A review by bookbruin
Dangerous Play, by Emma Kress


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*