Thursday, May 9, 2013

Book Review Tour & Giveaways: Don't Hate the Player... Hate the Game

Follow the Tour: Literati Literature Lovers

Don't Hate the Player...Hate the Game
Don't Hate the Player... Hate the Game
by Katie Ashley
April 30, 2013
Genre: Mature Young Adult
Source: eARC for honest review
Content: Language, drinking, mention of/or sexual situations
Book Blurb:
For Noah Sullivan being the best friend to a douchebag and player like Jake Nelson has never been easy. It's been a rocky road since kindergarten when Jake duct taped Noah to his chair before recess. With just six weeks to high school graduation, Jake accidentally blows his drunken ass up on his grandfather's tractor, and Noah finds himself immersed not only in a whirlwind of grief, but on a quest to find a mystery girl from Jake's past.

While cleaning out Jake's room, Noah and Jake's dad make a startling discovery. Instead of the obligatory porn collection or pot stash, they find a ring, but not just any ring. Its half a carat of commitment in a platinum setting-proving even man whores have taste. After Jake's mom pleads with Noah to find the girl who meant so much to Jake, Noah begins a modern day Grail quest to track the girl down.

Since Jake was a notorious player with a legendary collection of trophy panties, Noah finds himself in over his head. There are the usual suspects like Avery, the Ice Princess Jake dated for appearances, or Presley, the school mattress Jake dated for convenience. But the trail begins to point to the most unlikely of suspects: Maddie, the Valedictorian and choir girl who was trying to help the unmotivated jock graduate--the girl who also has surprisingly caught Noah's eye and meddled with his heart.

Hanging out with Maddie shows Noah a different side of Jake--one that was deeply human and surprisingly douche-free. And the more he tries to solve the mystery of the ring and of Jake, the more Noah starts to discover about himself and of love.
My Review:

I found this to be a refreshing, touching book, told from a 17-year-old boy's POV. Though it is not necessarily always fun to be inside the mind of some teenage boys (hello... hormones), I found it very easy and even enlightening to be inside of Noah's head. Noah just lost his best friend, Jake, in a freak accident. But that is just the start of this book, following Noah not only in the process of discovering who the mysterious girl was that Jake bought the ring for, but more importantly, following Noah's journey to self-discovery and discovery of who his best friend really was. I found this to be a surprisingly emotional story, and I felt like I was right there with Noah.

I really appreciate all the thought the author put into Noah's mind and where he took the story. He was not a superficial, shallow character. And this book was not just about his and Jake's relationship, or even his relationship with a girl. This book ventured into the many facets of Noah's life and past, and I enjoyed the depth of level and direction the author took this story. There were beautiful moments when Noah would reflect on the past with Jake, his granddaddy, and others that really touched me. Not only was Noah a deep character, but Jake was as well. It was really interesting getting to know Jake through so many other people, and the author pulled it together very well. And just when I was thinking the author was going to leave us thinking we should just accept that Jake was two-faced and that's okay that people are that way, she redeemed the story to show how important honesty is in relationships. I loved Noah's epiphanies and his varying emotions toward Jake.

I also enjoyed how the author would throw us a curveball here and there, where I felt emotions were heightened, and the storyline would intensify even more, but it didn't feel gimmicky or overly-dramatized. There was never a dull moment, and I felt completely engrossed in the story. My hang-up is the end of the epilogue. After all the build-up of Maddie and her character and beliefs, I felt like the end left me feeling like things became a bit cliché in the end, when they didn't need to be. I loved the uniqueness of this book and the characters, and would have personally liked it if the author would have maintained Maddie's convictions and kept the uniqueness of everything until the end. Just my opinion.

Bottomline: This is a well-done, unique and touching tale of looking beyond the surface and discovering the depths of those around us, the importance of being honest and being your true self, seeking and giving forgiveness, and finding and showing love and acceptance.

International Giveaway:

Grand Prize Giveaway:

Book Links:
About the Author:

Katie Ashley is the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best-Selling author of The Proposition. She lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her two very spoiled dogs and one outnumbered cat. She has a slight obsession with Pinterest, The Golden Girls, Harry Potter, Shakespeare, Supernatural, Designing Women, and Scooby-Doo. She spent 11 1/2 years educating the Youth of America aka teaching MS and HS English until she left to write full time in December 2012. She also writes Young Adult fiction under the name Krista Ashe.
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