Don’t Hate the Player…Hate the Game by Katie Ashley
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: April 29, 2013
Print Length: 266 pages
Format: PDF - Nook
Review Date: May 5, 2013
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Sensuality Rating: Mild (YA)
I have been in a New Adult (NA) book craze lately so I was unsure of how I was going to like this one. But I was definitely pleasantly surprised. It is like a cross between YA and NA. I say this because the storyline was definitely YA being set in high school, but the mood and writing style was more mature and descriptive. There was no sex, but the emotions were high throughout the entire book. It drew me in at page one and didn’t let me go until the end of the epilogue. I read it in one day, and I haven’t been that drawn into a story in a while…
Noah is almost at the end of his senior year of high school when his best friend Jake dies in a tragic accident. He is grief stricken; Jake has been his constant companion since kindergarten. Although Jake was a jerk much of the time, he was there for Noah when it counted. He feels empty and alone and has no idea how to let his feelings out without looking weak. When looking through some of Jake’s belongings he finds an engagement ring. He is shocked. Jake is described as being a total manwhore, so this is extremely out of character for him. But even more shocking is that Noah has no idea who the girl Jake was going to propose to is.
At Jake’s funeral he sees and has an instant attraction to Maddie, a pretty but straitlaced girl he goes to school with. He doesn’t really know her because Noah hangs in the “cool” crowd, and Maddie does not. From there they start a friendship that turns into something more. But Noah comes to believe she may be the mystery girl that his best friend was going to propose to. And he is desperately afraid to lose her if this is true.
I love the unique storyline, but there was something I became frustrated over. To me it was obvious the entire book who the mystery girl was, and somehow Noah couldn’t see it or he was in denial. I also did not understand how the title fit in with the book. I know that Jake was a player, and that you come to find out there was so much more to him than he let on; but that is not what I think about when I hear the phrase “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.” Jake was complicated, and we never really figure him out, but by the end when many of his secrets are revealed, he does redeem himself.
Overall, the book is a great read, and I definitely recommend it. It will suck you in immediately to the roller coaster ride of emotions, from heartbreaking to happiness—and it’s worth the ride…