Friday, May 10, 2013

Review of DON'T HATE THE PLAYER.. HATE THE GAME by Katie Ashley Book Blitz & Double Giveaway

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*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review 

Don't Hate the Player...Hate the Game


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. 


Star Rating: 4 out of 5
Heat Rating: Mild to Simmering (These are teenagers, so think about what you were like)

When I first saw this book I paused, surprised that Katie Ashley was writing a YA novel.  I have read Katie's Proposition Series and LOVED her passionate and hot stories full of drama and characters that were very real.  Typically, I don't read YA but since it was Katie I assumed I would get a great story and I was not disappointed!  This story was so incredible that you don't miss the graphic "adult" scenes because you were so involved with Noah and his journey that everything else falls away (even your family and dinner prep).

“Don’t be ashamed of your emotions, Noah. Experience them and embrace them. They’re what make us alive and strong.”

Don't Hate the Player... Hate the Game is a honest, raw and real story told from Noah's point of view.  I LOVE a story told from the boy's perspective and in this story it added another layer of wonderful in an already decadent cake.   From the blurb you know as a reader that one of the worst possible tragedies has befallen Noah, he has lost his best friend in a crazy accident and now has to figure out who he is without Jake and move on with his life. 

"The life of one we love is never lost. Its influence goes on through every life it ever touched."

I knew that this story was going to be sad in parts but I was unprepared for how Katie's writing through Noah's perspective would shred me.  I think I cried through the first 25% of this book, the writing evoked such strong emotions and really let the reader see inside Noah and what he was going through.

"Sometimes we just have two sides to us, Noah. One that we’re willing to let the world see, and then the other that we hide deep within ourselves.”

Don't Hate the Player, wasn't all grief and raw story-telling, it was more of a journey that Noah went through at the end of his Senior year of high school that changed how he viewed himself and his relationships with others.  Maddie enters Noah's life when he loses Jake and her brand of goody-two shoes teenager is the antithesis of what Noah is used to in girls.  Maddie was a delight to read, she was funny, innocent and a bit goofy, I instantly liked the person Noah was when he was around her and knew good things were going to happen.  

“Like I said. I don’t want to go all hardcore—I hear it’s easy to get addicted. I wanna say outta Ice Cream Rehab if you don’t mind!”

Katie Ashley has written a beautiful story that any age group can enjoy.  As a mother and a woman in her mid-thirties this book resonated on many levels and really reminded me that what we see on the surface isn't always what lies underneath a person.  I LOVED this book.  It made me laugh, cry and feel hope, something we all can use in our lives.  If you enjoyed Katie's other books you will NOT be disappointed in this YA novel, and if you have never read a book by Katie Ashley, this is a MUST read!  Go.  Go now and 1-click!!

Giveaway #1:

Giveaway #2:

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.

Author Links: