Title: Well Played
Author: Katrina Ramos Atienza
Release Date: August 3, 2013
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Retelling
Potential Triggers: N/A
POV: 3rd person
My Rating. ★★★
Patrice Reyes is starting her junior year at the University and she’s convinced it’s going to be the best semester ever. For starters, it looks like this is the year her team will win the regional football (soccer, for you Yanks) championships. Her subjects are looking good, and there’s even a chance she might finally get somewhere with her rock star crush. But a new classmate—arrogant, cold math nerd—is seriously throwing off her groove. Will she ever get rid of him and have the awesome semester she deserves? Or is there truth to never judging (math) books by their cover?
Inside, Mrs. Timbol said, “You know—”
“College is the best time to meet your husband,” Patrice finished for her as she burst inside. “We Know.”
Oh, Pride and Prejudice Retellings, I can never resist you…
Well Played came recommended by @diverseasthetics aka the only Twitter account that matters. I knew I had to read Well Played when I learned it was a New Adult Pride and soccer playing version of Elizabeth (I know, it is football to everyone else outside of America and in the book, but I’ll confuse myself by saying football).
While I love Pride and Prejudice, I almost always end up hating retellings of it. I find that they don’t live up to the source material, or are just poorly written. Despite my many poor experiences with them, I wanted to love Well Played. While I didn’t end up totally in love, I did end up liking it, and giving it the highest rating I’ve ever given to a Pride and Prejudice Retelling.
The romance was solid. I enjoyed seeing how Patrice and Paul played out scenes from Pride and Prejudice in a college setting. It was really interesting to see how Katrina Ramos Atienza updated things. For example, I really liked the auction scene and how Patrice and Paul had to be partners in an elective course. The transition was creative, while still echoing the source material.
What I enjoyed the most about Well Played was that it didn’t follow the typical New Adult-Sports Romance formula. The tropes in New Adult-Sports Romances are so overused, and have made a bad name for the genre. Well Played subverts these tropes. Paul plays basketball, but we never see him play and it is only mentioned in passing. Instead, we get to see a ton of Patrice playing soccer (or football). Everything from her morning jogs, practices, and games. Usually, this doesn’t happen on page, which is a bummer for someone like me who really loves sports and is drawn into Sports Romance because of the sporty elements (It is too optimistic to expect actual sports, I know.). I really liked that Well Played wasn’t like that. I also liked the Paul was the one watching Patrice play from afar, and that he went to all of her games instead of it being the other way around like New Adult-Sports Romances tend to be.