Cover Image: Dungeons and Drama

Dungeons and Drama

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Member Reviews

Dungeons and Drama was such a fun ride! Fake Dating is one of my favorite tropes, and while it made for a predictable plot at times, it was a great comfort read. As a life long lover of theater, and a fledgling Dungeons and Dragons player, I loved seeing the two merge in this story. D&D has a reputation for being only for the most dedicated of nerds, but it's truly a game for everyone if you take the time to try it! The pop culture references kept me laughing, and I loved the behind the scenes of working in a game shop. Gamers really are some of the kindest people out there! Overall I rate this book 4/5 and would call it a great cozy comfort read when you need something low stakes!

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I am an avid D&D player so finding out there was a romance book with D&D as a big part of the story sucked me in. I loved this book. The characters were cute, I enjoyed reading about them and going from friends to more. I also enjoyed all the D&D story points. I'll definitely read more from this author.

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this was cute but also somewhat of a miss for me? the fmc was kind of… annoying to me. like she was SO upset at her parents about getting punished but like… you stole your moms car without your license? and drove like a pretty far distance? you SHOULD be as punished as you are? and i just didn’t really feel their chemistry at all, honestly. but i did LOVE the game store environment because my boyfriend and i both go to our local game store so the vibes of it were spot on and i loved that!

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This book genuinely made me want to learn how to play Dungeons and Dragons, which is saying something since I've spent years dodging people's attempts to convince me to learn how to play Dungeons and Dragons.

The blurb promised hijinks and the book delivered! I love a good fake dating plot, and this was one of the best I've read in a while. (They actually got involved in each other's lives! So refreshing!) I'm also a sucker for complicated parent/child relationships in YA, so Riley's relationship with her dad had me all *heart eyes emoji*. Would recommend for fans of Emma Lord, TTRPG lovers, or anyone who's ever been called "a bit much."

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Super cute and super fun. I really enjoyed all of the quirky characters and I really enjoyed the storyline.. thankfully my husband is a table top gamer, so I understood some of the stuff but I think even if I hadn’t it would’ve been OK.

*I received this book as an Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC) through NetGalley. I received this copy free in exchange for my honest review.*

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This book is a love letter to anyone who loved their high school theatre program and boarder gamers everywhere. Dungeons and Drama was so sweet, it just made my little theatre heart happy. I honestly, have nothing bad to say and just want anyone who feels slightly out of place in highschool or found their love in the arts to read this.

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Okay, I stayed up way too late reading this book, so if this review sounds a bit wacky, can we agree to blame Kristy Boyce for writing such a great book? Ha. Honestly, though, I had such a great time reading this book.

At the very beginning, I wasn’t sold. Riley has just gotten in trouble for taking her mom’s car without permission (and without having a driver’s license) and driving hours away to see a touring company perform a musical. Her parents are shocked, and she’s in big trouble, but Riley doesn’t seem to get why it’s that big a problem. I worried that she was going to be a shallow character that would be hard for me to connect with.

Instead, as I turned pages from one chapter to the next, I couldn’t help connecting with Riley. I laughed along with her as she jumped into the Dungeons and Dragons campaign. I loved her passion for bringing back her high school musical program. Even in her fake relationship with Nathan, Riley couldn’t help thinking about how her behavior would affect Nathan and his goal to get the other girl’s attention.

If you’re a fan of the fake dating trope, I definitely think you’d enjoy this book. It’s got plenty of silliness, loads of theater moments, and so many sweet, swoony exchanges as Riley’s feelings for Nathan start to change.

As a D&D girl myself, I love seeing the game on the page, and I loved the way that players with different approaches to the game made an appearance in the book. Seriously, this book was such a fun read. Fans of Serena Kaylor or Eric Smith will enjoy this one.

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This is really cute! It speaks to interests that mean a lot to both Teen Me and Adult Me--the transformative and inspirational power of RPGs and community/school theater--and the fake-dating-turn-real-dating (not a spoiler, really, as the outcome is obvious) between Riley and Nathan is both fun and sweet as their relationship develops. I actually wanted more details about the side characters, as I found them charming and unique.

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This book was so adorable!

I loved that this story was such a celebration of nerd culture of all forms, and I especially loved that it specifically involved two areas of nerdom that I am personally involved in - musical theatre and board games!

This book felt so authentically young adult. I swear, the voice of this main character WAS me as a teenager! I loved how high stakes the conflicts felt - it made it feel like so perfectly teenaged. I also loved the way these characters found their way to each other. It was such a great use of the fake dating trope!

