This was not as bad as I was expecting. It was cute and sweet, but also generic, cliché, and predictable.
The idea behind the book is that Lisa Matthews is in love with her best friend, Tony. Lisa and Tony have been friends since Kindergarten. And the two have spent many days together and never kissed. After spending time away at soccer camp, Tony’s attention has been shifted to a new girl, Chloe, whom he met at there. As an attempt to win back Tony, Lisa joins the new co-ed soccer team at school, and eventually starts spending her time with the team captain, Ryan Hunter.
The love triangle was exhausting. It added a little unnecessary drama. I wish the author would have chosen something else as the main conflict, because the love triangle fell flat. I’ll speak more on that subject later on.
I was a little surprised with how steamy it got. It was miles away from NSFW; however, it got a little hot and heavy for a book that I assumed would be very innocent.
The soccer aspect of the plot was pushed to the background. Lisa is only on the team for a couple of chapters before she quits. And after that, soccer is only casually mentioned.
There were very few female characters. I think that Tony was Lisa’s only friend.
Chloe was the only prominent female character besides Lisa, and even then her scene time was lacking. Her name is mentioned 25 times in the book, and she probably only is physically present half of those. And her presence brought an extreme level of unnecessary girl hate. Her justifications for hating Lisa were never explored. She was instantly rude to Lisa the first time she met her, and one can only assume that she wasn’t aware of Lisa’s crush on Tony.
Lisa was an okay main character. I did not understand her reasoning for obsessing over Tony. There’s a lot of Lisa telling us that she’s loves Tony, but not a lot of showing us why.
When the readers are introduced to him, he gives off bad vibes. For example, he completely let Chloe talk down to Lisa for no reason.
He was not anything special, and he did some jerk things. For example, he completely ditched a vulnerable Lisa for Chloe.
It was frustrating when the plot thickened and she got mad at both Tony and Ryan. Ryan was clearly the better choice, and Tony only wanted Lisa when Chloe left and Lisa was no longer available. He sort of took her for granted.
Love triangles can be frustrating because of the constant uncertainty, so if there is going to be one, it needs to be strong. When you have a weak one, it’s pointless because the readers are confused to why the main character is not with the obviously better choice. The time that is spent with the other romantic contender, could be better used to develop a solid relationship between the main character and better choice.
Ryan was okay. I liked how it was not instalove at first sight. There was a hint of banter between Lisa and him. And he was genuinely sweet to her. I think they still need to get to know each other a little more because Ryan is sort of a mystery. However, the strides taken in this book is a good starting point for their relationship.
His comment about why Lisa shouldn’t drink alcohol at parties rubbed me the wrong way. It was unclear about why she shouldn’t drink alcohol at his party. It felt sort of like he was babying her.
Play With Me is not overly serious and is a quick, decent read. It is predictable and there is some unnecessary girl hate. The love triangle should have been avoided; however, it does conclude happily without leaving the reader too frustrated or confused.