- Published: 2016
- Number of pages: 304 pages
- Format: Epub
- File Size: 1.23 MB
- Authors: Robin Palmer
It’s 1986 and sixteen-year-old Zoe Brenner’s world revolves around Depeche Mode, Judd Nelson, exercise-obsessed parents, and her best friend Jonah. Then one day, in a freak Fun-Dip choking accident, Zoe falls unconscious, and awakes in the year 2016. So much has changed, and Zoe needs Jonah to help her make sense of it all. But in this life, Zoe is the most popular girl in school, and she soon realizes this Zoe doesn’t associate with nerds like Jonah. As Zoe juggles new technology, attempts to hide her enthusiasm for poet blouses, and manages to keep her super jock boyfriend at bay, she tries to rekindle her friendship with Jonah and use her popularity for a good cause. Will she ever get back to 1986? And more importantly, does she want to?
Review Praise for Robin Palmer!”A fun and frothy modern fairy tale!” –Melissa de la Cruz, author of the Blue Bloods series, on Cindy Ella “This formulaic, fairy-tale-based romance will be a favorite with girls. — SLJ on Cindy Ella”[T]he writing is sharp and…funny.” –SLJ on Geek Charming”Teenage girls looking for a light, enjoyable romance will not be disappointed” –VOYA on Little Miss Red”[A] frothy addition to the modern fairy-tale genre.”–Booklist on Little Miss Red
Reviews from Amazon users, collected at the time the book is getting published on UniedVRG. It can be related to shiping or paper quality instead of the book content:
⭐ I’d give this six stars if I could. I want to say “It’s ADORABLE,” but it’s actually smart and shrewd and creative and the humor just glitters. I started out highlighting my favorite phrases/lines, and finally just gave up because it was taking up too much of my reading time. I read it on a 12-hour Flight of the Damned from NYC to LA and it had me laughing out loud. My seat mate finally asked what I was reading on my Kindle. I summarized the plot and she said, “Wow, that sounds like so much fun! And smart, too.” It opened a whole conversation, which I finally had to shut down so I could keep on reading.Robin Palmer has hit the perfect tone with the character of Zoe — the self-deprecating, dry wit that is perfect for the genre — and she weaves through it sharp insights about “How to Be a Good Person,” which is a challenge in any era. There are familiar-with-a-twist main characters, quirky minor characters, and the world of Castle Heights High will be clear to anyone who went to secondary school. I love how specific and detailed Palmer is with all of her characters. Wonderful sparkly gems of personal traits of Jonah that only Zoe knows, and great descriptions that make the scene really “play out” in your mind — including double-takes and funny facial expressions. I really did wonder how the author would wrap up the time travel quandary satisfactorily — and she did. Because there is only so much you can control in life.Highly, HIGHLY recommended.
⭐ Once Upon A Kiss Review by Charlee Foster By: Robin PalmerI have read a lot of Robin Palmers books. This is definitely my favorite. It is your classic time travel story but with a twist. When main character Zoe Brenner goes from 1986 to 2016 she does not go alone everyone goes with her but they don’t know that. No one knows they time traveled they think this is normal except for Zoe of course. In 1986 she wasn’t popular she wasn’t unpopular she was just an average teenager. In 2016 she is the most popular girl in her grade her best friend is actually her archenemy and, her boyfriend is the most popular boy in her grade. To top it all off her actual best friend Johan won’t even talk to her. Wait there is more! She is in 2016 not 1986, well in1986 there was barley any technology in 2016 there is lots of technology. So not only does she have to deal with all this time travel stuff she has to learn what people are talking about because half of it she doesn’t even understand. She goes to her little brother for help who is old enough to know about technology. She tells him her story which I’m not totally sure he believes but he teaches her about all the technology in 2016 anyway. It helps her out a lot so she can at least pretend she is from 2016. She goes to school acting totally different then everyone thinks she is but she is really just being herself. In 2016 she is class president so she thinks she can help people but her ideas aren’t exactly what people want to here. Worst thing is people are getting alarmed that she is acting “different”, even though she is just being herself.Zoe is trying really hard to go home she is learning any thing she can about time travel so she can get home to her time. So, when she figures out what she has to do It’s not her favorite option but the thing is will it work. Read the book to find out.
