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Hooked #2


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This Game Is Getting All Too Real

He said: I like to keep under the radar and mostly hang out with my friends from the rez. But when I saved Riley Berenger from falling off a mountain, that rich suburban princess decided to try to save me.

She said: If I can help Sam Tracy win the heart of the girl he can't get over, I'll pay him back for helping me. I promised him I would, no matter what it takes.

352 pages, Paperback

First published May 27, 2014

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About the author

Liz Fichera

6 books310 followers
Liz is an author living in the American Southwest by way of Chicago.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 137 reviews
Profile Image for Glass.
643 reviews4 followers
May 22, 2014

I am so happy that I decided to read this. Last year I read Hooked, story about girl named Fred who plays golf and popular boy Ryan who took his sweet time to finally make his own decisions. I was not the biggest fan, so you can understand my hesitance to pick up a sequel. But now I am really glad that I did because otherwise I'd miss something worth reading. (Aman won't agree with me about that one, so you can read why she didn't finish it on Enticed by Books - just in case you need "second opinion").

Girls, meet your next book crush! All of you who read first book, you do remember Sam Tracy? Big guy who only looks scary, but actually is a real sweetheart? Well, this is his story. Played can be described as romantic comedy, a lot like those written by Jennifer Echols. Thinking about it now, I believe that fans of The Boys Next Door will adore this novel. A boy and a girl who normally wouldn't hang out are forced to spend time together, one of them suggest "evil-mastermind-plan", they do a lot of other things, they bond - we swoon and cheer. Perfect and summery and heart-melting and adorable.

With just enough drama. Liz Fichera made a perfect mix of emotions, angst, unexpected twists, misunderstandings, revelations and "goose bumps" moments. With only couple of things that bothered me, but didn't mess up with how much I enjoyed reading this book, Played is a perfect choice for upcoming warm days.

Review posted at Ja čitam, a ti?

***Copy of the book was provided by publisher, Harlequin Teen, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***
Profile Image for Erica.
1,268 reviews677 followers
Want to read
January 6, 2013
495 reviews2,419 followers
May 2, 2014
I read and enjoyed Hooked a year ago, so of course I was ecstatic when I was approved to read and review Played.

Now, I'm very conflicted about my thoughts on Played. A few minutes after reading it, I decided that it was just an okay book--not bad, not great. After giving it a few more hours of thought, I realized that there were much more things that were bad than good, to my dismay. I really wanted to love this book, since the premise was something I enjoyed reading about.

So I thought the synopsis meant that the guy had a crush on a popular girl he'll never have, since I totally forgot the events that went on in book one. Imagine my surprise when I realized "the girl he couldn't get over" was the heroine's brother's girlfriend. Holy hell, so basically the heroine was trying to break the relationship between her brother and his girlfriend, just so the guy who saved her can have a chance with said girlfriend. The hell, girl? I get that she felt like she had to "repay" him, but why through a method that will hurt others?

Our main girl is Riley, a "perfect" daughter. Don't get me wrong--Riley was a really realistic character. She loved the color pink and wasn't afraid of what others thought of that. She whined, pleaded and became a bitch when times were tough, just like we all would. But of course, just because she was a realistic character doesn't mean I'll like her. I found her to be very annoying and wanted to strangle her or rip her head off sometimes. But I appreciated how Fichera developed her character in the end, and how she ended up realizing family will always be family.

Sam is our guy here. I really liked his character from start to end. He was a sweet gentleman, despite being a gigantic 6-footer. He was also a bit shy, which I found to be kind of endearing to a point.

For the actual storyline and relationship between the two characters, the first half definitely felt rushed. The last half did give me a ton of feels (especially towards the 80% mark), but there were a few twists that were totally unforeshadowed and just showed up out of nowhere. But I did begin to love the friendship-turned-romance between the two characters. It was nice to see them gradually warm up to each other.

Overall, I guess I'd have to tell you to give book one a shot first, since I really enjoyed that one, and since the two main characters in this one are there, you'll get a taste of what they're like. I'd recommend this to fans of Simone Elkeles' Wild Cards.

Profile Image for Dianne.
6,765 reviews581 followers
April 18, 2014
What a fun surprise Played by Liz Fichera was. Two teens from different worlds collide at a school sponsored Leadership Conference. Like oil and water, Riley and Sam clash, until they are forced to work together as a team on a scavenger hunt in the forest and hills surround the conference. One wrong turn, one huge misstep finds Riley and Sam trapped until morning, huddled together for warmth and to stay dry. Sam sees Riley as a rich little princess, Riley sees Sam as an arrogant teen with a chip on his shoulder. The events of that night change everything for these two as Riley vows to re-pay Sam for saving her by finding a way to get the girl he has been crushing since childhood to notice him. Too bad the object of his affection is Riley’s brother’s girlfriend.What happens when misguided good intentions backfire?

Riley has it good, accept for the fact that her older brother seems to be everyone’s favorite at home, while she seems to never be good enough, no matter how her grades are, no matter what she does. In Sam, Riley finds someone to lean on and confide in, while Sam learns to trust her enough to knock some of those chips on his shoulders off, a he learns there is a wonderful, warm person under all that pink she wears.

Often comical, sometimes just plain “true teen,” and definitely a moving story of two teens who discover they are not only good friends, but could become so much more. Not only is this a coming of age story, but a story of change and the struggle to be understood or at least to be noticed as part of the family for Riley. Sam learns to let go of manufactured dreams and assumptions and to learn to try to fit in both worlds he lives in.
Liz Fichura takes us back to high school, the cliques, the bullies, the entire scene as she highlights two teens caught up in the struggle of pre-adulthood. Ms. Fichura has done a marvelous job of portraying the dual life of a Native American, one steeped in an ancient culture and one trying to blend into the melting pot of this country. A quick read that seems wonderful for younger teens on up.

