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Dungeons and Drama Reviewed by Ekta R. Garg of Bookpleasures.com
From:
Norm Goldman --  BookPleasures.com Norm Goldman -- BookPleasures.com
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Montreal, QC
Thursday, January 11, 2024

 

Ekta R. Garg

Reviewer Ekta Garg: Ektahas actively written and edited since 2005 for publications like: ThePortland Physician Scribe; the Portland Home BuildersAssociation home show magazines; ABCDlady; and TheBollywood Ticket. With an MSJ in magazine publishing fromNorthwestern University Ekta also maintains TheWrite Edge- a professional blog for her writing. In additionto her writing and editing, Ekta maintains her position as a“domestic engineer”—housewife—and enjoys being a mother totwo beautiful kids.

View all articles by Ekta R. Garg

Title: Dungeons and Drama

Author: Kristy Boyce

Publisher: Delacorte Press

ISBN: 9780593647011

Two teens agree to a fakerelationship so one can fool a crush and the other can fool herparents. As they start spending more time together, they each startwishing they could get rid of the “fake” part. Author KristyBoyce is back with her latest YA romance in a fun, lighthearted readsure to make adults remember their own high school days in Dungeonsand Drama.


In a small Ohio town,Riley is trying not to let the screaming get to her. Her parents’screaming, that is. Okay, so she did borrow her mom’s car, and shedoesn’t have a license, and she and her best friend, Hoshiko, drovelong distance to see a cool Broadway musical. She gets why herparents are freaking out, because she and Hoshiko could have beenpulled over or died or whatever, but, honestly? No regrets.

Not about the show, butRiley does regret the punishment she’s been handed. She’ssupposed to spend from now until eternity—well, eight weeks,anyway—working after school in her dad’s game shop. Riley’s dadloves games of all kinds. In fact, he loves them so much he was okaygetting a divorce from Riley’s mom to fulfill his dream of owninghis own store. Where Riley will be stuck for infinity.

It doesn’t help that onher first day, she mistakes one of the employees for a thief. Nathanis a classmate, but they’ve never hung out. Now, despite her bestintentions, they start to get to know one another. Crazy enough,Riley discovers Nathan isn’t a total dork. Even if he does likeplaying Dungeons and Dragons with his goofy friends in the back ofthe store on game nights.

But Riley doesn’t havetime for the store. The school’s new drama teacher, Ms. Sahni, hasannounced that budget cuts have axed the big spring musical. Riley isa hardcore theater kid—it’s her dream to direct on Broadway oneday, hence the risk to drive unlicensed—and she’s determined notto let the spring musical become another victim of dumb moneydecisions. One way or the other, she’s going to save the musical.Except she promised her parents she wouldn’t do anything related totheater during her punishment. 

Riley begs Nathan to coverfor her when she needs to stay late at school for her “Save theMusical” project. Nathan agrees but wants something in return, sothey agree to a fake dating scheme that includes Riley joiningNathan’s ongoing D&D game at the store to make his gamer-girlcrush jealous. A bonus is that Riley gets to make her ex-boyfriendjealous at school, and a surprising benefit is that she startsgetting to know her dad better. 

At first, Riley, ever thetheater kid, sees the D&D game as another performance. Soonenough she finds herself getting into it. Even more strange, Nathandoesn’t seem like such a nerd anymore. In fact, if she didn’tknow any better, she could swear she’s starting to like him. 

Nathan seems to beenjoying himself with her too. And once her parents hear that they’re“dating,” they get all gooey-eyed about it. Now Riley doesn’tknow when, or if, she’ll be able to tell them the truth aboutsneaking behind their backs to work on the musical. All she knows isthat she’ll have to figure out something fast if she wants to savethe show and, maybe, her relationship with Nathan too.

Author Kristy Boyce writeswith an ease and familiarity of her target readership. The coyflirtations and sweet blushes feel real and grounded. Riley andNathan’s individual predicaments as well as their collective needto keep up the charade of dating will bring out lots of laughs andgrins from readers.

At times the book comesacross as a little cheesy, and as is common with so many other YAbooks the adults seem clueless. Riley’s ultimate proposal to savethe school musical is simplistic, which might leave some astutereaders wondering why Ms. Sahni didn’t come up with it herself.Riley’s attraction to Nathan, too, is easy to spot. It’s a wonderRiley doesn’t figure out sooner that she’s no longer faking herfeelings.

For the most part,however, the book is fun and lighthearted and will leave its readerssmiling at the end. Those looking for a classic YA romance with afresh twist in its references to and uses of Dungeons and Dragonswill definitely love this one. I recommend readers Bookmark Dungeonsand Drama by Kristy Boyce.

 Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com

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Name: Norm Goldman
Title: Book Reviewer
Group: bookpleasures.com
Dateline: Montreal, QC Canada
Direct Phone: 514-486-8018
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