Source: Bought on Amazon
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
For Noah Sullivan being the best friend to a douchebag and player like Jake Nelson has never been easy. It's been a rocky road since kindergarten when Jake duct taped Noah to his chair before recess. With just six weeks to high school graduation, Jake accidentally blows his drunken ass up on his grandfather's tractor, and Noah finds himself immersed not only in a whirlwind of grief, but on a quest to find a mystery girl from Jake's past.
While cleaning out Jake's room, Noah and Jake's dad make a startling discovery. Instead of the obligatory porn collection or pot stash, they find a ring, but not just any ring. Its half a carat of commitment in a platinum setting-proving even man whores have taste. After Jake's mom pleads with Noah to find the girl who meant so much to Jake, Noah begins a modern day Grail quest to track the girl down.
Since Jake was a notorious player with a legendary collection of trophy panties, Noah finds himself in over his head. There are the usual suspects like Avery, the Ice Princess Jake dated for appearances, or Presley, the school mattress Jake dated for convenience. But the trail begins to point to the most unlikely of suspects: Maddie, the Valedictorian and choir girl who was trying to help the unmotivated jock graduate--the girl who also has surprisingly caught Noah's eye and meddled with his heart.
Hanging out with Maddie shows Noah a different side of Jake--one that was deeply human and surprisingly douche-free. And the more he tries to solve the mystery of the ring and of Jake, the more Noah starts to discover about himself and of love.
As I slowly drifted back into consciousness, my knee jerked upward, banging against the desk.
The romance was mediocre, for one. I was expecting hot, hot, hot romance. But what I got was just a sprinkling here and there, with a little bit of "I Love you's" thrown in. I was so disappointed in it. I didn't feel the feelings blossoming between Noah and Maddie, and I just didn't feel them, to be honest.
Noah and Maddie both fell a little flat for me. Noah is our main character, but I would have loved to have learned more about Jake. I mean, Noah seems like a good guy and all, but I'm more for the reformed bad boy for whatever reason.
In the memories that Noah has of Jake, he seems so young. Like he changed drastically after Jake died, which I suppose is a possibility, but I kind of doubt it. I would have liked to have seen more development on his part.
Maddie seemed sweet, but she seemed way goody-two shoes. I mean, I get that she's the preacher's daughter and all, but I didn't really get it. I couldn't connect with her like I'd hoped I could. She did surprise me with some of the things she did, though, so there is that.
My biggest issue was really that most of the scenes seemed overly forced. I didn't feel like anything that was going on carried any weight. It was kind of weird, honestly. There just wasn't enough angst for me. I feel like my heart should have been in a constant state of breaking, but I didn't feel it, which was unfortunate.
All in all, Don't Hate the Player...hate the Game was cute and predictable, but it was more of a filler read than anything else.