ARC review: Operation Prom Date by Cindi Madsen

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Kate has had a crush on her school’s star football player, Mick, for years. Her big goal for her senior year is to go to prom with him. The problem? Kate has never so much as had a conversation with Mick because she turns into a pile of goo whenever he comes too close. After she decides that she’s really going to make this happen, she enlists the help of her former friend, Cooper, thinking that a male perspective could never hurt. All Cooper asks for in return is her help as a temporary rowing partner while his normal partner recovers from a broken wrist. But the more time that Kate and Cooper spend together, the more confusing things get. What if Kate’s been after the wrong guy this whole time?

I absolutely loved this book. It was so cute and fluffy and I loved both Kate and Cooper. Kate and her fandoms and ships reminded me a lot of myself in high school (only I was a lot less athletic). I loved that even though Cooper was so focused on his goals, he still had time to help Kate with whatever she needed. To be honest, I started shipping them at their first conversation. (Mick who?)

Mick was, like many boys that impressionable teenage girls crush on, a total jerk. Now, in my mid-twenties, I have no idea what Kate saw in him. I can’t really blame Kate for her infatuation, though, because I certainly crushed on more than one of his type during my high school years. Of course, the right guy for Kate was blindingly obvious to me. It just takes Kate a little longer to catch on.

I can’t remember the last time I read a young adult novel with quite this much chemistry. These two are friends, mind you, but their connection and the sexual tension between them was practically jumping off the page, smacking me in the face, and screaming “NOTICE ME!” while flashing a neon sign. It’s rare that even a new adult or adult romance will have characters that are this well-suited to each other, so just give all the awards to Cindi Madsen right now, because she deserves them.

Honestly, the only issue I had with the book is that there were too many miscommunications and misinterpretations and unnecessary arguments between Kate and Cooper. I’m not really an angst-lover, so I have that complaint with a lot of books I read. The thing is, though, that it’s super realistic for a book set in high school, so I still have to give this book 4.5 stars.

Excuse me while I go read everything that this author has ever written.

Final rating: ★★★★★

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC!