{Review & Giveaway} Operation Prom Date by Cindi Madsen


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{Review & Giveaway} Operation Prom Date by Cindi MadsenOperation Prom Date by Cindi Madsen
Series: Tactics in Flirting #1
Publisher: Entangled Teen Crush on March 13, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (YA)
Pages: 223

Our Rating

5 Stars

Kissing practice has never been more fun.

Kate ships tons of fictional couples, but IRL her OTP is her and Mick, the hot quarterback she’s crushed on since, like, forever. With only one semester left of senior year, it’s now or never if she wants to land him in time for prom. Since she’s flirtationally challenged, she enlists Cooper Callihan, the guy who turned popular seemingly overnight but who used to be a good friend.

Cooper lives and breathes rowing, but his partner just broke his wrist. When he remembers Kate’s good with a set of oars, he strikes a deal: help him train, and he’ll make sure her crush notices her. Only he didn’t know how addicting spending time with her would be. Or how the more successful the Operation is, the more jealousy he experiences.

The mission has been set. The troops have their marching orders. But what if the target is the wrong guy all along?

Operation Prom Date by Cindi Madsen

Kate’s been crushing on Mick forever, but the popular quarterback has never really noticed the somewhat awkward, studious Kate.  When Cooper, a guy she barely knows, sees her admiring Mick from afar and comments that she’s far too serious to catch the eye of a guy like Mick, she soon ropes him into giving her more insight into the teenage male psyche, helping her get herself noticed, and accomplishing her ultimate goal:  going to prom with Mick.  Operation Prom Date is a go, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to go the way they think it will…

Judging Covers:  I initially looked past this one because of the title.  There’s nothing actually wrong with it at all; I just didn’t think I was in the mood for a high school romance.  But then my eyes went straight back to the cover, and as simple as it is, there’s something about it… the color, maybe… the composition?  Whatever it is, it looked like a sweet, cute, fun little romance, and once I read the synopsis, I was all in.

The Verdict:  Books like Operation Prom Date are the reason I’ve never stopped reading YA.  The truly good ones are few and far between, but occasionally I happen across a gem like this one, and I’m back in a time when the world is smaller, the possibilities are endless, and there’s always a way out of trouble.

Kate is by far one of my favorite YA characters.  She’s smart, dedicated to her school work, and all about coming up with a plan to succeed.  But underneath that, she’s just a regular teenage girl, worried about what other people think, into the general silliness that many of us try not to outgrow, and hilariously awkward and fun.  She’s somewhat new to the school she’s in, having only moved there a couple of years ago,and she’s an unwilling loner who hasn’t had much luck finding friends.  So she spends her free time fangirling over tv shows and having long conversations with Klaus, her bearded dragon.  Seriously, how could I possibly not love her?!

Cooper is the guy no one really saw coming.  Not so long ago, he wasn’t the least bit popular, was kind of scrawny, and was definitely a bit of a science nerd.  But his love for rowing, a bit of a growth spurt, and his decision not to care what others think of him all came together at once, allowing him to fit in well with the cool kids even though he hasn’t really changed himself one bit.

Kate and Cooper strike a bargain — he’ll help her get noticed by Mick, and she’ll help him practice rowing while his usual partner is laid up with an injury.  They’re soon spending time together nearly every day, getting to know each other better, and in some ways becoming the best of friends.  It’s only natural that a little romance should bloom as well.  Unfortunately, neither of them is willing to risk getting their heart broken or ruining the friendship by admitting their feelings, so they keep on working toward Kate landing Mick, and for a while there it seems like they’re letting something wonderful slip away.

Their antics with each other were awesomely funny, the kind of silliness only true friends can get away with, and even though their feelings for one another certainly grew, it wasn’t instant or even apparent to them for a while.  Watching them begin to fall for each other, even before they really understood it themselves, was one of the sweetest things I’ve read in quite some time.  And refreshingly, there weren’t really any bad guys in the story.  Mick, who was something of a player, wasn’t interested in girls who weren’t into casual hook-ups, but I have to give him credit for not even trying to pursue or persuade girls who weren’t that way.  And Amber, the former BFF who’d turned her back on Kate for the more popular crowd, seemed like more of a duped pawn than anything.  Even Cooper’s dad, who was bullheadedly pushing his son toward a career he didn’t want, wasn’t such a bad guy after all.

My favorite character, though (other than Kate and Cooper, of course!) was Kate’s mom.  We didn’t get to see very much of her, but never has a more genuine mother-daughter friendship found its way into fiction.  There was clearly a lot of love and trust between them, and it seemed like they had a lot of fun together while still maintaining that whole parent/kid boundary.  I almost wish she’d made more of an appearance in the story.

Operation Prom Date is easily one of the most entertaining and fun YA reads I’ve picked up in a while, and I’m so glad it’s the first in a series.  It’s quirky, cute, and so awesomely sweet that I stayed up till 4am to finish it.  You can bet I’ll be impatiently waiting to pre-order the next book!

The Breakdown
Cover Design
5 star rating
Plot & Pace
5 star rating
5 star rating
Style & Editing
5 star rating
Story Conclusion
5 star rating
Overall Rating 5 star rating


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About Cindi Madsen

USA Today Bestselling author Cindi Madsen sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting, revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she'd be even crazier. She has way too many shoes but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they're sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.

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