I received the ARC edition from Harlequin Teen in exchange for my honest review.

Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
ISBN: 9780373210947
Genre: Teen/YA Fiction
Number of Pages: 352
Available From: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Profile Image for Kim at Divergent Gryffindor.
470 reviews132 followers
May 5, 2015
I was so happy I learned that I was a part of the Played blog tour, and I was so excited when I received my copy from Netgalley! I wanted to read it immediately, but figured it'd be best if I waited until my tour stop date got closer before reading it.

Before I read Played, I was in a slight reading slump. I read, but a book couldn't hold my attention for more than 15 minutes, thus me reading four books all at once. I knew I had to finish Played soon, so that's what I concentrated on mostly. At first I was bored, but when I got to the middle, I got more intrigued and the story held more of my attention.

Riley and Sam both went to the Leadership Conference and got teamed up in the scavenger hunt to find some leaves and stuff through the forest. Sam and Riley took a path different from all the scavenger hunters, but because of Riley's stubbornness, she falls off the Mogollon Rim. Then it starts to rain, forcing Riley and Sam to spend the night in the forest, fighting for survival.

When Riley and Sam gets rescued, Riley is beyond thankful that Sam helped her stay alive. As a means of repaying Sam for this act, Riley promises Sam that she would help him win the love of his life. And so begins their adventure.

When I started reading Played, I didn't like it that much. I felt pretty bored while reading the first half of the book, but it just got better and better at the second part. During the first half, I was really annoyed by the main character's naive crush on Jay, and also, she's trying to break up her brother and his girlfriend!! She lied and became this crazy girl, and I was annoyed. I read on though, and at the second half, I became happy with the book.

Things started to get more exciting as Riley and Sam spent more and more time with each other. Slowly, their feelings for each other developed, and there certainly were a lot of amazing feels! It started to hold my attention, and I wasn't able to put it down anymore!

I loved, loved, loved the last twenty or so percent of the book! It was heart-clenching and gripping, and everything was coming together amazingly! Apologies were made, and the characters made amends. It was amazing how everything wrapped up, and I felt glad to have read this book.

Overall, I rate this book 3.5 stars. Yes, I am all praise on the second half of the book, especially the last twenty percent, but I cannot forget how annoyed I was at the first half! I recommend people to try this one, but I think it depends on personal taste whether you like it or not. But I can promise you that the last half is just absolutely amazing!
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews837 followers
August 4, 2014
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Played by Liz Fichera
Book Two of the Hooked series
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Rating: 3 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Official Summary:

This Game Is Getting All Too Real

He said: I like to keep under the radar and mostly hang out with my friends from the rez. But when I saved Riley Berenger from falling off a mountain, that rich suburban princess decided to try to save me.

She said: If I can help Sam Tracy win the heart of the girl he can't get over, I'll pay him back for helping me. I promised him I would, no matter what it takes.

What I Liked:

I had a feeling that I would enjoy this book more than I enjoyed Hooked, book one - and I was right! Hooked got three stars from me, so it's not THAT big of a difference, but overall, I definitely liked this book more. For one, I liked the male protagonist, Sam, a lot, and at times, Riley (the female protagonist).

This book picks up where the first book ended - but these books can be read as companion novels. Fred and Ryan are together, and Sam Tracy couldn't be more heartbroken. When he and Riley Berenger (Ryan's younger sister) are stuck together in a leadership conference, things are about to change. The two of them get stranded in the wilderness, and after Sam saves Riley, she is determined to return the favor - in which Riley takes it upon herself to get Fred and Sam together, even though Fred is dating Riley's brother.

For most of this book, up until the part where Sam makes some seriously stupid decisions involving Jay Hawkins, I really enjoyed this book! It's different from its predecessor. Riley is meddling in everyone's lives, trying to create problems in Ryan and Fred's relationship, trying to give Sam a makeover, trying to get Sam on the prom court, trying to get Jay Hawkins' attention, trying to get any attention at all, trying to be the not-perfect daughter. At first, I understood Riley, and how she was feeling. It's hard when everyone EXPECTS you to be perfect and never mess up, but siblings or best friends don't have that high standard, and can get away or not get in serious trouble for doing bad things.

So, at times, I "got" Riley. I understood her. I could see why she wanted to help Sam. I could understand why she wanted to get the attention of one of the coolest and hottest boys in school. I know the pressure, the feeling of not wanting to be so perfect all the time, of not wanting to have those high standards all the time. I think I liked Riley up until she started acting stupid and brainless. She's a very smart girl. But then she let her emotions get the better of her AND THEN SOME, and it got messy. I didn't like how she reacted to things, in the last fourth of the book.

The same goes with Sam - I really liked Sam! He is quiet yet confident, brooding yet sensitive. There are so many good qualities that he has, and selflessness is one of them, which I really liked. I can and can't believe he'd fall for someone like Riley - but then, opposites DO attract. The two of them are weird together. Bad things seem to happen around them. Or maybe just Riley.

While book one went in circles, this book definitely did NOT. I was happy to see some serious plot twists and surprises in this book, especially coming down to the end. The author hit many different issues in this book, and seemed to focus less on the Native American culture, which benefited her and the story, more than anything else.

Overall, I think I liked this one more, though I hate to be playing the comparison game. I'm glad for the change of characters, the change of pace, the change of focus. Definitely a job better done, Fichera! I mean that nicely.

What I Did Not Like:

I already mentioned this, but gradually, I started liking Riley less and less. At first, I was like, I can relate to this girl! Then she just went psycho. She got black-out drunk at a party and let Jay Hawkins do nasty things with tequila and take pictures of her while she was so heavily inebriated?! Stupid. Stupid stupid stupid. Guys, I'm a college student, and I will tell you over and over, LEAVE THE ALCOHOL ALONE. Don't get black-out drunk. Don't get drunk at all. It messes you up, short-term and long-term.

