Cover Image: Dungeons and Drama

Dungeons and Drama

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Member Reviews

Oh man, this book was a DELIGHT. Dungeons and Drama was everything I didn’t know I needed. Fake flirting. Jealousy. MUSICALS! Gaming?! What a beautiful recipe for success.

As a theatre girl myself, I felt immediate kinship with Riley. She is such a bold, character and I adore just how unapologetically herself she is.

The chemistry between Riley and Nathan had me absolutely swooning. I was absolutely kicking my feet and giggling the entire time. This is one I will definitely be recommending to everyone I know.

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What a cute book! The premise was very cute and I loved the parallels between LARPing and theater. Growing up I was very much on the Dungeons side of Dungeons and Drama but as I got older I appreciated the insight into the seriousness of theater.

For the teen audience I loved that it explored relationships between divorced parents and how kids can navigate that, but in a more lighthearted way. I was a divorced kid and my parents legit tried to get along, so to see that in novel form made me happy.

The romance/fake dating is cute and full of tension. Its also not blown out of proportion and feels realistic. They are good at communicating the rules and trying to help one another, at least until feelings get in the way later... but it still plays out nicely.

This is definitely recommended to the teens who are looking for romance and humor.

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Dungeons and Drama is the perfect novel for fans of theatre and table top games. This book has awesome musical references as well as fun nerdy Easter eggs. I love how seamlessly the author was able to combine these two interests. The romance between Nathan and Riley was really cute and I loved the dynamics between Riley and the other store employees as well as Riley and her parents. This book is a really fun & fast contemporary YA romance that you’ll want to pick up as soon as it hits the shelves.

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I was fully drawn into the book by the cover. Add DnD into a book and I am intrigued. Add a cute cover and I am going to dive headfirst without even knowing the premise. But, I am glad I did. It was such a cute read and I love getting DnD into the hands of more YA readers.
The fake dating trope is one of my favorites, it is right up there with enemies to lovers and this story had a little bit of both. Riley and Nathan were cute and messy and ridiculous.
I struggled a bit at the beginning with the writing style. I don't always love the first person POV and the writing felt a bit unpolished, but as I started to enjoy the characters and story, it was easier to get to read the POV.
I loved the inside look into the comic book store, showing how the store was far more than just a store. Rather showing that it was a community, a meeting place for players of all kinds. It was a culture of its own and a found family.
I also really enjoyed the push to show the value of arts and how much students would lose if something like the spring musical was taken away. As well as, how much the kids could pull together to keep the show alive, if given the option.
Along with that, the family dynamics of the book were a huge part of the storyline that i really appreciated. It was messy and complex, but it was present. I also appreciated the found family aspect. (Spoiler free).
.

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Title: Dungeons and Drama
Author: Kristy Boyce
Release Date: January 9th, 2024*
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Category: YA Romance

Synopsis: Musical lover Riley has big aspirations to become a director on Broadway. Crucial to this plan is to bring back her high school’s spring musical, but when Riley takes her mom’s car without permission, she's grounded and stuck with the worst punishment: spending her after-school hours working at her dad’s game shop.

Riley can't waste her time working when she has a musical to save, so she convinces Nathan—a nerdy teen employee—to cover her shifts and, in exchange, she’ll flirt with him to make his gamer-girl crush jealous.

But Riley didn’t realize that meant joining Nathan's Dungeons & Dragons game…or that role playing would be so fun. Soon, Riley starts to think that flirting with Nathan doesn't require as much acting as she would've thought...
Quote: “Is this really your idea of flirting?” he whispers.
“Mildly insulting you and watching you try to hide your annoyance? Actually, yeah.”

The UnReel Take:
Story: 7
Writing: 6
Characters: 7
Setting: 5
UnReel AR: 6.25

Bottom Line: I don’t often read YA Romance because…well, I’m old. But this, despite the very stupid title, was actually a little delight. Like, a hot water bottle on the heart. The teenagers are realistic (read, dumb) but they grow and interact like real people and the romantic aspect is just adorable. Also, there’s a dad who is neither useless nor needless condescending and that is freaking unusual in YA lit these days. If you’re feeling done and need a little bit of sunshine in your day, pick this bad boy up. But please, keep the singing in your head.

Ideal Reading Location: Really anywhere, but try to find somewhere you won’t look like an idiot giggling out loud.

