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Play Me Backwards

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  325 ratings  ·  63 reviews
A committed slacker enlists the help of his best friend (who may or may not be the devil) to get his act together in this “timelessly true to life” (Booklist) novel filled with humor, awkwardness, and honesty, ideal for fans of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Leon Harris isn’t exceptional and he isn’t popular. He’s the kind of guy that peaked in middle school, when once up
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 15th 2015 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published August 1st 2014)
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3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  325 ratings  ·  63 reviews

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Adam Selzer
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
A highly relatable book that will clear up your dandruff, reverse the effects of global warming, get kids to eat things besides chicken nuggets at restaurants, raise the value of 7-11 stock, convince millions to leave their homes to start a new life in suburban Des Moines, play a pivotal role in the next three Iowa caucuses, dismantle assorted hegemonies, fart in the general direction of the common core, ensure that JJ Abrams doesn't screw up episode 7, raise awareness about whales, spark a new ...more
Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship
Love is getting a lecture from someone who could fart right on your bare arm at any second.

things you need to know about play me backwards:

1. anna is not a main feature in this story.
2. there is satanism. hell, this book could be name 'a fun-&-frolic guide to satanism.'
3. leon is the poop guy.
4. you keep expecting it to blow up yet it doesn't and then you are unsure IF you want it to blow but how could you not?

a muddle if there ever was one.

so the story starts with satan arriving an hour la
This was so much better than I thought it would be; I almost want to give it 5 stars just because of how much I enjoyed it.

I picked this up while I was at the library. I was studying for finals and when I took a break, I saw this and thought it looked funny, so i picked it up and started reading it and didn't put it down. (So if I fail my finals, thanks a lot, book.)

Other than a few missing words/typos I have no real complaints about this. It was fun and enjoyable and hilarious. I laughed out
Debbie Narh

3.5 Interesting Clouds!

Always assume that a person named Stan is actually named Satan. That's probably the first thing I picked up from this book. Oh, and that the Dark Lord is a complete ass. Play Me Backwards is a fun book about love, friendship, and knowing the difference between being a teen and an adult. I had a lot of fun reading this, and I really really REALLY want to go on a slushee adventure now. Definitely going on my high school grad bucket list to do. This book actually made me loo
Sep 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
This was an okay book. It really didn't have much going on in it but that's what you get when it's about slackers. Plus I didn't particularly care much for any of the characters. The ending was a let down too.
Emily (Falling for YA)
Play Me Backwards follows smartie turned slacker Leon as he finds out his first love Anna might be moving back to town. Leon upon learning that awesome Anna is heading to Iowa realizes that his life isn’t where he wants it to be. Leon enlists the help of his friend Stan better known as Satan who sends him on random adventures that might or might not help him get his life in order.

I loved Leon, his voice felt so natural. I couldn’t put the book down because I wanted to know what task Stan was goi
Nicely entertaining read with satanic tendencies!

(Can I even say "OMG" about a book with this subject matter?)

I picked this up because it was on an "If you like____, try ____" list about one of my favorite books. But I didn't expect to enjoy it nearly as much as I did. It was darkly hilarious (we're talking UGLY laughing, complete with tears and snot and laughing so hard you snort), oddly heartwarming, and kind of read like a fractured fairy tale version of an after school special. REALLY fractued.

Turns out this is Book 3 in a sort-of tril
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Three years ago, Leon’s girlfriend Anna moved to England with her parents. Leon’s ambition for life left that same day, and he’s been a slacker ever since, despite his potential. Leon works at a crappy ice cream parlor (one where he’s convinced his boss is using the store only as a front for illegal activities) and has no concrete plans to achieve anything after high school graduation.

But Leon’s best friend, Stan, claims to be Satan. After Leon ask
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for a light, fun read
Actual rating 3.5.
Play Me Backwards is about Leon, a high school senior and slacker who has amounted to nothing and might not even graduate. His friend, Stan, who sometimes goes by Satan, gives him a list of tasks to do in order to help him win back the girl of his dreams who might be coming back to Iowa after living in England for years.

Play Me Backwards is a funny, and lighthearted read. There are tons of outrageous scenes, and I love how memorable Leon's friends and family are. Usually book
Kelly Sierra
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, arc
I was not in love with this book. It had great potential of being at least a 3.5; however, the main character fell flat for me, the main themes were average and delivered in a somewhat blah form. The only saving grace was the best friend Stan/Satan.
Aug 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I really enjoyed Leon's journey throughout the story, guided by his friend Stan who or may not be Satan. I think anyone who enjoys smartly written, humorous, true to life fiction will love this book.
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I actually love this book so fricken much.
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Meh. It was ok for the first 2/3, but just barely ok. Then it kind of went downhill from there. By the end, I just didn't care about any of the characters anymore.
Brooke Banks

Leon’s a slacker taking the easy path, not caring about anything, skipping gym (can’t fault him that) and enjoying kicking it in a den of miscreants masquerading as a job.