Well, it worked against Riley big time. Those pictures were posted on Facebook, and everyone saw them. In this book, the pictures were taken down eventually. In the real world? Things never completely disappear. Things don't really get taken down from Facebook, either.

So yeah, I slowly lost respect for Riley. Towards the end of the book, she got stupider and stupider. Things like prom court and breaking up her brother and his girlfriend and running away seemed really, really important. Riley is so immature, and it shows, in the last fourth of the book. For an intelligent girl, she is really dense and lacks common sense. Beginning to the end of the story.

Sam. Oh Sam. Why did you have to be one of those boys that has a spotless record and no fighting incidents, right until you meet this one girl? This one girl, that you aren't even dating? Wow. Just... wow. Great decision making there. You had to be THAT GUY that goes apes*** crazy once he's met this girl. Okie dokie, then.

So I had issues with the characters. I liked them, but there were issues, and they were a clear impediment on my reading. I feel like the character development in this series is kind of poor. Just saying.

Would I Recommend It:

If you read the first book, then definitely read this book, because it's worth the read. If you haven't read either book, then you could pass on the series. I knew that I would like this book better, because I really liked Sam in the first book, so I wanted to see how things would work out for him. Read it if you were in the same boat as me, it's worth it!


3.5 stars -> rounded down to 3 stars. I definitely liked this book more than I liked the first book, but I still had issues with this book. I guess they're different issues though, which is good in a way. This isn't one of my favorite contemporary series, but I'm glad I gave this book (and Hooked) a chance!
Profile Image for Naoms.
706 reviews161 followers
May 22, 2014
Originally posted on: Confessions of an Opinionated Book Geek

This is a story about wrong first impressions, misconceptions, white lies and misunderstandings. It’s also about a good girl who is suddenly trouble and a quiet boy who finds himself suddenly a hero. I loved it.

Riley has always done everything right. She’s got great grades, is always home by curfew and never gives her parents any problems. She’s also a nobody at high school, well not completely a nobody, she is Ryan Berenger’s little sister. That’s her identity, that and the fact that she wears lots of pink. That’s until she gets stranded in the woods overnight with a boy named Sam and is put on the high school map. Suddenly, all the girls want to talk to her and all the boys want to know her.

Sam has two things on his mind, getting himself into a good college so he can give back to the reservation and a girl named Fred. He’s loved Fred in one way or another for as long as he can remember, but Fred just didn’t love him back. She gave her heart to Ryan Berenger instead, ensuring that Sam want nothing to do with anyone with the last name Berenger including Ryan’s younger sister, Riley.

But, when Riley is injured in the middle of nowhere during their schools leadership camping trip, Sam can’t bring himself to leave her. For one night, Riley and Sam, rely on each other for support, warmth and comfort. Riley, drunk with relief and gratitude decides that she is going to get Sam the thing he wants most, Fred, her brothers girlfriend.

And so it begins, a convoluted plan that leads to laughs, heartache, danger and a ruined reputation.

I won’t lie, there were moments where I could not believe how clueless Riley was when it came to her feelings. Here she is falling in love with this guy and she’s trying to fix him up with someone else! But, many of us have done it. Helped a guy or girlfriend with their love life when all you want to do is yell “pick me! Love me!”

There is also the morality of it all. Breaking up your own brother’s relationship, when you have seen how this love had changed him for the better. Of course, as a fan of HOOKED, I was extremely unhappy cuz I love me some Fred and Ryan. Seeing a couple you saw get together and rooted for from the POV of other characters is very interesting. You want to hate Riley for wanting to break up two characters you like. But, you can’t do it cuz you are seeing their thoughts or really, how little they have thought it through.

I really love these books by Liz Fichera. They are entertaining, fun and diverse. Sam, like Fred from HOOKED, is a Native American teenager who lives on a reservation. When is the last time you’ve read or heard about characters with that background? What I also loved is that the author managed to stay away from the cliche. While Sam’s relationship with his dad is strained it’s not because he’s an alcoholic or abusive. It’s because, like many other families they just can’t seem to connect. His dad liked camping, Sam likes to stay in reading, etc.

Then there is Riley. I liked that although Sam and Riley start with a Darcy/Lizzie type wrong first impressions, it’s not about race. They don’t dislike each other because one is Native and the other white, it’s about personality. Which if you grow up in a diverse place, like I did, you are rarely a prejudice. What I did enjoy is that race isn’t ignored. There’s a scene where the question is asked what Sam likes to be called, Native, Native American, by tribe or Indian, which Sam responds “just Sam.”

Which is brilliant. I have had lots of conversations about how to identify myself and have decided to borrow from this character and reply “just Naomi.”

I recommend this book for fans of YA like “Anna and the French Kiss” and “Golden”, anyone who liked Hooked and for readers who are looking to read about diverse characters.

*ARC provided by and Netgalley Release Date: May.27, 2014.
Profile Image for Kimi.
93 reviews6 followers
May 30, 2014
Originally posted at Geeky Chiquitas

It is when a book hits so close to home that I find it the most difficult to write a review and make sense of how I feel about the story. Played is unexpectedly one of those books, and I've spent days trying to decipher my thoughts into words. Nevertheless, I shall attempt.

Played tells the story of Riley and Sam, two people with completely different backgrounds, whose paths one day cross on a leadership camp for intelligent and outstanding students. They instantly hate each other: Sam thinking of Riley as a spoiled bossy white girl, while Riley thinking of Sam as this rude, moody and arrogant guy. But when they are paired up to work together, Riley finds herself in danger with only Sam there to save her. After spending a whole day together stranded at the bottom of a cliff, they form an unlikely friendship. Riley then decides to repay Sam by helping him get together with her brother's girlfriend who is Sam's crush. Told in the alternating POVs of Sam and Riley, Played is about how two different people fall in love.

