Thursday, October 15, 2015

Playing the Player by Lisa Brown Roberts - Review

Author: Lisa Brown Roberts
Publication Date:  14 September, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Crush (MacMillan)
Series:  Stand Alone
Genre:  Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Age Recommendation: 14 and up
Rating: 4 Stars
~ I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ~ 

Book Description:

The Good Girl Vs. The Player
Round one begins...

Trina Clemons needed the money. Why else would she - the most organized, prepared student in school - spend the summer as a nanny and partner with the biggest slacker ever? Now she's ready to tackle nannyhood with her big binder of research and schedules. Just don't ask her about the secret job of "fixing" the bad habits of a certain high school player...

Slade Edmunds prefers easy hook-ups, and Trina is definitely not his type. She's all structure and rules, while Slade wants to just have fun. Fortunately, Trina has no idea about the bet Slade made with his best friend that he can totally get her to unwind by the end of summer...

Then the weirdest thing happens. There's chemistry. A lot of it.
But nothing gets between a boy and a girl like a big, fat secret...

My Review:

I really enjoyed this sweet YA romance.  Trina is me in a younger form.  A-Type, high strung, organized to a fault, always wanting to be the very best at what ever it is she is trying to do, even if it is to the detriment of the people around her.  I mean what 5 year olds don't want to better themselves by watching documentaries and learn about their states history?  I also loved that on the outside Trina may come across as timid and weak but really she is one of the bravest teen characters I have seen in a while.  She is brave enough to fight for her needs, her wants, against her fears and she is brave enough to know and understand when she is wrong or 'losing' a battle she should never have been fighting.

The book begins with Trina being offered a dream opportunity, a chance to earn double her pay, money that will go a long way to helping her and her mother, helping get her into college.  The opportunity?  Take a known slacker and turn him into a responsible member of society in just one summer, secretly.  As if that isn't enough of a challenge finding out that her new project is hot slacker, Slade...Trina knows this is doomed to fail.

Slade, I really loved him.  He's not the typical brooding bad boy we often find in teen romances.  He's definitely got some bad boy tendencies (he's hot, he knows it and so do all the girls!) and he has a don't give a damn attitude, but he is really just this ray of sunshine.  He is living everyday to it's fullest, finding the fun when other's can't see it (especially Trina), he's great with children (probably because of his child-like attitude), and he is an amazing friend.  Which, speaking of friends...I throughly enjoyed Alex, Slade's gay best friend.  He brought some wonderful moments to the book and while I wouldn't call him a life changing character for anyone, he does give the reader the chance to see someone being who they are and saying it is okay.  It isn't easy, but it is okay so do YOU.  I would really enjoy a follow up book to this one revolving around Alex.

 I would love to see more of this couple...moving them into an NA would be amazing...seeing them in college could be a really interesting book.  This is a dual POV, which is one of my favorite types of writing styles, I loved seeing both of their thoughts and feelings come to life on the pages and I think that was so important with this book because this isn't about just the growth of one character.  Both Trina and Slade learn so much through this book, they learn to let go, to know when things are important and when they aren't, they learn to do the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and they learn to love...which is just plain swoon worthy.

Ultimately this is really just a great fun, quick, sweet YA read and a wonderful choice for younger teens moving into more advanced YA romances. There aren't really any surprises, it is obvious the way this book is going to go from the beginning but that really just makes it more enjoyable.  This is a book you can just sit back with and smile through as you read it and feel good about having read when you are done.  I sense lots of covers closing and smiling sighs occurring as people get to the end of the book.


Sometimes people ask me why I write YA novels, especially romance. Here’s just one reason (and believe me, there’s a long list):

My first car was an old orange Gremlin, a la Wayne’s World. Attempting to show off for the cute neighbor boy shooting hoops, I gunned the engine, accidentally hopped the curb, and crashed into a tree my dad had just planted. You may be shocked to learn this did not result in insta-love. But at least I made an impression, right?

That’s just one example from my angst-filled, ridiculous teen life. I think I was destined to write stories about smart, insecure, perceptive, funny teens who somehow manage to navigate life’s ongoing drama and fall in love. (And no, there wasn’t a romantic ending to my tree destruction…but if I were writing that story as fiction, you can bet there would be…eventually).

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