Image and blurb from Goodreads
Title: Operation Prom Date
(Tactics in Flirting #1)
Author: Cindi Madsen
Publication date: March 13th, 2017
Category/Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Entangled (Crush)
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?
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains stargazing, accidental swimming, and poker swindling. This kissing practice will melt your ereader…and give you a new couple to ship.
4.5 “Operation I Ship It So Hard It Hurts” Stars
ARC via NetGalley.
Thank you, Entangled Crush!
OMG, this book just filled me with the fuzzies and I can barely deal with how happy and giddy I am right now. I just finished this, and I had to run here and write this review because my heart is too full of love.
Operation Prom Date is the best kind of book because it seems innocent and silly enough than BAM! You start reading it and it knocks you on your butt with how cute, adorable, sweet, hot and funny it is. To say I didn’t expect to love it this much is an understatement. I’m seriously in love with this book, you guys.
One of the themes featured in this book is shipping, and in case you don’t know me, let me just tell you this: I live for shipping characters in books, movies and TV series. Like Kate, the main character in this story, I’m obsessed with fictional couples (despite not being able to rely on the age excuse, like Kate does) and this book gave me another ship. Kate and Cooper deserve all the shipping gifs on the Internet because that’s how hard I fell for them.
(Okay, these are not ALL the gifs on the Internet, but you get the drill).
Anyway, onto why I love this book and these characters so much… It’s quite simple, this had exactly what I need when I grab a YA Contemporary Romance: tons of feels, likable characters, perfect pairing, tension that melts your Kindle, slow burn romance that squeezes your heart and, a bonus, humor.
I had a stupid smile on my face the entire time I was reading it. The only time I wasn’t smiling was when they finally got together, but that’s because I was tearing up. That’s how awesome Kate and Cooper were—their big scene mad me tear up, which I realize it’s quite silly, but also cute, right?
The best things about how this romance is the stages this pairings went through. First, they were only classmates who made a pact: Cooper would help Kate get the attention of the boy she had a crush on and Kate would help Cooper train for the rowing competition until his partner is better from an injury. It was innocent enough, and they were completely platonic, which means you get to fall in love with them with every step they take. It’s such a joy. Then, as they start spending time together, their friendship grows so strong and it’s SO. FREAKING. PERFECT.
Kate and Cooper are so, so fun together. They made me laugh hard so many times, like when Kate is explaining to Cooper about what shipping fictional characters mean, about OTPs and canons and vampire shows (*cue to me crying because that TVD ending was horrible and my OTP didn’t have the ending they deserved and I’ll never recover from that*). Cooper’s reaction to that how thing was hilarious and so sweet, because he doesn’t mock her. They banter and joke about it, but it’s such a healthy relationship that you can already see their friendship—and, yes, romance—going so far. At that point I was already shipping them hard.
“I ship Olicity the hardest.”(…)“(…)I used to be all about Damon and Elena, but there toward the end, I shipped her and a coffin. Which sounds mean, I know, but vampires don’t technically die, so a bit nicer?”“I’m still judging you too much for saying ‘ship them the hardest’ to judge you for the vampire stuff.”
(Plus, that Elena and coffin comment = you’re a girl after my heart, Kate.)
And then there’s Cooper passion for stars and planets and the space in general, and how Kate respects that and even encourages him to share what he knows with her. Again, they banter and joke about it, but it never feels offensive or like they’re mocking each other. It’s actually all sorts of cute. And funny. SO funny.
“Now, tell me the constellations, because I know you know them. Do you still have that app?”“I have a better one.”“Well, whip it out, Galileo.”“Okay, okay. But you might want to be careful about instructing guys to ‘whip it out.’ Just saying.” (...)
“I can see this constellation that represents a story about a boy names Cooper, who dreamed about sailing until one day his father—Zeus, of course, because Zeus has trouble keeping it in his pants…”“Maybe someone instructed him to ‘whip it out’.”
There are so many great scenes between them. I can’t even keep track anymore. Even when things get tricky because Kate takes too long to figure out she’s obsessing over the wrong guy, and Cooper takes too long to make a move, the story is still perfect because it made me feel so much. I suffered with Cooper as he slowly fell for her and realized he was hurting from seeing her with someone else. The pain was real, you guys. It hurt so good, you know?
Then I swooned really hard. Really, really hard when things finally started moving toward the happy ending. Though a happy ending isn’t exactly a spoiler because this is a romance, I’ll have to tag this scene as a spoiler because you don’t want to read it before you read the story. You want to experience it the way I did. But in case you have already read the book, so here’s my favorite scene:
**SPOILER ALERT****SPOILER ALERT****SPOILER ALERT**
Cooper brushed his lips against mine and my stomach drifted up and up and up. “How’s this for clear? I ship us, Kate. I want us to be Kaper or Coopte or Capote or whatever weird combination our names can make. You said something about forcing two people who were meant to be into a ship—obviously I took that very literally. You and me are my OTP, and if you don’t believe me, I’m going to spend the next several weeks trying to prove it, until you ship us as much as I do.”
You guys. YOU GUYS. THIS KILLED ME. They were literally on a boat when he said this which only made this whole speech even more perfect. It was just everything I didn’t even know I need. I’m just so happy, in case you haven’t noticed.
**END OF SPOILER****END OF SPOILER****END OF SPOILER**
Aside from the perfect romance, I loved the relationship between Kate and her mother. It was just fantastic and I wish I could see more of that type of easy mom/daughter relationship in YA.
Another thing I should say is that I’m way too interested in the possible story of Vance Mitchell and Alana Kelekolio. Even though they had exactly one scene together, that “I have a boyfriend” x “I have a goldfish” exchange was precious. I want to see where it’s going—if it goes anywhere.
Last but not least, I should say this book wasn’t perfect. I do realize the whole “changing in order to get the attention of a boy”/“pretending to be someone else” plotline could’ve been dealt a little better if Kate’s realization in the end had been bigger. I wish she had had a light bulb moment in the end more significant than the one she did, because I’m afraid the message was too subtle and could be misinterpreted. Having said that, I liked that Cooper never came across as judgmental or tried to take the choice away from Kate. He said more than once that she was smart enough to know what she was getting herself into, and I liked that he respected her choices. I also approved of the fact that the author didn’t turn the other guy into this villain. It could’ve been easily done, but thankfully it didn’t happen.
So, from this absurdly long review you get the idea that I absolutely loved this, right? I adore when Entangled Crush delivers exactly on what it promises, and Operation Prom Date gave me a main character that shared my obsession for fictional ships, a love interest that was swoon-worthy to whole other degree, and a pairing to ship until it hurts.... All of that in a book with a stunning cover!! Couldn’t have asked for anything better.
*If you liked this review (or not), if you read the book (or not), come say hello and leave your comments bellow.