At first I found this premise quite shallow and unoriginal, considering there have been several stories made about a boy and a girl who hate each other but eventually fall in love and/or a girl who helps the boy get together with someone else but they 'unexpectedly' fall in love and end up together in the end anyway. The story of Played is a mesh of these two tropes and I wasn't as enthusiastic about it at first. However, Played drew me in the moment I got a glimpse into Sam and Riley's thoughts. I found both these characters very interesting, not necessarily likable but very compelling - and I wouldn't want to admit, but also relatable.

Riley seemingly has the perfect life, especially in Sam's eyes. Her family is rich, her grades are high, what more could she ask for? But throughout the book you see how much she struggles to meet her parent's expectations, to excel beyond what she is capable of. Though Riley is presumed to be a good girl, the obedient one who never drinks and always gets straight As, we get to see Riley get in touch with her rebellious side, the side that we honestly all have but try the hardest to not unleash. Throughout the book Riley does a bunch of stupid and selfish things, but through all of these, Riley is able to break out of her shell and mature into a person who can distinguish between right and wrong and also one who does not just follow blindly.

Sam is different. Being one of the few Native Americans in their school he tries hard to fit in. It was interesting to see how Sam juggled with his life home in the Rez and his life outside of it - how these two opposite ends would meet. Sam's struggle to be recognized by his father comprised a major part of his story and I liked how it worked out in the end.

Both of them have their own problems to deal with - problems that are not unfamiliar to teenagers today. These are problems that concern family life, societal expectation, acceptance and yes even race. There is a part in the book where the characters ponder over what the politically correct term for Native American is, something that has possibly crossed the minds of any teenager in today's generation. At the beginning Riley experiments with Botox with her best friend, and here we see a girl who has for a long time obediently followed her parents expectations and now realizing that maybe just maybe, she does not want to anymore.

There is also a diverse group of secondary characters. Fred and Ryan, the two main characters in the first novel Hooked, contributed a big part to the story and I loved how they fit into it. I loved how they were a big key to Riley and Sam's realization and journey to acceptance of themselves. Everyone else was also very interesting and well-rounded characters: Trevor, Fred's brother who helps Sam by selling him his bike, Jay, the misogynistic jerk, Drew, Riley's best friend who's always there for her, Martin, who gives the best advice to Sam, Riley's parents who just really want the best for her, Sam's parents who struggle to understand him and last but not the least Sam's grandmother who I found so likeable and so genuinely nice.

The romance between Sam and Riley was well-paced as well. I absolutely abhor insta love so I liked how they started by not exactly liking each other. I loved seeing how they evolve from strangers to friends and finally into something more. The dream basket which Sam's grandmother gives to Riley is an important component of their love story and I found if to be a sweet but simple way to wrap things up.

The best part of the book is the probably the last 15% of it. I loved how the story was concluded and the ending was just perfectly wondrous. It gave me this good squirmy feeling like I wanted to hug these two people and pat them in the back for a job well done.
Profile Image for Elien.
198 reviews
June 29, 2014
This review and more on So Bookalicious

Played is about a lot of things: wrong first impressions, white lies, misunderstandings, first love and friendship.

Riley has always been the good girl. She got stellar grades, never breaks curfew and doesn’t cause her parents any trouble, after she has an older brother to do that. Everyone knows her as Ryan Berenger’s little sister, besides that no one ever notices her. That’s until she gets stranded in the woods together with Sam Tracy. Suddenly everyone wants to talk to her and all the boys want to know her including the guy she always had a crush on, Jay Hawkins.

Sam only wants two things in his life, get into a good college and a girl named Fred. Getting into college won’t be a problem, but getting Fred will be. She lost her heart to Ryan Berenger, Riley’s older brother. He wants nothing to do with anyone named Berenger, including Riley. Unfortunately you don’t always choose who you get stranded with.

And so there story begins. There is heartache, one or more ruined reputations and a lot of hilarious situations.

I haven’t read Hooked yet, maybe I should have before I read Played. So I didn’t know Riley’s and Sam’s background with both Ryan and Fred. But I got an idea by reading Played. And without reading a complete book centered around them I already loved Ryan and Fred, so I’m definitely going to pick up Hooked. I got why Riley wanted to help Sam to get Fred, even though I didn’t like it. I mean if my little sister would try to break up my relationship I would be so mad at her for a long time. But I got why she did what she did, certainly at the beginning. But after you saw her feelings change towards Sam you would have thought she would give up her scheming but she didn’t. Even if it was obvious how they felt about each other they were both to stubborn to act upon it. But it did lead to some touching and hilarious situations so I won’t complain about it too much.

What I also loved was that the author tried to stay away from the clichés in YA and NA books. Sam’s relationship with his father was strained but it wasn’t because he’s an alcoholic or abusive or because he’s never around. But just because they just can’t seem to connect anymore.

I would recommend this book to YA readers who like books like “Wild Cards” and “Things I Can’t Forget”.
Profile Image for Andie Samar.
431 reviews
May 26, 2014
Riley is this Pink Girl. She's a smart blond (weird, huh?), she over thinks everything, plans a lot and is full of energy and words. She also sketch a lot.
Sam is this Native hot and strong guy that is a gentleman, mysterious and very nice (also adorable).
They both get to know each other in a Leadership event when they get paired for a scavenger hunt. At the beginning they hated each other because Sam hates Riley's brother and is being rude to her so Riley is angry at him for being rude. Riley is kind of blinded by anger and does something really stupid, she falls from a tree to a side rock that excels a mountain and she can't climb back because she's really hurt. Then Sam goes down with her and stays with her taking care of her and everything. They become really close friends and share a deep secret.
The next day they're rescued and Riley is decided to help him win the heart of the girl he loves. And that's when everything starts.

I loved that. How they hated each other and then they became so close. I wanted all the story to take place in that cliff or whatever, it was probably my favorite part.
I didn't like Riley so much, she's a dumb blond but smart. I mean, she's really smart (according to this book) but she acts super stupidly almost all the book.
Sam on the other hand is really smart and nice, he's a quiet guy with a lot going on. I loved him, I could relate more with his attitude.
I liked Drew, Riley's best friend, but unfortunately she isn't in a lot of scenes of the book.
And Ryan and Fred. Ryan didn't convinced me, I liked him but meh. And Fred is an amazing girl, at least that's how it sounds, I want to read about these two in Hooked.
The book is kind of fatty, it's long and with a bunch of scenes and I liked that.
It's narrated by both, Riley and Sam. I didn't like much Riley's parts, she thinks in a weird very girly way. I loved Sam's parts, he's so harsh with himself but at the same time so adorable.
I liked Sam's friends a lot! Well, just Trevor and Martin, I want to know a bit more about those two.
The ending was perfect, I really liked it. A bit before the ending in their "adventure" everything seemed a bit predictable and forced, but then it became better an easier to read.
And I think that's it, it isn't a very original topic but it has really nice parts, I liked it.
Profile Image for Ria.
541 reviews44 followers
June 2, 2015
Both Sam and Riley are fundamentally unhappy for different reasons. Through mishap after mishap these two finally find their way. I enjoyed the way their relationship formed because it wasn’t a whirlwind the love these two shared developed just beneath the surface. From their first encounter there was something there and as the story developed their true feelings started surfacing. There were a few things these two did that I didn’t agree with but I’m glad they didn’t cause irreparable damage. The side characters were great I just ate up Sam’s family dynamic. From front to end this was an entertaining read that I recommend for anyone looking for a fun light veg on the couch YA read.

My Rating

4.0 Leadership, Nickname, Hill, Rain, Helicopter, Phone, Brother, Crush, Party, Photos, Scholarship, Counselor, Prom, Dream Basket Promise of Love filled stars.
Profile Image for Adriana.
913 reviews69 followers
February 5, 2018
The writing and character portrayal was a bit too angsty for me. I liked it enough to finish it but it wasn't the greatest writing. Both characters were a bit annoying. I did like the plot at least. I felt like Riley tried too hard and was too naive. She was supposed to be smart but written like she wasn't. Sam was a little too broody. They were both too one-dimensional to me.
Profile Image for Richa.
430 reviews141 followers
April 29, 2014
Originally posted at City of Books

This is actually the first interracial YA series I've read, beginning with Hooked last year. It definitely opened my eyes to see all the racism present even with a thriving Native community, and I was quite outraged by most of it. So in a way I'm glad there's less focus on it in this book. Played follows Ryan's sister, Riley, and Fred's friend Sam from the Rez. There's a lot more drama in this one, and some pretty dangerous situations as well. But I didn't like this as much as its predecessor, for a few reasons.

Riley and Sam both end up on the same team and paired up during a weekend leadership camp. They're not psyched about being stuck together. But when Riley slips down the side of a mountain, Sam goes after her, and they spend the night trapped in a storm underneath the tree branches. They begin talking, and Sam decides to tell her his number one secret - that he's still in love with Fred. So Riley decides to help him get her, and that's where all the trouble begins.

The only thing I didn't like about this book? Riley. But she's one of the protagonists, so that affected my enjoyment of the novel a lot. We're supposed to think Riley is smart, but honestly she makes such ridiculous decisions, I can't help but wonder. There's this one part that, okay, is pretty insignificant but I kind of fixated on it. It's this little bit here -

I'd heard that he'd gotten a perfect score on the math section of the SATs. I mean, who scored perfect on that? That was borderline freakish.

Well, where I live, it's kind of an embarrassment not to get a perfect score. Usually. Depends on the nationality, of course. But basically most people I know think that section is pretty damn easy. And Riley's supposed to be smart! There's also another bit involving Botox that really had me wondering why people think she's smart.

Another thing I really didn't like about her - she tries her best to break up her brother's relationship with his girlfriend. Who does that? Does she seriously not get how much it would hurt both of them if she interfered? Riley finds that out the hard way. Also, her fangirl-like obsession with Jay Hawkins pissed me off. He's just a guy, not even a nice one. Get over it.

But to balance out Riley's annoying-ness, we have Sam Tracy. Fred's best friend from the Rez. If you've read Hooked, you'll know he had a thing for Fred. Well, it's still there throughout most of this novel. Sam and Fred reminded me of Beth and Isaiah from Dare You To by Katie McGarry. Coincidentally, the boyfriend's name in that book is also Ryan! Anyway, I'm glad Sam and Fred work things out, because it's hard to see either of them in pain. I always thought Ryan and Fred made a great pair, even if they have a lot of differences.

Sam's pretty much perfect, and I liked him way more than I did Ryan. He's exceptionally smart (unlike Riley - sorry, I had to) and he has goals to really do something after high school. Going to college, coming back to make a difference in the Rez. Also, I loved how adorably clueless he is about his attractiveness! After saving Riley, Sam becomes what she calls 'A-list'. And he doesn't even realize. It's so cute.

Towards the end of the novel, things get kind of crazy. Involving a random six-hour motorcycle ride from Phoenix to San Diego, an almost-mugging-slash-killing, and an arrest. I think it was a bit much, but it did the job. And of course I couldn't keep my eyes off the pages! I adored the beginning half, and though it spiralled down a little later on, this book definitely kept me hooked throughout.

On the whole, I did enjoy this. Played is named aptly, too, the way people play each other. Especially the way Riley does it. This one is a lot more intense than Hooked, but its underlying message is equally important. I'll leave you to figure it out when you read it!

