by Robin Palmer
Published on January 5, 2016
Source: ARC from publisher for review
Synopsis: 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?
My take: Once Upon a Kiss is a little younger and fluffier than my typical YA read, but it was fun, especially since I am old enough to remember things like...
The blurb (and the book's characters) call what happens in Once Upon a Kiss time travel, but to me, it felt more like a comic switcheroo book like Freaky Friday or a crazy dream sequence, like The Wizard of Oz. Zoe -- a not-so-popular high school student from the 80s -- starts choking and is suddenly transported into 2016, where she's a popular mean girl. All her friends from 1986 are there, but they haven't aged -- they're still teenagers. In time travel I think they would have aged...
Once Upon a Kiss isn't a very plot-heavy book -- it mainly involves Zoe trying to get back to her old (uncool) life, which makes all the popular kids really confused. There's humor if you remember the 80s, and more humor as you watch Zoe try to navigate modern technology, etc.
In sum, while Once Upon a Kiss wasn't my typical kind of read, it did offer a few laughs. I'd recommend it to readers who are looking for something light and comic. Or nostalgic. Or both!