Review: Once Upon a Kiss by Robin Palmer

once upon a kiss by robin palmer

So much has happened since 1986, and Zoe Brenner is about to find out just how much.

From the author of the book that inspired the Disney original movie Geek Charming!

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?

Description taken from Goodreads.


Getting a Disney Channel movie does not a good author make. Honestly, this is MG (lower than MG) attempting to be YA. The truth of the matter is that the YA community puts up with contrived, who-actually-talks-like-this characters far less than the MG community does.

C’mon, Geek Charming. If someone spilled recycled fehttuchini alfredo on me, my first reaction would not be to say “you geek.”

If you agree with the above statement, Once Upon a Kiss is probably not for you.

I love time travel from the past to the present. I enjoy seeing how people adapt to all the things that have changed since the past, even in just the last twenty years. It’s fascinating, even if the time travel logic is complete nonsense. Once Upon a Kiss did not work for me like that. Not only was Zoe completely dull and insipid (she kept on thinking she was in the past), but she also managed to wreck the time travel scenes. She adjusted to her world far too quickly, and all of her interactions with anyone or anything made me want to immediately stop reading.

ugh this book gif

I can see people reading this. There are hardcore Disney lovers that really enjoy this kind of storytelling, and all the power to those people, but I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who enjoys realistic interactions and mature characters. 1 star.

pg count for the paperback: 304

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