Drink Pairing: Mountain Dew, as all gamers could’ve guessed. Code Red is also acceptable.

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When Riley, theatre teen extraordinaire, is sentenced to spending afternoons working at her dad’s gaming store, for stealing mom’s car and driving to see a musical, she thinks it will be immensely boring and silly. Life is about singing and dancing! Enter a D&D crowd, some fake dating to make someone(s) jealous, and for Riley, the opportunity to sing and act, and you have an absolutely delightful book.

I love D&D and I love musicals and fake dating tropes are one of my favorite, so this book brought me so much joy!

Honestly, my favorite part was Riley’s willingness to TRY…she wasn’t a asshat about working in her dad’s store and was friendly, and admitted that she was enjoying herself, and some aspects of gaming. It was refreshing to see this maturity (which seems to be completely absent in many YA books.)

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC!

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Dungeons and Drama is such a cute YA romance. It's perfect for fans of musical theater and D&D, or anyone considering venturing into those worlds. I loved Riley's voice, determination, and style. She probably should have had a fashion insta- I know who she could collab with. The entire cast was very lovable and everyone had distinct voices. The romance was adorable and I was rooting for Riley and Nathan the whole time.

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This book was absolutely adorable! YA romance goodness! I adored the characters in every way. As a choir kid and big time nerd, I was so here for this book. Gaming and drama club? A mix that works so well. It was such a fun, easy read. Definitely a book you can devour in one sitting! Sweet to the core.

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In this book we meet Riley, a musical lover and aspiring Broadway director, who finds herself in hot waters with her parents after taking her mom’s car without asking and driving without a license, to get back in their good graces she is now forced to work in her dad’s game shop. After a run in with her ex-boyfriend she ropes in Nathan, a coworker and not a fan of her, to be her fake boyfriend in exchange she will flirt with him to get his crush to notice him.



While it was a short fast read the author does a great job to flush out the FMC. Her love of musicals and her close relationships with her mother and best friend shine throughout the book. Her persistence in saving the musical in her school and slowly discovering her new feelings for Nathan was fun to read and kept me entertained and guessing what could happen next. The ability to have an FMC that isn’t just one dimensional but has goals and is more than just a romance but is still able to deliver a cute slow burn romance that makes the reader feel warm and fuzzy. Chefs kiss.



While romance between Riley and Nathan is a big part of this story the relationship between Riley and her father was a nice surprise. Riley’s struggle to reconnect with her dad and finding appreciation for the shop and this world her dad loves wasn’t what I expected when picking up this book, but it was what I needed.



While the D&D might put off some people from reading this, I can assure you that it’s not overwhelming and the author does a great job of both making it interesting and entertaining.



Solid four stars.



Thank you to NetGally and Random House Children’s Delacorte Press for this e-ARC for an honest review

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I was initially drawn to this book because of the cover as I am an avid Dungeons & Dragons player and have been looking for an intro into the Romance genre. I was then further drawn in by the synopsis as a former theater kid. I didn't realize that the book was YA at first but the story kept me engaged throughout.

Dungeons and Drama is a sweet and funny romance with endearing characters and a heartwarming story. The book explores themes of identity, self-acceptance, and following your dreams. Boyce does a great job of developing Riley and Nathan's characters. They are both relatable and likable, and their relationship is realistic and heartwarming.

I highly recommend this book to fans of YA romance, contemporary fiction, and coming-of-age stories.

Boyce has rolled a natural 20 with Dungeons and Drama, this book will surely be a critical hit!

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This is my fault but I didn’t realize this was a YA book at first. The story and romance were cute though and I enjoyed the D&D content as well.

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This is a cute, simple YA novel for all the musical theater and Dungeons & Dragons nerds out there. PLUS, lots of fake dating if you’re into that! I really loved the D&D parts, and even if you’re not into musicals and tabletop RPG, I can still imagine this can be a fun read.

I find fake-dating to seem silly sometimes, and this had its share of silliness, but tbh I think the does-he-actually-like-me-or-is-it-fake aspect was done pretty well.

Lastly, the family dynamics was a side-plotline, which I appreciated (as opposed to no parents)… but I felt like some things were left unanswered, and others just frustrating. Several times, Riley wonders what her mom and dad had in common before their divorce. I assumed she would find out her mom was secretly a nerd or something?! But this was never addressed. Also why they got divorced in the first place. Riley’s mom annoyed me—it’s mentioned she convinces Riley that her dad is the bad one and I feel like she never takes responsibility for this??

This does seem to be on the younger-YA end, mostly because the writing felt a bit more juvenile and our main character is 15-16.

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DnD has taken the world by storm. Thank you covid. With that, there has been more of it in media which is amazing. This book was very good and I believe it will do very well. With Baulders Gate 3 just coming out and the odds of it still being popular come this January pub date, I see this book being very popular. Great book!

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Oh man, this book was a DELIGHT. Dungeons and Drama was everything I didn’t know I needed. Fake flirting. Jealousy. MUSICALS! Gaming?! What a beautiful recipe for success.

As a theatre girl myself, I felt immediate kinship with Riley. She is such a bold, character and I adore just how unapologetically herself she is.

The chemistry between Riley and Nathan had me absolutely swooning. I was absolutely kicking my feet and giggling the entire time. This is one I will definitely be recommending to everyone I know.

Be back soon, I’m going to get my friends together and start a D&D campaign.

~special thanks to NetGalley and Delacorte Press for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

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3/5 Stars

Thank you to Delacorte Press for the ARC to read and review.

I did pick this up based on the cover and the fact it has D&D and Theater in it and I’m not disappointed. It is your typical YA fake dating romcom and it doesn’t do anything that super stands out but it also doesn’t do anything poorly. I am a person that pretty much strictly reads romance so it is hard to do something impressive especially for YA romance so I don’t fully hold that against this book.

Riley gets grounded and forced to go work at her dad’s game shop but then she learns that her spring musical may be canceled and can’t let that happen. She has to find a way to manage working everyday at the game store and being the leading force behind saving the spring musical. But when she makes a deal with her coworker, Nathan, to fake flirt and date to help them both out she starts to realize that maybe her feelings aren’t all fake.

I really didn’t like Riley for most of the book, she doesn’t seem to have any regret for what got her grounded in the first place. She stole her mother’s car and took it hours away with a friend to see a musical, without a license and she had no regrets for her actions. She also repeatedly lies to her parents still and doesn’t take anything she has done that could have hurt or killed people seriously. I did theater all 4 years of high school and it was the only extracurricular I did so I understand it being a focus but it was pretty much her only focus until she started the fake dating thing with Nathan and started to join the D&D game which she still somehow made theater based.

The relationship between her and Nathan felt kinda forced and I just didn’t feel the chemistry. I kept being confused about why they would do certain things when it didn’t seem like their feelings were at that point yet and it felt fake even as a reader so when they finally got together it didn’t really make sense.

I didn’t hate reading this book and I think if I found it a few years ago when I was more in the height of loving YA, I would have loved this but it didn’t work for me now but I do think a lot will enjoy this.

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-Fake Dating
-Opposites Attract
-Playful Banter
-Strong Friendships
-Grumpy Sunshine YA Edition

If you enjoy reading books in the YA genre "Dungeons and Drama" should absolutely be added to your TBR. I read this book cover to cover in one session, definitely an unputdownable cozy read.

I thought the plot of this book was so cute and fit perfectly in it's intended genre. The main characters felt very authentic and I really enjoyed their playful banter and strong friendships.

I will definitely be recommending this book and I've pre-ordered a few copies to gift to family.

Thank you Kristy Boyce, Net Galley and Random House Children's, Delacorte Press for providing me with an ARC of this book.

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Dungeons and Drama was perfect! This YA book has it all: friendship, growth, romance, musical theater, and D&D! I really hope there’s a sequel and in the meantime I’ll just reread this perfect book!

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THIS WAS SO CUTE. Nerdy boys who larp and girls who belt out show tunes while playing D&D is now my favorite trope ever. I laughed so much during this. Like, out loud “this is ridiculous and I love it” laughter. Riley is a force. Nathan is a cinnamon roll. I loved this so much

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*Thank you for the ARC!! All opinions are completely my own.** 4.5-4.75 stars. Heartwarming, showstopping, and dazzling. As an avid D&D player, I was ecstatic to join a new player on her journey. And as a YA reader, I swooned a couple of times throughout this book. I swear my heart fluttered! #thisMCisawesome

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I enjoyed this read a lot! I don’t have much negative to say about this book! Also I’m completely obsessed with the cover!

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