Title: Played (Hooked #2)
Author: Liz Fichera
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Date of Publication: May 27, 2014
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.
My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Thank you to Harlequin Teen and NetGalley for the review copy. This in no way affected my views of the novel.
I'd try and make this short because I really don't have anything great to say. I love Sam but I just can't stand Riley. Gah. She was so shallow and vain and sigh. I just can't connect with her. It was even more irritating because Played is told in both Riley and Sam's perspective so I had to deal with her shallow nature half the time. Her first chapter, her first scene, was getting a botox. Girl, you're in high school!!! You don't need Botox because heck, you're young. Seriously, I couldn't stand her vanity.
Not only that but I don't exactly empathize with her trying to be a bad girl because she's always been the good daughter. I understand but then I couldn't get on with it because it isn't as if her mother is sick and she needs to pretend to be the best daughter ever. You could be playful and mischievous without bordering on being a pain in the ass. Or she can always just do whatever she wants. I mean, I get all about expectations because I'm the eldest kid, but I guess the way it was presented, I just can't connect with Riley's need to break expectations. I broke expectations when I'm out with friends but okay, maybe this is my irritation speaking.
It just saddens me that I haven't liked any of Liz's works except for her short story. I really liked Sam's perspective but that's just about the thing I liked. The whole getting stuck in the forest, getting wet from the rain, stripping to share body warmth, sigh. It would have been super cute and fun to read had I loved Riley. I admit to fast forwarding Riley's parts because this girl just irritated me so much.
I mean, you want to repay Sam for saving your life by getting him with Fred, who's your brother's girlfriend. WHAT THE EFF??? You're gonna play matchmaker and homewrecker? Oh, hell to the no. Hell to the no. I cannot connect and empathize with a character like this. I didn't think Riley had any redeeming qualities and honestly, I don't get why Sam likes her!
Moreover, the plot devices were so forced and totally came from nowhere. There's this bit where they go to a beach and then thugs just appeared and accosted them and then they just moved on and left. What was the purpose of that? Creating a conflict that is. But that conflict didn't have any emotional stakes at all so it just appeared super random and all.
Anyway, I'll stop here because I'm obviously ranting and I ended up saying a lot. Just, sigh. This book.
About Liz Fichera
I'm an American author living in the American Southwest by way of Chicago.
Born and raised in Park Ridge, Illinois, I moved to Phoenix, Arizona, after college, never expecting to live more than one year among cactus and people who’d never seen snow. I was wrong. It certainly didn't hurt that I met my future husband in Phoenix too.
Most of my stories are set in the American Southwest because I think the desert is a cool place. Living in Phoenix, I'm surrounded by Native American culture and influences, not to mention intriguing Hohokam petroglyphs and centuries-old canals. There are over 20 tribes in Arizona and I'm lucky to be neighbors to the Gila River and the Salt River Indian Communities.
When I'm not busy writing my next novel, I like to travel, visit museums, support local theater productions, hike, and pretend that I'm training for a triathlon. I post a lot of photos from my desert and mountain hikes on my Facebook and Twitter pages. In no particular order, I've been chased by javalinas, rattlesnakes, coyotes, and even one curious black bear.