Don’t Hate the Player

Author: Alexis Nedo

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Release Date: June 15, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A fun read for all the video game fanatics out there.

Emilia Romero likes to be an ordinary kid, playing field hockey and keeping up with her grades. The problem is she is not normal; when she gets home, she turns on her persona of a hard-core gamer and competes as the only female member of a highly competitive esports team. While it is hard to keep her two lives separate, she feels it is the best way to stay safe since female gamers are not highly accepted and often harassed. When Emilia goes to compete in the tournament, her two worlds collide when she is recognized by a member of their rival team. Jake Hooper has wanted to be with Emilia for years and now that his team has made it to the tournament he is shocked to see her and find out she has been leading a double life with no one knowing of her gaming life. They both work to help their teams win the tournament but also keep others from finding out about her secret.

This book is perfect for gamers and those into that world. If you are not a big gamer, this will be a hard one to keep your interest. The characters and their relationships are written well giving us a drive to see them succeed with the goals they have set throughout. Setting a lead character of a girl gamer is different and unique right now and will really hit a spot with a select group of readers. I enjoyed the way this showed the problems that girl gamers face, just like so many facets of life, females will face lots of challenges when it comes to a more male dominated area. Many of the secondary characters got on my nerves at times and I had to brush past them to try and enjoy the rest of the story. I enjoy finding different types of books that are not the same old same old that tend to be the most picked up and read. I would recommend this to young readers that enjoy video games and that lifestyle.

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