Masterchef Australia. In terms of books – I recently read ‘Words in Deep Blue’ by Cath Crowley, which blew me away. If you love books, and bookstores, you will LOVE Cath’s novel. Highly recommended.

4.       What are you currently working on? Any available deets? 

I’m currently working on my fourth novel – ‘The Long Distance Playlist’– which is a modern YA epistolary novel, told in dual POV by a girl and a boy, who are childhood best friends. It’s due to be published in Australia and New Zealand sometime in 2019 – no plans for US release as of yet, but I am hopeful.

5.       Dare I ask: If Hayden could be played by anyone in a possible film/TV adaption, who might portray him?  

This is a tough one! I’ve had so many readers contact me with different opinions on what they think Hayden looks like, and who should play him! It would definitely need to be someone SUPER cute, that’s for sure! I’ve had a few people say Douglas Booth….


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