“When you get a job you like, you should lock it down.”

He used to be different though and now there’s possibility of Anna, his dream girl placed on a pedestal and incomparable, coming back to town. His low-key dread he’s been ignoring kicks into high gear and he turns to Stan to vent.

Only Stan has other plans for Leon who’s be
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf, guy-reads, ya
Hard to like the characters - especially when they keep reminding you one of them is Satan.
Laura Martinelli
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, ebook, young-adult
E-Review Copy provided by Edelweiss.

Years ago at work, I was browsing the shelves looking for something to read on my downtime (as I am wont to do) and I happened on a small paperback called How To Get Suspended and Influence People. And I read it during my shift, thought it was hysterical and picked it up a few more times during the year it sat on our shelves. And I didn’t think of it again until about two years ago, when I was listening to a podcast episode with guest Adam Selzer and went “OH
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Leon Harris, a former middle school gifted "genius" turned high school "Slacker", enlists the help of his best friend Stan (who may or may not be the devil) to get his act together after his longtime girlfriend Anna moves away and leaves him feeling totally depressed and unmotivated. Full of awkward and immature humor but balanced with sweet and emotional angst, this novel is perfect for fans of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Stan and Leon both work at a "lame" ice cream store where they hang ...more
Feb 03, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the book up until the last few chapters, I felt the ending was a little flat.
Hennessy (Angel_of_Wyrd)
What a weird ass book. The only reason it isn't 4 stars is on principle against satanism.
Renée Ramírez
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Stick till the end and it'll all make sense. It's so amazing it'll probably blow your mind!
Julia Caesar
3.75, actually. This book kinda gave me the tumblr youth vibes which I really liked.
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting coming of age with a supernatural(?) twist. Like the book overall, great reminder of what being in high school was like and was happy with the ending. It could have taken a really bad turn.
April Suter
Mar 12, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
2017 Illinois Read book
WARNING...high school soft porn. I do not understand how this book was chosen as a good one for Illinois teens to read.
Jayvee  "Writer For Misfits"
Very much at the beginning, I was hesitant to read this novel being that it tackles topics such as Satan and demonic worship, however, once I began reading it, I couldn't quite get the thought out of my head! I was hooked! Play Me Backwards got me reading forward!

"I first met the dark lord when I was nine."

So the story starts with Leon as he narrates how he met Stan, who he believes is actually Satan. Stan is a genius and knows his way to things and somehow Leon respects him. After Anna leaves t
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leon appears to be a loser. He’s put himself in that position believing that lofty goals aren’t necessary to happiness and that there's contentment in working at a sordid ice cream parlor for the rest of his life. His parents have no clue that he’s been slacking off and in danger of not graduating. He's probably overwhelmed by the vast, open world beyond high school, that he’s procrastinating until he has to face the inevitable. That comes in the form of his life-long crush, Anna, who moved away ...more
Jennifer Varnadore
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Zoe Zingler
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
YEP LOVED IT. Stan is literally the best even. Paige reminds me of this guy friend that I have, they are literally the exact same in all the bad ways. Leon is average tho like ok u da main character it's fine. Shoutout to Des Moines tho. Really good
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Leon is satisfied with the way his life is going; his job at the ice cream shop is more like hanging out with friends, and pays well enough for his simple needs, so why bother with college? Upon learning that his middle school sweetheart may be moving back to town, he begins to re-examine everything, remembering his more impressive past as part of the gifted pool in school, and considering more ambitious plans for the future. Leon's buddy Stan (who may be Satan) serves as a guide for this proces ...more
Eden Grey
For fans of Andrew Smith's WINGER and GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE comes the latest YA novel by Adam Selzer. PLAY ME BACKWARDS is a hysterical look at the senior year of a slacker named Leon Harris.

The plain and simple truth is, I loved Leon Harris. Yes, he's the protagonist, and you're supposed to like the protagonist, right? Well, Leon is a screw-up, a loser, a slacker, a slob, and sometimes a complete idiot. I loved him anyway.

It takes a kick in the crotch from his ex-girlfriend in England to get Leon
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Adam Selzer blocked Goodreads on his computer for years but now he's on here, so let him have it. His first book was HOW TO GET SUSPENDED AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE (now available in a "Now With More Swearing") edition, his next one is PLAY ME BACKWARDS (for satanic young adults), and his best known is probably I KISSED A ZOMBIE AND I LIKED IT, a Twilight satire that was not marketed as a satire.

He also