Published by Entangled: Crush on July 2, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, contemporary, Romance
Source: eARC from Publisher
All her life, Katie has been chosen last for everything: the last picked on the playground, the last picked by her absent father, and definitely the last picked by boys—even her secret crush, Alex, friend-zoned her. This senior year, Katie is determined to come first.
But then Alex asks her to help him find a date?!
Alex has been living life in the fast lane, but he's ready to slow down—with a girlfriend. The last person on earth he’d consider? The girl his brother developed serious feelings for before he died: Katie. The only way Alex is going to get over Katie is by falling for someone new. And who better to help him find his new crush than the girl he can’t stop thinking about?
What can possibly go wrong?
Playing her Secret Crush is a young adult contemporary romance by Casey Griffin. I have read an adult contemporary romance from Casey Griffin, called Must Love Wieners (a rescue dog romance) and it was so cute and funny. I really enjoyed it, but this was my first young adult novel I have read by her. And I am happy to report that this book was just a cute, though in a different way. Playing Her Secret Crush is a young adult best friends romance featuring best friends that love to play a role playing type of computer game together. It hit so many of the things I love to see in my young adult contemporaries- gaming, best friends romance, and the matchmaking tropes. Playing her Secret Crush is a fun read, perfect for summer time.
Playing her Secret Crush is the story of best friends Katie and Alex. Katie and Alex have been best friends for years, they bonded over the illness and death of Alex’s older brother and the game that brought the three of them together- Caroon. I really loved the computer game aspect of this novel. Katie and Alex, along with the rest of their gaming team enter to win a professional Caroon competition. The actual game itself seems massive and really cool, and I found myself just as excited to read this subplot and see who won the competition as I was in the romance in the story.
The romance aspect was lots of fun, and yes, it was pretty predictable. Especially the Lexi aspect. Lexi is the new girl that Alex has a crush on, and wants to use Katie to help set him up. Katie meanwhile, wants to find a guy so her own love life is a success for her senior year of high school. I “called” what was really going on with Lexi/Alex/ Katie really early on, but I didn’t mind that Playing her Secret Crush was predictable because it was satisfying in the way a quick lighthearted YA romance can be. It was fun and cute and the ending was satisfying and was just what I wanted.
Bottom line: if you are a fan of best friends romances and you like gaming, Playing her Secret Crush is going to be a nice and easy win for you. A quick, cute read that you can finish in one sitting.