Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game by Katie Ashley

Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game by Katie Ashley
Release Date: April 30, 2013

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.  - Goodreads.com

I love the concept behind this book.  The idea of a guy everyone knows as a player dying and leaving evidence that perhaps he wasn't the player everyone thought he was... it's a unique idea.  The book definitely delivered on the concept, and I found myself enjoying the story very much, especially the two main characters.

Noah was a great guy, a good friend, and I love how works to figure out who the girl could have been that changed his friend so much before he died.  I do have to admit, that the idea of who it could be was one that I knew from page one.  It was pretty obvious to me, but it didn't really detract from the story.  It was almost like the author wanted you to know immediately, and was just Noah who was in the dark.  Then again, there were times early on that I wanted to ask him why he hadn't figured it out yet.

Maddie was a great character.  She has strength in her own convictions, her faith, and what wants.  I loved her and her family dynamic, and I love the scenes where Noah spends time with them.  Their budding romance together was innocent and sweet, and perfect.  I love how Noah subtly changes as well throughout this story, and you have to admire a girl character who can set such a good example that people around her want to be better.  For this, I absolutely adored the romance aspect of the story.

There were lots of grammatical and line edit issues but the story was so absorbing that I overlooked them.  I loved the life lessons in this story very much, and by the end, I was left with a deep satisfaction.

The author touches on some deep issues in the story and I loved how well she weaved everything together.  This was a book that makes you content after reading it.  I loved it.


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