iamrykermn's review against another edition

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Thank you Netgalley, and OrangeSky Audio, for providing me with an ARC of Dangerous Play! Please Check Out Dangerous Play when it comes out, on August 3rd, 2021!

In a Nutshell:
Overall: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Story/Plot: 5/5
Tropes and Themes: 5/5
Cry Count: 2

Dangerous Play is a painful story of sisterhood, telling the story of the 1 in 6. Told with poetic prose, Dangerous Play follows Zoe Alamander as she deals with her injured father, sexual assault, and reclaiming her power and sense of self.

theappalachianbookworm's review against another edition

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The Appalachian Bookworm

content warnings: sexual assault, sexual harassment, rape/mentions of rape, misogyny, violence, sports injury, near death situations

Dangerous Play by Emma Kress is a contemporary sports YA following fierce field hockey captain Zoe Alamandar and her tight knit team. Zoe has one goal - win state championships and earn a scholarship for college. She’s almost there too. It’s her junior year and the team she hand-picked with her co-captain is good. Then Zoe is sexually assaulted at a party. Struggling to cope with the trauma, she and her team decide to take justice into their own hands. Could a single night of vigilantism take it all away?

My rating: 5/5 ★

What I loved:
★ The whole book highlights the importance of girl friendships. But it also shows these girls bonding through activities that are not typically considered to be “feminine”.
★ The characters were diverse, human, relatable and likable. They all had varying types of friendships with one another and they all had unique reactions and emotions and experiences that really brought the story together. I think my favourites on the team were Dylan, Ava, and Liv. And of course, Zoe.
★ A lot of hard conversations were had. Like the double standards that schools uphold for male students, especially those who play specific sports. White privilege was another topic that was touched upon, although not enough given the situation.
★ Lastly, the writing was wonderful. I loved the attention to detail for the girls, the games, the raw emotions.

What I wish were different:
★ There wasn’t much I would have changed. If I had to say anything, it would be that the whole “absofockinglutely” joke got to be a little too much sometimes.

Overall, I seriously enjoyed Dangerous Play and nearly finished it in one sitting. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys good plot, girl friendships, real life topics and sports action.

I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book from Netgalley and the author in exchange for an honest review.

delightful_reading's review against another edition

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Full Review & Stop on a Turn the Page Tour can be found here

Dangerous Play by Emma Kress is a novel with a mission: to bring awareness to sexual assault and to challenge rape culture. And this novel is pretty successful with that.

Zoe Alamandar and her co-captain Ava Cervantes spent the summer recruiting and training girls for their field hockey team, so that they can dominate and make it to the State Championship. There’s a lot riding on them making it to the championships: scholarships, college, and continuing field hockey at the collegiate level. But Zoe’s priorities drastically change after she is sexually assaulted. The aftermath involves Zoe convincing her team to turn vigilante on the boys who get away with sexually harassing and assaulting girls. However, as Zoe amps up the vigilante justice, Zoe and her team are faced with the question: how far is too far?

I really liked this novel! It had an ensemble cast of friends (the field hockey team). Even though Zoe is the main character, a lot of her teammates play pretty important roles.

While the vigilante social justice is a main part of Dangerous Play, it isn’t the only thing. Zoe also has a lot going on. Her dad is recovering from a work accident, and Zoe is dealing with a complicated relationship with her mom. She is dedicated to her team and getting them to States. She also has a crush on a soccer player named Grove. I really liked how Zoe’s life wasn’t just one thing, but as she gets more and more into vigilante justice, it creeps into other aspects of her life.

All in all, this was an enjoyable novel that focuses on some heavy themes. I really like the cast of characters and some of the vigilante aspects!

Many thanks to Turn the Page Tours for inclusion on the Dangerous Play Blog Tour and Roaring Brook Press for the physical copy of Dangerous Play!

TW/CW: rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, guns, violence, life threatening situations, violence/injuries related to sports

delaraadams's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging emotional hopeful inspiring fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


review to come!

bookbruin's review against another edition

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CW: sexual assault/attempted rape (on page), mentions of rape, sexual harassment, misogyny, violence, sports injury (concussion), assault, guns, anxiety, post traumatic stress, bodyshaming, and injury to parent with lasting physical effects.