⭐ ‘Once Upon a Kiss’ by Robin Palmer was a delightfully smart and witty read. It captured the angst of adolescence mixed with the doubts, intensity, and courage that make the characters in YA novels so fun and easy to read about.Zoe is not quite unpopular, but she resides on the outskirts of the hierarchy that makes up her high school. Her best friend, Jonah, is right there with her. She knows everything about him, as he does about her, and even though they seem a perfect match, their friendship overrides any romantic feelings that Zoe is sure will never develop. Andrea, the typical mean girl character, is always around to make Zoe’s life more annoying, while her boyfriend, Brad, is nice, but falls under Andrea’s spell quite easily. The variety of other characters that we meet when Zoe is a teenager in 1986 all come back into play when she is somehow transported to the year 2016.Thinking it all occurred as the result of a horrible incident at her favorite store, she doesn’t know how to cope with all the newfound technology, music, and relationship developments that are populating her new life. Not only is she now the most popular girl in school, but she is downright mean and vindictive, much like Andrea was back in 1986. Except now Andrea is Zoe’s sidekick.Robin Palmer has taken it upon herself to make ‘Once Upon a Kiss’ readers question what they would do if given the chance to be someone they’re not, but in a way that allowed changes to be made that would benefit the masses. Zoe’s supposedly selfish and hateful personality in 2016 is turned on its head when the “new” (or “old,” if you think about it, since she came from 1986) Zoe arrives, ready to start fresh and turn over a new leaf in terms of who she is and what she wants out of life. The skepticism of her fellow classmates and family members, as well as best friend Jonah, who is nowhere even close to being remotely interested in even knowing who she is when she arrives in 2016, is extremely realistic. People are always wary of change, especially when it comes from unlikely sources. Yet, the point of much of the novel was about bringing people together and showcasing people’s personalities and cultures beyond judgments people make without really knowing someone.Truly thought-provoking and definitely a page-turner, I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever sought a new perspective or wondered what would happen if given the chance to start again. It is truly amazing how enlightening life can be when you allow yourself to see the world through different lenses.Beth Rodgers, Author of ‘Freshman Fourteen,’ A Young Adult Novel
⭐ This could have been a great fun and interesting book. Unfortunately the author wrote flat caricatures instead of developing actual characters.The premise is Zoe a teenager from 1986 is transported 30 years into the future. Most people who are thrust 30 years into the future would play around with new technology but Zoe is mostly uninterested. She’s unimpressed with her iphone, which can make phone calls, take pictures you can see right away, and play music and games on. You’d think she would be fascinated with that as well streaming services, and Instagram and snapchat, but all she wants to do is get back to grainy TVs and VHS tapes.She’s also supposed to be interested in music but instead of exploring new music, all she listens to is Depeche Mode and New Order. Similarly she’s supposed to care about current issues but she doesnt give a damn about anything that happened in the last 30 years. Same with her supposed interest in fashion, all she wants to do is wear poet blouses and cullottes. Not the slightest fascination or interest in anything new.We are given cartoon cutouts instead of actual characters to care about. All the popular people are mean, shallow and undeserving of their popularity. All the unpopular people are outcasts, who are supposed to be interesting but are as vapid as the popular people, just vapid in a different way.Zoe is unpopular in 1986, she thinks she’s cooler, better and more caring than the popular people because she tries to stand out and look like she belongs in a MTV video circa 1986. She’s just as entitled as the popular girls she hates. She’s pretentious full of herself, thinks she’s smarter and better than everybody else, but ironically can’t see that she’s just like the people she doesn’t like. The only difference between her and them is that other people respect the popular crowd, and they have the power to make her a social outcast, but she’s just as snobby as they are just in her own way. She’s a snob without the power.Zoe in 2016 is now popular going to high school with the same people just in modern times. She still thinks she’s better than everyone else but the twist is she doesnt have her BFF Jonah to validate her. Her former enemy Andrea is now her BFF, and now she has a boyfriend Brad, who she treats horribly, in 1986 he was her enemy’s boyfriend. Poor guy, Andrea treated him like crap in 1986, and Zoe treats him like crap in 2016.All 2016 Zoe wants to do is get back to 1986, she’s as boring as she sounds.I stopped reading at 33 percent because I felt that I had suffered enough. I didnt read the ending but I predict that she and Jonah will end up a couple. She will probably also be transported back to 1986 knowing all her enemies and fellow students weaknesses, and she will expose them to make their lives better or some other nonsense.