Overall this wasn't the best romance I've ever read, but it was PURE FUN! I truly enjoyed every second of my reading experience and would recommend this to romance readers of all ages.

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Fantastic fake dating YA romance!!! Loved Riley, LOVED Nathan, loved the nerd culture. Truly a great book that made me giddy & kick my lil feetsies!

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I adored this YA rom-com! As soon as I read the title, I new this was one to check out. As a gamer and former theater kid, this one really struck a chord with me. This was a book that I wish I had had in my teenage years as I loved the themes around sticking true to yourself and finding others who treat you well and enjoy similar interests. This was such a feel good story and I found myself chuckling the whole way through.

This was a bit on the younger side of way for me, which has more to do with me than the book, but it's something to keep in mind for potential readers. Overall, this was super cute and I can't wait to buy a copy for my personal library.

Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for providing an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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It's been a long time since I read a YA novel that felt perfect from beginning to end, but Dungeons and Drama is it! This book has everything I want in a YA romance: realistically flawed teens dealing with typical teen problems, involved parents, a school musical, a school dance, and a (fake) relationship that gets started at work. The kind of low-stakes problems addressed in this book are much more relatable than some of the really dramatic issues that sometimes pop up in YA. Therse characters felt like people I could easily know in real life, and their story reminded me of my own teen years as well. Reading this was a delight!

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3.5 rounded up to 4

This book was super cute!! It was a light and fluffy ya romance, which I really loved. I think it was on the younger side of ya for me, it was something I probably would have liked a little more a few years ago. I did still like it, especially the found family aspect with the friends, but it felt too childish at moments, unlike how most teenagers would normally act.

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5/5 or 9.29/10

Characters-10

The characters in this book feel like they were created with me in mind. As a fan of both Musical Theater and DND, I was drawn into the characters early in the story. I loved Riley and her passion for musical theater. While I found DND later in life, I did love the DND vibes of this book a lot. I loved the friendship in this book. I feel that Riley joined the DND game and started working at her dad’s store just in time because she gained more people to care about her.

Atmosphere-9

I really enjoyed the atmosphere in this book. I’ve never been to Ohio, but I really loved how we saw different locations around the town. I loved seeing different areas of the game store and how much time we spent in the choir and music rooms.

Writing-9

This was my first book from the author, and I enjoyed the writing. When you write a story with different hobbies, you need to find the balance of enough references to when someone is a fan or has the same hobby as the character and has enough knowledge to understand some terms and references. Also, if you get too deep, or use references, a reader who doesn’t have the same knowledge can understand. This book does a perfect job of weaving references for fans of musicals and DND, while someone who doesn’t have the same knowledge could still enjoy the story. The writing style also works very well for the book.

Plot-10

I loved the story in this. Fake dating is a trope I love in romance, and when done well, you can see the characters developing feelings for each other, and I definitely saw it in this book. I loved how much music and theater were a part of this plot, and how many musicals and songs from musicals were referenced throughout the story. DND was the other side of the story, and I loved the story within the story of this book. When you play DND, you become close with your part throughout the game, and out of the game, and this was definitely seen throughout the story. I definitely felt like I was playing along with them throughout this story.

Intrigue-9

This was an interesting book. It held my attention because I wanted to see where the story was going to go, and I wanted to see when the musical theater reference would happen. Also, I wanted to see how the story was going to wrap up, and was curious to if I was correct in my guesses.

Logic-9

I followed the logic in this story. I felt the character’s actions, relationships, and plot points were described well.

Enjoyment-9

I loved this story! I loved the characters, references, and plot. I will definitely check out more from the author.