*Thank you to Harlequin TEEN for providing me with an eARC for review*
Profile Image for What Makes Patri.
298 reviews207 followers
May 28, 2014
We are The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club, to know more about this book, go to the post in our website:

Played (Hooked, #2) by Liz Fichera

If you are interested, you can visit our website:

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club's Review:

Rate: 3,5 stars


Played is a fun, sweet and lovely story that fully shows what means to be a teenager and to fall in love. I truly enjoyed this book.

This second book in the Hooked series is about Sam and Riley. Sam's heartbroken due to "losing" Fred over Ryan (first book!) and it kind of sucks to feel that way. Until he gets stuck with Riley Berenger, Ryan's younger sister, in the middle of the wilderness.
Determined to do something in return for the boy who saved her, Riley ends up making some plans to find Sam some happiness, even if that means breaking his brother's relationship in order to Fred to fall in love with Sam. However, things don't turn out the way they thought it would be... Because, as time passes, Sam and Riley's friendship might turn out into something else.

Riley's the perfect definition of a teenager. Some might find her a little obnoxious from time to time, but that's the perfect reflection of what a truly teenager is sometimes. Although it's true that some decisions made by Riley are not the wisest ones, she's screaming for a little attention. She just wants to be seen and to be understood, and sometimes this leads her to be carried away by her emotions and ends up doing something that leaves the reader open-mouthed. Literally.

Sam, on the other way, gives the impression of being a little bit more mature than Riley. You find yourself irresistibly drown to this character. He's one of those good guys that are hard to find: always thinking of everyone and trying to do what he consider's the right thing. How can you not fall for a guy like him: sweet, selflessness and hot?

The story's told from Sam and Riley's point of views and you can perfectly differentiate each personality. Liz Fichera did a great job. The plot has its main and obvious topic: two teenagers, who have nothing in common, fall in love. However, there were some unexpected turns and surprises that I was not expecting that keeps the reader interested in what's going on.

What I liked about this story is that the author shows both sides of being a teenager: the good and the bad side. You not always make the right decisions and this might have consequences. Liz Fichera doesn't leave anything behind and her characters are far from being the perfect teenagers. And I think that one of the reasons that makes this story so enjoyable and credible.

For those readers who like sweet, funny romances that grow throughout the story, this is the perfect young adult read for you. Riley and Sam's relationship is not one of insta-love; it changes and develops into something deeply and profound that makes the reader get hooked into the story. And it has one of those finales that leaves a dummy romantic sensation in you.

Although Played is part of the Hooked series, it can be read as a standalone. You won't miss anything and you can even meet the main characters from the first book, Hooked, in this story, too.
Profile Image for Renae McKenzie.
144 reviews38 followers
May 26, 2014
I picked and read Played in one sitting. Honestly, it wasn't my intention. I just meant to read a couple of pages while I waited for some of my uni stuff to download - I had every I did plan studying... But what can I say? I got drawn in.

I was lucky enough to win an ARC copy from Liz Fichera, so HUGE thanks to her!

Poor ole Sam just can't seem to cut a break. The only girl that he has ever loved (Fred) is happily inlove with a guy that he detests. His book smarts make him an outsider amongst his community and family. To top it all off? He has the misfortune of saving the life of Fred's boyfriend's little sister, Riley, who decides to put her meddling skills into his love-life to repay him. Fichera sure knows how to keep things interesting - though I'm not so sure that Sam is as happy about that as us readers are!

Then there is Riley. She's a little on the messed up side, I suppose, going through that rebellious teenage stage that all parents dread. She annoyed me a little bit with the way that she uses Sam as her little play thing. Countless times, Sam goes along with her crazy schemes and helps her out, only to be left as the person hurt or in trouble. So not cool, Riley! I do see that she originally had her heart in the right place, but somehow lost herself along the way -sometimes you've got to break yourself good and proper before you can be fixed.

What I found interesting, was the Rez community, while always complaining about the discrimination pointed their way, turn right around and do it themselves. It seems as human beings, we can't help but notice differences in one another and judge. This is where Riley redeemed herself in my eyes. She didn't treat him differently because of where and how he lived.

Played is one of those stories that emphasizes on the notion that you don't realise what is right in front of you until it's gone and what you want, isn't necessarily what you need. Liz Fichera delivered another book that grabs you in its delightful vice grip and holds you captive. Played is definitely a novel I recommend.
Profile Image for shameeka alexis.
315 reviews12 followers
September 30, 2014
I read and enjoyed Hooked, so of course I was ecstatic when I started reading Played.

Now, I’m very conflicted about my thoughts on Played.

A few minutes after reading it, I decided that it was just an okay book–not bad, not great.

After giving it a few more hours of thought, I realized that there were much more things that were bad than good, to my dismay.

I really wanted to love this book, since the premise was something I enjoyed reading about.

So I thought the synopsis meant that the guy had a crush on a popular girl he’ll never have, since I totally forgot the events that went on in book one.
Imagine my surprise when I realized 'the girl he couldn’t get over' was the heroine’s brother’s girlfriend. Holy hell, so basically the heroine was trying to break the relationship between her brother and his girlfriend, just so the guy who saved her can have a chance with said girlfriend.

Our main girl is Riley, a perfect daughter. Don’t get me wrong–Riley was a really realistic character.
She loved the color pink and wasn’t afraid of what others thought of that.
She whined, pleaded and became a bitch when times were tough, just like we all would. But of course, just because she was a realistic character doesn’t mean I’ll like her.
I found her to be very annoying and wanted to strangle her or rip her head off sometimes.

But I appreciated how Fichera developed her character in the end, and how she ended up realizing family will always be family.

Sam is our guy here. I really liked his character from start to end. He was a sweet gentleman, despite being a gigantic 6-footer. He was also a bit shy, which I found to be kind of endearing to a point.

For the actual storyline and relationship between the two characters, the first half definitely felt rushed.

The last half did give me a ton of feels (especially towards the 70% mark), but there were a few twists that were totally unforeshadowed and just showed up out of nowhere.

But I did begin to love the friendship-turned-romance between the two characters. It was nice to see them gradually warm up to each other.

It was a good read- and I finished it in one sitting.
Profile Image for Rabiah.
488 reviews216 followers
May 26, 2014
Originally posted at: http://iliveforreading.blogspot.com/2...

I squealed with delight after reading Hooked, as I found out that there would be another book that looks at Riley and Sam’s relationship. I loved Hooked but I’d read it a while ago, so it was great to know that I wouldn’t need to remember a lot of what happened in the previous book going into this one. I liked Played a lot better than Hooked. Hooked was amazing, but this was so much better! I loved coming back to a familiar world and looking at it with new eyes. Liz Fichera definitely has the gift of dealing with multiple perspectives her books.

Is it a surprise that I have a major crush on Sam? I loved seeing the conflict when it comes to his feelings for Riley and Fred, but I also love how there’s so many different small tiny things to him that make him a richer character. I liked that we got to see the relationship with his dad, and what he wants to do later in the future, because it gave a whole-rounded perspective.
Riley was really likeable too! While I didn’t enjoy her during her “dark” phase, I do see the problems she has with being the good child. Sometimes you just gotta let loose right? But unfortunately she learns the hard way that it’s clearly not the way to go. Like Sam she faces conflict with her feelings for two boys – Sam and Jay – but of course, things can happen, and leads to a final choice...

I like how we got to see characters from the previous book in this one, and unlike many other spin-off books where the characters only play a minor role, Fred and Ryan, along with others, actually had a large role to play. Obviously, they weren’t main characters or anything, but their involvement was crucial for the plot.

Played was a fantastic follow-up to Hooked and has easily wormed it’s way into my heart. Liz Fichera brings a compelling novel to the world of YA, and has captured the essence of diversity in YA, needling together two worlds. Can’t wait for more!
Profile Image for Sienna Logan (Lost to Books).
1,058 reviews20 followers
March 27, 2014
More reviews at http://losttobooks.blogspot.com

I was honestly surprised by this book. I went into it thinking that it sounded like an OK read and something that may interest me and break up my time. However, I didn't think I would enjoy it as much as I did. It was a standard young-adult romance but that's not a bad thing. It was a lighthearted, quick read that you didn't have to think too much about.

One thing that I really liked was that there were more strands than just the romance in the book which kept things interesting. Of course, most of these were minor and the romance was the key focus but the small sub-plots like the issues with the parents, Sam's life, school problems and what happens when Sam and Riley are around each other keep you on you toes and keep you turning pages as you are never sure what they are going to have to face next. There were twists and parts that shocked me as I didn't see them coming which I was surprised by.

As well as this I liked how it started and developed. There was a steady pace of development throughout the whole book actually and it was a nice change from the instant "I love you" after only just meeting. The relationship was a slow burner and although the ending is predictable, that's what you want in these types of books isn't it?

The characters were good together and their emotions felt real. Sam and Riley were also good together. I liked that there was an underlying tension and resistance on Sam's part but I thought that the development was realistic too. There was a good mix of friendship and more than that in their feelings and the alternating POV helped solidify this more.

Overall, Played shocked me. I didn't think I would enjoy this book as much as I did but it came as a pleasant surprise when I couldn't stop reading.
Profile Image for Kristin .
1,150 reviews168 followers
August 27, 2014
It's not that this book is a roll over from the previous book in the series. However, the two main characters in this story were also in the last story. Plus, Fred and Ryan from Hooked are in this story a lot. So even though it's not 100% necessary to read the first book, I highly suggest it.

Sam and Riley live on two separate ends of the teen sceene. Sam is a boy from the Reservation who keeps to himself. Riley is Ryan's (the popular boy in school) younger sister. However, when on a camping trip, the two get paired up for a scavenger hunt and find themselves stranded in the middle of a thunderstorm. With Sam's quick thinking, he's able to get them through the freezing wet night. Sam tell's Riley about is love for Fred (Riley's brother's girlfriend) and Riley gets it in her head that she's going to cause a rift between the two love birds and find a way to get Fred to fall madly, deeply in love with Sam instead.

I will admit that even though the premise of the story is rather juvenile, the content of the story is not. Not only was the story interesting with the two becoming friends and getting into all sorts of trouble, but there some heart stopping moments as well. I like that the author could've just made the store one dimensional and had it based on only the romance the entire time, but she added little surprises that kept me flipping pages faster and faster to see what would happen next.

Even though the story is predictable, the author added in a few twist and turns to keep the reader glued to the book. I hope that in the future books we get more Sam, Riley, Fred and Ryan. I wonder who Liz will bring to the forefront next.

Profile Image for Jeraca.
2,388 reviews17 followers
February 22, 2017
I received this free eARC in exchange for my honest review.

I am really enjoying Liz Fichera's novels! When reading this novel, I didn't realize how involved the characters would be dealing with the previous novel characters: Ryan and Fred. Yeah, I knew they would be in there since Riley and Sam were either friends or siblings of them, but Riley's plan? That takes it to a whole new level!

Throughout the novel Riley changed and I can completely understand why. Her big brother gets away with murder, but if Riley gets a C on a test it's like she started the zombie apocalypse. So rebelling is the next best thing to do. Might as well go all out, right?

I adored the moments between Sam and Riley. They drove each other so crazy that the reader could tell they were intrigued by the other and looked forward to every time spent together. Too bad they didn't jump on the band-wagon earlier though.

