Title: “Don’t Hate the Player …Hate the Game”
Author: Katie Ashley
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Event organized by: Literati Literature Lovers
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.
Don’t Let The Title Fool You
“Don’t Hate The Player . . . Hate The Game,” is titled after one of the most over-used clichés in recent years. However, the depth of the characters, the plot, and a twist you don’t see coming recues the story from cliché land, and quite handily I might add.
Noah Sullivan has languished in the shadow of his best friend Jake Nelson since kindergarten, when Jake’s first act of friendship was a prank he loves to reiterate to anyone who asks how they met. Jake’s rapid descent into further douchebaggery becomes the stuff of legend. As an athlete and a young man who hit the genetic jackpot in the looks department, Nelson lives what his friends consider a charmed life, replete with a laundry list of girls who are willing to give him whatever he wants. However, life for Jake takes an unexpected turn in his final year. Unbeknownst to his friends, he undergoes a transformation that he keeps hidden from them.
A month and half before graduation from high school, Jake perishes in a freak accident after warning Noah cryptically by phone of his most recent screw up, literally. Jake’s death leaves Noah and his circle of friends reeling from the tragedy and catapults Noah into the role of secret sleuth to locate the girl Jake himself identifies posthumously as the one with whom he shares the Willie Nelson classic love song, “You Were Always On My Mind,” and purchased her a half-carat platinum diamond engagement ring. Mrs. Nelson begs Noah to find the girl who meant so much to Jake. Unable to deny Jake’s mother, Noah interviews the most likely of the girls who could possibly fit the bill, and comes up empty-handed.
In the process of looking for Jake’s secret lady love, Noah encounters Maddie, the Pastor’s daughter, who would’ve been invisible to a guy like Jake, but the Valedictorian and choir maven had been Jake’s tutor the bulk of senior year. Noah is attracted to Maddie from day one, and as he learns things from her about Jake that alter his perception of his friend forever, he begins to fall for this girl that his and Jake’s circle of friends considered a pariah.
Some parallel story lines that make this story so rich and interesting include Noah’s struggle to work through his grandfather’s death and his father’s abandonment. Chief among the conflict is his inability to forgive his father, who was essentially the same kind of player Noah befriended. This YA story is chock full of life lessons and inspiration. As Noah gets closer to solving the mystery of Jake’s intentions concerning the mystery girl, his mission becomes compromised by his feelings for Maddie, and everyone is blindsided by a secret that provides an unexpected twist to the story that is both poignant and a testament to how much Jake had truly changed.
My Blog Giveaway: (1) Ebook of Don’t Hate the Player (all formats available). OPEN INTERNATIONALLY. Click The Image Below To Enter!
About the Author
Katie Ashley is the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best-Selling author of The Proposition. She lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her two very spoiled dogs and one outnumbered cat. She has a slight obsession with Pinterest, The Golden Girls, Harry Potter, Shakespeare, Supernatural, Designing Women, and Scooby-Doo.
She spent 11 1/2 years educating the Youth of America aka teaching MS and HS English until she left to write full time in December 2012.
She also writes Young Adult fiction under the name Krista Ashe.
Grand Prize Tour Giveaway: 5 Winners will be chosen. MUST RESIDE IN THE USA TO BE ELIGIBLE ~ Audio DVD of The Proposition & The Proposal (one winner gets both), Signed Paperback of Music of the Heart, Signed Paperback of The Proposition, Signed Paperback of The Proposal, Swag Pack.
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