4.5 stars

This was a very powerful read. It was heartbreaking at times, but I thought the author tackled the issues head on in a realistic and honest way. At times I had a visceral response to what the characters were experiencing. The examination of rape culture was both eye opening and in some ways also sadly not. I think many readers will relate to the situations presented, so please note the content warnings before starting this one.

The writing was engaging and I liked how the sport of field hockey brought all these different individuals together on and off the field. I played field hockey throughout High School, so it was wonderful to see the sport featured in a book. Sometimes the game play scenes felt overly descriptive, but they added an element of excitement and helped convey the different emotions the characters were experiencing. Zoe's growth through the novel was very satisfying and I appreciated how realistic her journey was (the highs and the lows) and how she learned from her choices. Some aspects of the story came together a little too neatly at the end, but ultimately, Dangerous Play is a triumphant and empowering read.

*I voluntarily read an advance review copy of this book*

savorypine's review against another edition

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This book has a great plot but is not written in a meaningful way. It claims to want to resonate with teenagers who are tired of sexual assault/ misogyny but it reads like it’s made for 10-13 year olds.

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nonbinaryknight's review against another edition

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dark inspiring reflective


The cover for this book instantly drew me in. It looked powerful and I wanted to read it, even before I realized that the summary was beyond interesting. I was lucky enough to get a part in a book tour for this book. So I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

 Zoe and her friends are field hockey players. They are strong and dedicated and determined to make it to the championships. Zoe gets sexually assaulted at a party and the group decides to make sure that no other girl feels unsafe again. They become a badass team of vigilantes that prowl through the town to make sure that everyone feels safe. Eventually things seem to be getting out of hand and the girls have to face whether what they are doing is right and worth it.

 I thought that this book was absolutely amazing. The author was able to describe people and items without it feeling as though readers are being drowned in descriptions. I was also immediately drawn into the story and remained immersed the entire time. 

 I want to make a note about the author’s writing. The author does describe the actions of the sexual assault as well as Zoe’s thoughts during the time. I thought that the author did a great job at describing the attack. It stopped being this perfectly written paragraph with well-formed sentences. It worked well to illustrate Zoe’s thoughts. 

 The characters were the absolute best part of this book. All of the characters were written in a very realistic way. They were characters that you could root for or characters that you wanted to hate. None of the characters felt overly perfect or too flawed. Zoe is a very interesting character, especially since you get to watch as she has to deal with the mistakes that she’s made.

 This book also deals with the issue of vigilantism. The summary tells you that they want to make sure no one gets hurt, but the book actually acknowledges the problems that come from taking the law into your own hand. This isn’t going to be a long post, but there will always be problems with people deserving who deserves what punishment. Kress did a great job at describing the situations and people where you could understand the thought process, even if you didn’t agree with it.

 I didn’t really have many issues with this book. My first was the usage of the word fock and fockey. I get that they are field hockey players, but that got annoying after a while. The other thing was that at times it got uncomfortable. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially since it was meant to be seen that way, but I don’t necessarily like reading/feeling that way.

 I honestly adored this book so much. It was fun and realistic (well, to a point). It featured great characters that took on a serious issue and it handled it well.

apric0tjam's review against another edition

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arc provided by netgalley.

it was fine. quick read. morals are a little iffy for a younger audience than me. i wish the author had either leaned fully into the vigilante aspect or addressed the emotional ramifications of SA. it feels very "i have 8 spoons in 8 different pots" and isn't successful in addressing any of them.

utopiastateofmind's review against another edition

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 (Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

 Dangerous Play delivers an atmosphere of friendship and survival. Of simmering rage, sexism that protects perpetrators, and how society encourages silence. I knew that stories like this hit me differently emotionally, and while I was prepared, the rage that boils to the surface always somehow surprises me. How society forces us into this box of not saying something because of the repercussions, consequences for our future, and how it reinforces itself. 

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