⭐ 4.5At first, the story takes place in the ’80s. ’86, to be exact. Zoe Brenner is quite happy with her life. She and her best friend, Jonah, are inseparable. Her parents have invented “Discocize”, the latest exercise trend, and she’s absolutely infatuated with Judd Nelson. I mean, rightly so. Have you seen the man?The only sore point in Zoe’s life is her arch nemesis, stereotypical mean girl, Andrea. As they’re both running for class president, they aren’t the greatest friends, and while Zoe has to beg for votes, Andrea earns them easily. Their speeches play a significant role. So when all the votes are tallied, the class election is a landslide – mainly due to Andrea’s popularity – and Andrea is decreed president, much to the chagrin of Zoe.Eventually, Zoe goes back to her sad (sort-of but not really) life as an employee at Hot Dog on a Stick. But after a traumatizing corndog incident, she’s fired that same day and dashes to her favorite clothing store owned by a sweet gal named Vicky with a packet of Fun Dip. Terri presents her a fabulous Lycra minidress and she runs to try it on. But after strutting out of the dressing room, she’s stunned to find herself under the gaze of Andrea’s boyfriend, the ultimate tool, Brad Bundy, who owns an “Easter egg-like palette of polo shirts.”Zoe couldn’t be more peeved at his presence. So when she starts choking on Fun Dip and Brad is rushing in with his CPR training, she’s horrified in more ways than one.Then, everything goes dark.Then, Zoe awakens in her bed.THEN, she discovers peculiar items in her room and her brother mentioning something called “Instagram” and a closet full of pink things, and something called Starbucks. The year is 2016 and Fun Dip is the culprit. It’s soon discovered Andrea is her new best friend, Brad is her boyfriend, Zoe has become the queen bee, and Jonah wants nothing to do with her and has found a new best friend in another chick.Like I said, her only friends are Andrea and Brad, who have become semi-decent people in 2016. The 2016 versions of Andrea and Brad were so loyal and genuine. Though I mostly liked Zoe, she treated them pretty terribly and I wish she made an effort to like them. And in an attempt to win back her fellow classmates and discard her Regina George image, she appeals to run for student body president again in 2016, find clothes to her liking, and befriend Jonah.There was a lot to love. Definitely, Jonah. He was super super super cute. The 2016 versions of Andrea and Brad, obviously. 1986. Fashion throwbacks. (Gold sunglasses and Lycra miniskirts = LOVE.) Even Zoe’s family was fantastic. Both versions of them. There were even a few quirky, hilarious, sitcom-worthy moments. I have so many things to geek over, I could seriously type all day. For now, grab the book when you can. Because what’s there not to love?
⭐ ONCE UPON A KISS was exactly what I thought it would be — adore, cute, and just a feel-good book! I’d say it’s 13 Going on 30 meets Mean Girls, except instead of simply moving forward into her own future like Jenna does in 13 Going on 30, Zoe Brenner ends up in an alternate present-day life where all of her friends and family are the same but 2016 is their reality instead of 1986. The concept was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed this new take on time travel and alternate realities where the two really end up blending!I really enjoyed how ONCE UPON A KISS was a blend of contemporary with a little bit of science-fiction! I wouldn’t necessarily call it a time travel book but what happened to Zoe really did span the boundaries of time and also ended up skewing into an alternate reality where her life in 1986 got shifted to what life would be like at the same age, in the same house, with the same people but all in 2016. It was really fun to see how her entire life would have shifted if she was living the same teenage years in 2016 instead of 1986 and how her family was adjusted to that change as well!The book was definitely adorable but at times actually a bit too cutesy for me. I really loved the switch from 1986 to 2016 and it’s always interesting and fun to see how the author adjusts each person’s life from the day to day routines in 1986 and how much different those same lives would be in 2016. It was highly entertaining to watch the same lifestyles adapt to modern day, especially Zoe’s parents and their work out videos! They were a bit silly and over the top sometimes but it was also hilarious to see the new name drops of celebrities that helped them endorse and participate in their work out routines!I’ll admit that the use of modern-day jargon was a bit too much for me at times. I think I was more okay with it when they were being silly with overuse of 80s jargon because it amped up the 80s atmosphere (and hey, I was a baby in the 80s so I can’t tell you how many of these words were actually used and how often) but the 2016 catch phrases, abbreviations, and terms got to be a bit too much for me at times. People don’t really use that many buzz words in everyday speech (well, if they do, they’re not people I know) and the 2016 vocabulary felt a bit like overkill for me sometimes… BUT that also amps up the 2016 feel for Zoe and allows room for laughs as she tries to figure out what the heck these people are talking about! It was one of those moments where it was definitely cute but maybe went a bit too far for my personal taste.Right off the bat, I was shipping Zoe with her best friend Jonah. If you know my reading tastes at all, you know that I adore best friend to romance relationships so even when I wasn’t sure if that was the idea of the book, I was already on board with it when the book first took off! I totally felt for Zoe when she ends up in 2016-life and a best friend who doesn’t even really know this new version of her. I thought the friendships and romances throughout the whole book were really well done! I enjoyed the romantic aspects of the book as well as the various friendships that Zoe both maintains and strives to acquire. She really worked hard to be a good person, include everyone that she could, and went out of her way to befriend others!ONCE UPON A KISS was definitely a quick, fun, and light book! It bordered a bit more on the fluffy side for me but it was perfect timing because that was exactly what I needed! I wished there was a bit more to the plot development and I could have used a bit more possible explanation why Zoe was transported to the future and why her life there was different, but I did love the character development and how everything really varied from 1986 to 2016. I had a great time reading the book and it was definitely a delight!
⭐ FTC Disclaimer: Penguin Teen (Speak), the publisher of this book, sent me an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.When Once Upon a Kiss by Robin Palmer arrived on my doorstep, I didn’t really know what to make of it. I’ll admit that the title threw me off, and it had me thinking that the book was some sort of a fairy tale. Then I read the synopsis and I realized that it was so much more than just a modern spin on any kind of a fairy tale moment! The 1980s? Time travel to an alternate universe in the future? Heck yeah! I just knew that this book had made its way up my TBR, and I could not wait to read it.I really enjoyed the plot of Once Upon a Kiss. Zoe Brenner is this super cool teenage girl, just living her life in 1986. She likes New Wave music, and she has a huge crush on Judd Nelson. She’s also a fan of some of my favorite movies – The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles. But more important that her interest in all things 80s pop-culture, she wants to run for class president so she can voice her opinions and effect much needed change at Castle Heights High School. The only problem? She’s not in the popular crowd, so she doesn’t really stand a chance at winning. But she’s got her best friend Jonah at her side, and that’s all a girl could really need, right? Then a freak accident happens, and she finds herself in 2016. She’s confused, popular, and Jonah won’t talk to her. Uh oh! How will she ever find her way back? Will she ever find her way back?The cool thing about Once Upon a Kiss is that you get to meet the same characters in different centuries. In 1986, Zoe and her best friend Jonah aren’t popular. They aren’t even close, but they are there for each other in a brother/sister kind of way. Now you don’t get to see them together like that for long because of Zoe’s freak accident, but I really enjoyed seeing their platonic relationship in a few chapters. They seem like the best of friends, and they are the people that I would have been friends with in high school. But what book about high school wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the school’s queen bee, right? In 1986, Andrea Manson rules the school. She’s at the top of the social hierarchy – most popular girl who’s dating the most popular guy, Brad Bundy, and she’s class president. She’s also a bit of a bully, and she will stop at nothing to make sure that she lets everyone at Castle Heights know that she’s in charge.Flash forward 30 years, and boy, have things changed! First of all, not one character has aged! That’s right; it’s more like an alternate universe in the future. These characters have changed in other ways, though. Zoe Brenner is no longer a nobody. She’s now the queen bee of Castle Heights, and she doesn’t like the person that she is in 2016. She’s mean, and she bullies people around just like the 1986 version of Andrea. But instead of going along with it, Zoe wants to get back to who she was in 1986. That means shocking the whole school by talking to people in other cliques and using her new status to really try to shake things up. Her new BFF, Andrea Manson, and her boyfriend, Brad Bundy, think she’s crazy! They even think she needs an intervention, and it’s hilarious to watch all of this pan out. The other problem that Zoe has? Her best friend from 1986, Jonah, wants absolutely nothing to do with her, and it takes a lot of convincing just to make him see that she’s really not the popular girl that everyone thinks she is.There is a bit of a romance in Once Upon a Kiss that I think readers will enjoy. No, there’s not a love triangle, and if you read the book, you’ll understand exactly what I’m talking about. It does take Zoey a while to figure out her true feelings and where she belongs, but my heart swelled with happiness when everything finally fell into place. It’s such a swoon-worthy moment that you won’t want to miss.There’s even a little bit of diversity thrown into Palmer’s Once Upon a Kiss, but I wish there was a little more. A few times during the course of the novel, Zoe talks about her religion, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that she and her family are Jewish. Zoe mentions her brother’s upcoming Bar Mitzvah and the fact that he struggles with reading Hebrew, but I wish there was just a little bit more mentioned to really make this feel diverse.Once Upon a Kiss by Robin Palmer brings up similar feelings that someone who’s seen 13 Going on 30 might remember, and I really enjoyed the book for that reason. It’s just a feel-good book that’s sure to make fans of romantic comedies squeal with joy. I would recommend this book to anyone who’s seen and loved a John Hughes movie. (I’m not so secretly hoping that this gets optioned for screen and that Will Gluck will direct it.) I’d also recommend it to readers who are just looking for an adorable book to start the year with because that’s what this is – adorable!
⭐ This review originally appeared on herestohappyendings.comWhen I started reading this book, I was feeling a little down and was hoping for a story that really light and fun, something that would make me smile. This definitely did the trick. I practically devoured this book in one sitting, it was so good.Romance isn’t a genre I read much of on its own – usually it’s coupled with fantasy or a thriller, but this book was one of the best I’ve read in a while. A huge part of this book has to do with time travel, but that kind of makes it even more fun.Once Upon a Kiss starts off by introducing us to Zoe and her best friend Jonah. The year the story starts off in is 1986, and for the most part, Zoe is happy. She doesn’t have a lot of friends, but Jonah is her rock, and her family is pretty close, too (aside from the disco exercise videos they film). Of course, Zoe is far from being popular, and she has her share of mean girl drama from the popular girls in school. So after a rough day when she is in the process of trying on a dress in her favorite store, she chokes on Fun-Dip…and wakes up in the year 2016.Only when she wakes up in 2016…things are different. She isn’t in her 40’s (which is what you’d expect waking up 30 years later, right?), but she is still a teenager. She still lives with her parents, and her annoying little brother. She still goes to high school…but instead of dealing with the popular mean girls…she finds out she is a popular mean girl. Her best friend Jonah? Doesn’t want anything to do with her, and instead he has a new best friend. And to top it all off, she’s apparently dating her old arch-nemesis’s boyfriend (and he’s really in love with her). So while Zoe tries to make sense of things (such as how to use a cell phone, and why her closet is completely full of pink clothing, and why she is now best friends with a girl who used to despise her), she also has to figure out how to get back to her life in 1986. But she figures while she’s stuck in 2016, why not enjoy the popularity a little bit? She might not have had success running for class president back in 1986, but now she has a chance to do some good.Once Upon a Kiss has an awesome cast of characters, and a main character that is truly unforgettable. Zoe is fun, goofy, and she is so easy to connect with (especially if you were that unpopular girl in high school). Her relationship with Jonah is strictly friendship…but the entire book you can’t help but wonder if that’s all it will ever be. As Zoe spends time trying to convince Jonah that in another time period, they really were best friends, you really hope that things work out for the best with them. The parts where Zoe has a rough time figuring out what a cell phone is and how to use Google are kind of amusing, too. Like I said, Zoe is a fun character, and she really does make the book.There is an ending here that I didn’t see coming, honestly. I’m not going to talk about it, because you really have to read this book for yourself, but I did not expect this one to end the way it did. It kind of seems like it will be predictable for the most part, and then it just takes a turn that you wouldn’t expect.If you like cute, fluffy reads, this is definitely one you should pick up! It isn’t that long, and it’s just so fun that you won’t want to put it down. It’s getting added to my list of books to read again soon! Once Upon a Kiss really is quite the gem!Note: I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
⭐ This story is so funny, its quirky and just so heartwarming. Its too sweet. But I loved it so much. I loved the movie Geek Charming but I didnt know it was a book first. So I am kind of intrigued to now read it. I didnt know this was the author. But I am very interested in reading her other stories.I loved the switch from 1986 to 2016. That was so interesting to read. Then how the relationships changed from 30 years ago. It was fascinating. I love how easy to read how lighthearted this story is. Its just a story that will make you smile the whole time you read it. Just please pick this up if you like lighthearted stories. This is definately one you will love.
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