by Liz Fichera
Category: Young Adult
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: May 2014
Page Count: 352
Source: Netgalley (thank you!)
This Game Is Getting All Too Real
He said: I like to keep under the radar and mostly hang out with my friends from the rez. But when I saved Riley Berenger from falling off a mountain, that rich suburban princess decided to try to save me.
She said: If I can help Sam Tracy win the heart of the girl he can't get over, I'll pay him back for helping me. I promised him I would, no matter what it takes.
GOODREADS . AMAZON
Review: When I began reading this book, I did not realize that it is actually the second book in a series. However, when I went back and started doing some research to make sure I did not really need to read the first book before I continued, I realized it is more of a companion novel than a sequel. Yes, some of the secondary characters are obviously from the first book, which means yes I probably missed out on some details and important things because I didn't read the first book, but I felt like this book stood on its own perfectly. I understood the main concepts and knew what I needed to about the main characters, and that is what mattered to me.
I really, really wanted to love this book since I am such a big fan of contemporary, but it did not do a whole lot for me. I had been in a bit of a reading slump, but had managed to get out of it a couple of books before that one. Honestly, I think that is the only thing that got me through this book. Had I still been in that slump, I would have given up the book pretty quickly in because the beginning of the book did not do too much for me.
I really disliked the main character, Riley, in the beginning of this book. She seemed incredibly naive and set on doing things for no reason at all, something that tends to irritate me about characters. Sure, I know realistically people make bad choices, but these were just so random and pointless that they were not realistic, they were just annoying. At the beginning, I honestly did not care what happened to her in the story, and I know that's probably awful! Still, Sam definitely had me wanting to continue reading. While I couldn't stand Riley, I did love Sam. He was so sweet and nice, and I really wanted him to get a happy ending.
I do have to say, I like how the characters are first put together - they are partners on a scavenger hunt where they get stuck in the forest for the night and Sam helps Riley survive. She then promises to repay him by helping him get the girl he has a crush on (we all saw where this was going, right?). Of course, this would mean breaking up her brother and his girlfriend, which just seemed plain wrong. I was shocked that she was so okay with doing something that was so horrible, but I guess that had to happen for plot.
While I was not thrilled with the beginning of the book, I do have to say that it improved for me throughout, especially towards the very end of the book. As feelings began to develop between the main characters, I was more invested in the story. I thought that they had good chemistry, and I certainly thought that Riley grew up throughout the book, something that she desperately needed to do based on how she was at the beginning. She became much more bearable for me, and suddenly I was very happy that she and Sam were working out.
This was a cute, light read if you're a fan of fluffy, young adult contemporaries. It did not make me feel a lot of emotions, but I did enjoy it for the most part, especially as the story went on. I did like what we received of the secondary characters as well, so I may even go back and give the first book in the series a shot.
Rating: 3.0 / 5.0