Read of the Week: ‘Played’ by Liz Fichera

16177036This 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.

I can’t put my love for this book into words. I don’t know how. It is not possible. It’s been, what, a good fifty seconds since I read it? And I might have math in less than half an hour but I can’t help myself.

I have to review this thing already.

It is killing me.

And I knew it would turn out this way before I even cracked open the book.

Have you guys read Hooked? Yes? No? Maybe? It was hands down one of my top five favorites of 2013. Possibly top three. A girl named Fred? Doesn’t get better than that. Not really. Ryan and Fred claimed my heart last year and they still have a pretty firm hold on it. I fell so, so, so in love with them, and while I expected the same to happen with Sam Tracy and Riley Berenger, I never thought they’d possibly make me love them even more.


What am I even supposed to talk about here? How can I talk about anything other than their friendship and their connection and the chemistry and the kissing and the love and wow do I know how to babble.

EDIT: I am pretty damn embarrassing.

Sam and Tracy are perfect. Per-fect. Like snap your fingers, Liam Payne circa “Best Song Ever” music video perfect.


I wanted to keep this professional. I’m so sorry. I’ve always had this strict rule against using GIFs when reviewing but crud, crud, crud, I can’t help myself. Can you blame me?

Moving on. These two. These two. So much honesty, integrity, beauty. Sigh. Ah. Too many emotions, maybe I should get back to this review, but, no, I’m already in too deep. I’ve come too far to stop now. I wish I could put Sam in a bottle and carry him in my pocket forever. He was so sweet and troubled and I do love the quiet emotional types so I was done from the start. And also, hot Rez boy, hullo. Anyone who knows me is probably thinking I pictured Tatanka Means throughout Played and it would be a lie to say I didn’t because, hi, yes, Tatanka is the cutest of the cutest. Riley was also a super fun main lead and very differentiated from Fred so it was fun getting someone fresh and new to tell their part of the story.

I also love, love, loved how Liz kept Fred and Ryan an avid part of the tale, and I must admit that while I thought their small cameos would be the highlight of the novel for me, I was dead wrong. Sam and Riley most certainly stole the show.

Just like in Hooked, Fichera has a way with dynamics that has you pulling your hair out begging for kissing and love confessions and all that gushy stuff we swear none of us are into. And it had my heart everywhere.


Can I just say that I can still see Liam Payne acting sassy, and it’s killing me so I’m trying to type faster so I don’t have to look at that face while I try to think of good things to say about this book, because quite honestly? There was no bad. Nothing was wrong with this book.

Not the writing style, not the characters or their relationships with one another, not the plot, not the love or the drama or the suspence. Nothing, nothing, nothing.

I truly hope that Liz finds a way of continuing stories from this world. They make my heart sing.

If you fell head over heels for Hooked, be prepared to be swept off your feet by Played.

So far my favorite contemporary YA novel of 2014… and I don’t doubt that it’ll stay that way.


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