One thing that is very true in this book is the power of social media. Someone puts just one picture or one status on their Facebook page and it changes a person's life. And the reader can see that in this novel first hand experience.

I think any age readers will really love this book and I'm so glad I got to read it early! Will be purchasing this for my teen collection at work!
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,686 reviews1,266 followers
April 24, 2014
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Harlequin TEEN and NetGalley.)
Ryan and Fred may have had their happily-ever-after, but what about Sam and Riley?

This was an okay story, and I liked it more than the first.

Riley and Sam were both good characters, and it was nice to get to know both of them a bit better. I did think that Riley was a bit clueless at points, but the pair of them were quite sweet together.

The storyline in this was a lot more interesting than in first book, mainly because heck! There was no golf! Anyway, the trouble that this pair got themselves into was quite entertaining, and even though Riley’s plan was ridiculous, and was never going to end well, the story was enjoyable.
The romance in this was quite light, and I really wish that Sam and Riley had seen sense and gotten together earlier on in the book.
The ending to this was quite sweet, and I was glad that things worked out okay for Sam after the trouble he had gotten into.
Overall; interesting YA romance,
6.75 out of 10.
Profile Image for Sandra.
94 reviews1 follower
February 9, 2015
Sam Tracy is a driven young man who stays out of the limelight and gets good grades so he can go off to college and leave the reservation his tribe lives on. When he is chosen to attend a leadership conference his life changes when he gets his group assignment that includes "PInk Girl" princess Riley Berenger and things get crazy when he saves her from falling off a mountain and they are stranded overnight until they're rescued. When they tell each other deep dark secrets, Riley decides to use Sam's instant celebrity to get him what his heart most desires. But in the process her good girl reputation takes a turn and the perfect princess finds out she can make mistakes too.
I loved the scenes with Sam and Riley and the teen angst they dealt with including bullying, living on a reservation, coming from two very different household income levels and their friendship bonds that held strong. Liz Fichera doesn't disappoint and I can't wait to go back and read book one in this series.
Profile Image for Brianna.
408 reviews1 follower
June 25, 2014
I totally loved Hooked when I read it last year and I knew I had to get Played when it came out, and I was not disappointed.
Riley has always been the good sister even as her older brother Ryan messes up over and over. But on a school trip to a leadership conference she and Sam Tracy get in trouble and they end up being rescued. When they were out in the forest lost, they connect and she promises to help Sam connect with his crush, that never seems to work out.
Riley is the perfect little sister.. She hatches ideas that are not fully thought through but she still has a good heart and that makes me like her even more.
The theme of the struggle of the American Indian was still in this book but more subtle, and more about teen issues this time.
I loved this book so much and I look forward to seeing more from this author!!
Profile Image for Gabie (OwlEyesReviews).
1,023 reviews37 followers
July 20, 2015
Holy goodness. Liz Fichera has done it again. I was a little apprehensive to pick up this book. (That and school work took over my life.) I loved the first book so much and I wasn't sure if this book would be able to live up to that. But oh my gosh it did! At the beginning I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book as much as I liked the first one, but I loved both so much. The last chapter had me in squeal town. Wonderful book <3 I believe this is only a two book series. I am SO sad to be saying goodbye to these characters. They have been very enjoyable.

Click Here For Full Review
Profile Image for Sabrine.
114 reviews
August 15, 2014
Wow just wow. I could not put this book down I needed to do summer work and instead I went straight to this book! It had me captivated and it felt so so long like the story wasn't going to end and I absolutely loved that!!! Oh man Sam Tracy you seemed so cute and hunky and that Riley Berenger seemed a heck of a lucky gal. Darling I would take a sam under a tree anyday! But it was so cute how he defended her from Jay aww!!! He was so mad he did that to Riley he beat him up how valiant and Ryan seemed pretty cute like I want a hot older brother who looks after me like that! Anyways this was an amazing adorable cute book and great summer read! two thumbs up!
Profile Image for Margo Berendsen.
582 reviews80 followers
May 13, 2014
A main character that's Native American... I loved Sam!

My first impression of Riley wasn't too great but she had some lessons to learn about peer pressure (haven't we all?)

Highlights of this book, for me:

Sam's friends on the Rez

His grandmother and her baskets

The road trip to California (on a motorcycle!) and its unexpected consequences

that there was just a touch of a reverse love triangle going on between Sam, Riley and Fred

the secret about Sam's father

Looking forward to reading Hooked now... even though I'm reading them out of the order!

Profile Image for Maddie.
4 reviews1 follower
June 13, 2014
This book is amazing. At first I thought I really wouldn't like it. At the beginning I thought that Riley was just a spoiled brat but then throughout the book she really grows. I also didn't like Sam at the beginning. I thought he was just a buzzkill. And I really didn't like the idea of Riley messing with Fred and Ryan's relationship. But, toward the end of the book I really started to like it. Because I think they both started to realize their feelings for each other.
175 reviews6 followers
March 25, 2014
I really enjoyed this book and think teen YA fans will love it. I had never heard of or read the book Hooked, so if you haven't either, it's not needed to enjoy this book. It stands alone, although I am now interested in Hooked. Fans of Katie McGarry's books will love the story and characters. I thought the Riley and Sam had some very realistic issues that were dealt with well.
Profile Image for Kristy.
1,380 reviews
December 26, 2014
These characters were first introduced in book one. At first I didn't like that Sam was still in love with Fred but they worked out their relationship. I did think Riley was a little immature for Sam and I would have liked to see her become more but she just resorted back to pink girl in the end. I guess they found changing wasn't necessary. Well written 4 star story.
Profile Image for Lesley Peck.
450 reviews17 followers
March 18, 2014
Amazing!!! This is an excellent sequel to Hooked. Sam and Riley's story was phenomenal! <3
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