Review of Played by Liz Fichera
Goodreads rating: 5/5 stars
my rating: AWWWWW (with extra aww)
Last year I read this book, Hooked, that I really loved about a girl named Fred who wins her way onto the boys’ golf team at her high school and eventually wins the heart of her partner, Ryan. At the end was a sneak peak of the next book in the series. This book. I was lucky enough to get my hands on an arc thanks to the people at Harlequin TEEN and netgalley. I was thrilled.
Played is the story of Fred’s friend Sam who has a huge crush on her, and Ryan’s younger sister, Riley, who wants a change in her life. The know of each other in passing because of Ryan and Fred’s relationship. In fact, Sam has already decided he can’t stand Riley simply because she’s Ryan’s sister. The two officially meet on a leadership retreat in the woods. They, of course, get paired for the scavenger hut and that one action leads to a snowball of crazy events that simultaneously drive them together and pull them apart.
Just like with Hooked, I thought the story was sweet and liked that the romantic (or potentially romantic) relationship between Riley and Sam wasn’t the whole focus of the book. The story followed Riley’s attempts at getting Sam and Fred together, which meant breaking up Fred and her brother. Nothing, and I mean nothing, goes to plan. And Riley seems oblivious to the fact that Sam doesn’t want her help or to win Fred over. In fact, as the story goes on it’s obvious his feelings for Fred have changed and no matter what he says, Riley won’t listen until she’s completely screwed everything up—her brother’s relationship, Sam’s life, her life, everything. Both Sam and Riley were a little on the clueless side when it came to feelings and what they wanted. The way they danced around each other without even realizing what they wanted was right in front of them was cute. There was lots of misunderstandings that lead to angst. And did I mention the angst. If you like that kind of thing. Which I do.
From the beginning, whether unwilling partners on the hunt for pine cones or working together on Riley’s plan or figuring out how to be friends, Riley and Sam were adorable together. If you liked Hooked, or just love stories where everything is a disaster until the end when the characters finally realize they already have what they want then this is the book for you.