Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Review: Played by Liz Fichera

Title: Played (Hooked #2)
Author: Liz Fichera
Release date: May 27th 2014
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: eARC
Pages: 346
Source: NetGalley

This Game Is Getting All Too Real

Sam Tracy likes to stay under the radar and hang out with his friends from the Rez. But when he saves rich suburban princess Riley Berenger from falling off a mountain, she decides to try to save him. Riley promises to help Sam win the heart of the girl he can't get over, and suddenly Sam is mad popular and on everyone's hot list. Except now Riley's trying out some brand-new bad-girl moves and turning both of their lives upside down.

This is actually the first interracial YA series I've read, beginning with Hooked last year. It definitely opened my eyes to see all the racism present even with a thriving Native community, and I was quite outraged by most of it. So in a way I'm glad there's less focus on it in this book. Played follows Ryan's sister, Riley, and Fred's friend Sam from the Rez. There's a lot more drama in this one, and some pretty dangerous situations as well. But I didn't like this as much as its predecessor, for a few reasons.

Riley and Sam both end up on the same team and paired up during a weekend leadership camp. They're not psyched about being stuck together. But when Riley slips down the side of a mountain, Sam goes after her, and they spend the night trapped in a storm underneath the tree branches. They begin talking, and Sam decides to tell her his number one secret - that he's still in love with Fred. So Riley decides to help him get her, and that's where all the trouble begins.

The only thing I didn't like about this book? Riley. But she's one of the protagonists, so that affected my enjoyment of the novel a lot. We're supposed to think Riley is smart, but honestly she makes such ridiculous decisions, I can't help but wonder. There's this one part that, okay, is pretty insignificant but I kind of fixated on it. It's this little bit here - 
I'd heard that he'd gotten a perfect score on the math section of the SATs. I mean, who scored perfect on that? That was borderline freakish.
Well, where I live, it's kind of an embarrassment not to get a perfect score. Usually. Depends on the nationality, of course. But basically most people I know think that section is pretty damn easy. And Riley's supposed to be smart! There's also another bit involving Botox that really had me wondering why people think she's smart.

Another thing I really didn't like about her - she tries her best to break up her brother's relationship with his girlfriend. Who does that? Does she seriously not get how much it would hurt both of them if she interfered? Riley finds that out the hard way. Also, her fangirl-like obsession with Jay Hawkins pissed me off. He's just a guy, not even a nice one. Get over it.

But to balance out Riley's annoying-ness, we have Sam Tracy. Fred's best friend from the Rez. If you've read Hooked, you'll know he had a thing for Fred. Well, it's still there throughout most of this novel. Sam and Fred reminded me of Beth and Isaiah from Dare You To by Katie McGarry. Coincidentally, the boyfriend's name in that book is also Ryan! Anyway, I'm glad Sam and Fred work things out, because it's hard to see either of them in pain. I always thought Ryan and Fred made a great pair, even if they have a lot of differences.

Sam's pretty much perfect, and I liked him way more than I did Ryan. He's exceptionally smart (unlike Riley - sorry, I had to) and he has goals to really do something after high school. Going to college, coming back to make a difference in the Rez. Also, I loved how adorably clueless he is about his attractiveness! After saving Riley, Sam becomes what she calls 'A-list'. And he doesn't even realize. It's so cute.

Towards the end of the novel, things get kind of crazy. Involving a random six-hour motorcycle ride from Phoenix to San Diego, an almost-mugging-slash-killing, and an arrest. I think it was a bit much, but it did the job. And of course I couldn't keep my eyes off the pages! I adored the beginning half, and though it spiralled down a little later on, this book definitely kept me hooked throughout.

On the whole, I did enjoy this. Played is named aptly, too, the way people play each other. Especially the way Riley does it. This one is a lot more intense than Hooked, but its underlying message is equally important. I'll leave you to figure it out when you read it!

*Thank you to Harlequin TEEN for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 3/5


  1. I don't know whether I'm excited or a bit hesitant to read this now but I'm pretty much excited to meet Sam! A very eye-opening review since I'm also going to start reading this soon. Yay! :))

  2. I am looking forwards to reading this because interracial couple stories are nice. And this seems like a good old chic-lit so I definitely adding this to my to be read!

    Check out my movie review about Sherlock Holmes: http://olivia-savannah.blogspot.nl/2014/04/sherlock-holmes-game-of-shadows.html


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