by Liz Fichera
Series: (companion) Hooked #2
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Teen (May 27, 2014)
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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 the rich suburban princess Riley Berenger from falling off a mountain, she decides to try to save him. Riley promises to help save Sam win the heart of the girl he can’t get over, and suddenly Sam is mad-popular and on everyone’s hot list. But now Riley’s trying out some brand-new, bad-girl moves and turning both of their lives upside down.
First thing to note: Played is not exactly a sequel to Hooked, it’s more of a spin-off novel; it follows minor characters that we met in Hooked and focuses mainly on their lives. Just like the predecessor, this novel is shared through two points of view which I was fine with for this book. I actually really liked Riley’s character and I was interested to see her develop away from her brother. On the other hand, I did not care for Sam’s character because I felt that he was trivial and only there to stir up trouble. My mind changed while reading this book though. I feared that this book would be exactly the same as the first book just with reversed roles but it wasn’t, exactly. It did follow the formula of two people helping each other and eventually falling for each other but the cultural differences intrigued me. The “I Read Diverse Books” is currently happening, which I love, and this book fit right in there. I can confidently say that I’ve never read a book about a Native American and their life on the reservation; it was informative and piqued my interests.
Some of the situations are outlandish, much like in the first book, which was iffy in my mind. There were some issues with flow and speed of the story-telling much like in the first novel. One of the main notes that I made throughout the novel was that Riley’s “bad girl” behavior didn’t align with what I had collected about her through both books. I understand wanting to step out of your sibling’s shadows but that doesn’t mean that you have to act like someone you aren’t. I could understand if she started drawing on the streets, since she’s an artist, but ditching school and becoming the wild child just didn’t match up. I also could be a poor judge because I was the “good daughter” who never lashed out because I never wanted to, except for dying my hair every color under the sun.
Overall, I liked it but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I loved it. I enjoyed the first book more but I am glad that I read this book. I loved that it is completely unique in the cultural aspects to anything that I‘ve read yet and it was beautifully written. I would recommend this novel to anyone who wanted to dip their foot in something new and of course, the love story was pretty great.
Reviewed by Valerie Pennington
I also talk about books I read on Goodreads, under Valerie Pennington, naturally. 😄