A review by theappalachianbookworm
Dangerous Play, by Emma Kress


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.