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Played (Harlequin Teen) Paperback – May 27, 2014
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Riley Berenger and Sam Tracy could not be more different. Sam is a brooding Native American teen from the rez, while Riley is a rich girl whose biggest concern is getting asked to prom. They cannot stand each other—until one weekend retreat changes everything. When Riley falls off a mountain, Sam is the one who rescues her. After a night spent stranded in the wilderness, Riley makes up her mind about two things: she is going to live life by her own rules and she is going to help Sam get the girl of his dreams. So what if that girl is her brother's girlfriend, right? The novel has all the ingredients of a typical romance: star-crossed lovers, an anti-hero, a dash of danger, and a cute boy on a motorcycle. It could be trite, but the plot is a perfect mix of real-life scenarios and swoon-worthy romance, while the issues of race and class that Fichera interweaves into Sam and Riley's story add substance. In an alternating first-person narration style similar to Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor and Park (St. Martin's, 2013), readers are given insight into the characters' thoughts and feelings. The tale sticks to the formula, but the captivating ways in which the sequence of events plays out keep this take fresh and exciting.—Sarah Lorraine, Nazareth Academy, LaGrange Park , IL
"The book stands out in its nicely realistic portrait of the teens." --Kirkus
"The plot is the perfect mix of real-life scenarios and swoon-worthy romance, while the issues of race and class that Fichera interweaves into the story add substance. In an alternating first-person narration style similar to Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor and Park, readers are given insight into the characters' thoughts and feelings. The tale sticks to the formula but the captivating ways in which the sequence of events plays out keep this take fresh and exciting." --School Library Journal
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This story has some of the same characters from Fichera's novel HOOKED. Only now we aren't focused on Fred (a girl) and Ryan. Riley is Ryan's sister. She's always been the "good" kid and she's done with it. The pressure has finally broken her. She's ready to do some living of her own.
I don't want to give a step by step synopsis, but goodness a lot of stuff happens! There was only one spot that I had issues with. Riley goes to a party and gets so drunk she can't remember what happened. There are compromising photos though. She's says she didn't think the guy actually "did anything" to her, but it bugged me that she wasn't more upset about it all. She could have been raped and she just brushes it off. Her rebellion gets way out of hand, but isn't that the way life usually goes?
Sam turns out to be a really good guy in spite of his gruff exterior. He's got a soft heart and he's loyal. When they finally get together I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Even though you knew it would work out, the tension was on going until the very end.
There were parts I didn't enjoy as much as Hooked, but I still thought the story was well written. I give it a solid 4.
1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure
RATE: 3,5 stars
Played is a fun, sweet and lovely story that fully shows what means to be a teenager and to fall in love. I truly enjoyed this book.
This second book in the Hooked series is about Sam and Riley. Sam's heartbroken due to "losing" Fred over Ryan (first book!) and it kind of sucks to feel that way. Until he gets stuck with Riley Berenger, Ryan's younger sister, in the middle of the wilderness.
Determined to do something in return for the boy who saved her, Riley ends up making some plans to find Sam some happiness, even if that means breaking his brother's relationship in order to Fred to fall in love with Sam. However, things don't turn out the way they thought it would be... Because, as time passes, Sam and Riley's friendship might turn out into something else.
Riley's the perfect definition of a teenager. Some might find her a little obnoxious from time to time, but that's the perfect reflection of what a truly teenager is sometimes. Although it's true that some decisions made by Riley are not the wisest ones, she's screaming for a little attention. She just wants to be seen and to be understood, and sometimes this leads her to be carried away by her emotions and ends up doing something that leaves the reader open-mouthed. Literally.
Sam, on the other way, gives the impression of being a little bit more mature than Riley. You find yourself irresistibly drown to this character. He's one of those good guys that are hard to find: always thinking of everyone and trying to do what he consider's the right thing. How can you not fall for a guy like him: sweet, selflessness and hot?
The story's told from Sam and Riley's point of views and you can perfectly differentiate each personality. Liz Fichera did a great job. The plot has its main and obvious topic: two teenagers, who have nothing in common, fall in love. However, there were some unexpected turns and surprises that I was not expecting that keeps the reader interested in what's going on.
What I liked about this story is that the author shows both sides of being a teenager: the good and the bad side. You not always make the right decisions and this might have consequences. Liz Fichera doesn't leave anything behind and her characters are far from being the perfect teenagers. And I think that one of the reasons that makes this story so enjoyable and credible.
For those readers who like sweet, funny romances that grow throughout the story, this is the perfect young adult read for you. Riley and Sam's relationship is not one of insta-love; it changes and develops into something deeply and profound that makes the reader get hooked into the story. And it has one of those finales that leaves a dummy romantic sensation in you.
Although Played is part of the Hooked series, it can be read as a standalone. You won't miss anything and you can even meet the main characters from the first book, Hooked, in this story, too.
Most recent customer reviews
An unlikely friendship blossoms between Sam Tracy and Riley Berenger when Riley accidentally slips off the side...Read more
It was a good story...but the ending was kinda predictable so I'm taking one star away. The characters were good.Read more