Dungeons and Drama

Delacorte. Jan. 2024. 304p. pap. $11.99. ISBN 9780593647011.
Gr 8 Up–“Borrowing” her mom’s vehicle to see the touring production of Waitress leaves Riley with only one regret; an eight-week punishment of working at her dad’s gaming store. Not only does she know nothing about gaming, but a disastrous meet-cute with her coworker Nathan has Riley completely dreading working at the store. Everything changes when a slip of the tongue leaves the two of them faking a relationship in order to help out their love lives. But what’s a girl to do when sparks are flying and your fake relationship starts to feel a little too real? Boyce delivers a light rom-com that offers delight all the way through. From musical scheming to Dungeons & Dragons adventures, the story’s high jinks involve a lovable cast of characters that are relatable and intriguing. Filled with classic romance tropes, Riley and Nathan’s evolving relationship, from enemies to friends to more, creates a warm story where the stakes are present but never too high. Additionally, Riley’s blossoming dynamic with her divorced parents is nicely, if minutely, explored as she spends more time at her father’s store. Riley and Nathan are both white. Secondary characters have minimal diversity.
VERDICT A must-read cozy romance for board gamers and thespians alike.

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