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Riley's love for musical theater gets her into hot water after a series of bad decisions, including "borrowing" her mom's car...without asking permission and without a license. Her punishment? Working afterschool at her Dad's board game shop.
Riley's life is further complicated by her ex-boyfriend-- who dumped her for his summer theater co-star in the play in which Riley wasn't even cast-- stops by the game shop with his new girl, flaunting his relationship and giving her pity-eyes. In another moment of weakness, Riley pretends to be dating her co-worker, and afterschool nemesis, Nathan. Nathan agrees to her fake dating plan, as it makes his own love interest jealous to see him flirting with Riley. Cue Rom-Com drama and hijinks!
Dungeons and Drama is full of our favorite rom-com-esque tropes: fake dating, enemies to love interests, and save the day stakes. Kristy Boyce has crafted a delightful YA romantic comedy (fingers crossed for a big screen adaptation!) with board games, musical theater, and even a dance number.
Although there are lots of great rom-com moments, there are quieter moments in between that serve to develop the characters and show how broad their worlds are. The friendships among the two friend groups are wonderful to see-- watching Riley balance her pyramid of lies but still prioritize her friends makes her relatable and likable.
Dungeons includes realistic high school life portrayal-- teens going to class, dealing with homework, stressing over the potential cancellation of the spring musical. Boyce shows how full teenage lives are, without pandering or over-exaggerating. There are plenty slice-of-life moments to balance out the zanier mischief that Riley gets up to.
Boyce doesn't shy away from hard discussions, either. Riley's home life explores varying family dynamics in a healthy and realistic way. Watching Riley navigate her changing family relationships could be healing and helpful for readers of many ages.
"Nerd culture" -- as in, Dungeons and Dragons, IRL costumes and role playing, board games, collecting figurines and dice-- all aspects are shown as the fun special interests they are, and aren't played up or down for humor. People like what they like, and sometimes giving an activity a second chance can heal relationships or just offer some fun. There are still some fun fish out of water moments for our main drama queen, but watching Riley dive into new areas is delightful and fun.
This book is full of silliness and flirting and board games and humor and heart. There's romance, there's comedy, there's friendship and family and love. And in the midst of it all is one funny girl, finding her way and forging the path for who she wants to be.
Dungeons and Drama by Kristy Boyce is available now.
Thank you to the author, NetGalley, and RandomHouse Children's for an e-ARC such that I could share my honest opinion!

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This is one of those utterly charming reads that I will recommend until I’m blue in the face. We begin the story with Riley, a theater kid who borrowed her mom’s car to see a show and gets caught. Her punishment? Working at her dad’s game shop. To make things worse, her high school is cutting funding for the arts and theater is one of them. Things aren’t looking too good until she gets the idea to pitch a low-budget performance to her school’s committee. It’s not going to be easy but is life ever easy especially when your parents are divorced and you seem to have nothing in common with your dad? Oh, but let’s throw in an arrogant ex-boyfriend who won’t leave you alone. Riley has had enough and in a desperate attempt to show up her ex, Riley tells him she has a new boyfriend, a (fake) boyfriend who happens to be Nathan, an employee at the game shop, and a total dork.

I know a lot is going on in this book. Fake dating, estranged parents, etc but it’s sure enough to keep a reader entertained. I frequent my local comic/game shop, so I loved the setting. I also love how Riley finds parallels with D&D and musical theater and uses that to make her dream come true. The romance was also cute.

This is a great book if you are looking for something light and funny. I’ll be reading more from this author in the future.

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4.5

I ADORED this sweet nerdy ya rom-com! If you're like me and have a secret nerd side, then this is the book for you. Not only are the characters and romance adorable, but the entire story is about being true to yourself and finding others who enjoy the same things you do. They accept you for who you are and don't want you to change. In a world that is constantly telling you who should be, it is wonderful to read a story that encourages you to be comfortable with who you are.

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Riley is really into theatre and has big dreams of becoming a famous director. Unfortunatly her school's Spring Musical has been cancelled due to budget cuts. One way or another Riley must save the musical even if it means going behind her parents back when she's supposed to be focused on working at her dad's gaming store. As punishment for "borrowing' her mother's car without permission Riley is supposed to be working there after school for the next 8 weeks. Also working at the store with Riley is her classmate Nathan who is a gamer nerd. When Riley's ex boyfriend comes into the shop one day with his new girlfriend, to save face Riley blurts out that she is dating Nathan. He decides to go along with it in hopes that it will help get his crush's attention. Turns out fake flirting doesn't require much faking. I really loved all of the characters, and the relationships that Riley has with her friends, her parents, and Nathan. I thought this was a super cute YA rom-com. Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate how cute the cover of this book is?! Thank you to NetGally and Kristy Boyce for an advanced copy of this book!

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My face hurts from smiling at this book.

As an avid nerd, board gamer and DND player I enjoyed the interactions between all the characters. It made me feel like I was at the table having fun with all of them. Riley and Nathan pitch the enemies to fake dating to friends to lovers so well. There were so many dynamic relationships this book explored but nothing felt rushed or like it got too much attention.

Overall a very fun read with a memorable cast and plenty of tabletop chatter.

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This was a new to me author & it won’t be the last! This book was so fun and sweet! I really adored Riley and Nathan! They were so cute! The slow burn between them was worth the cuteness! I also enjoyed Riley getting a better relationship with her dad. She ends up having to work at his gaming store bc of taking her mom’s car to a musical without a license. Riley and Nathan end up fake dating since Nathan wants to get another girl and Riley wants her ex to leave her alone. They have a great dynamic! Plus when Riley starts playing D&D! Seriously such a cute book! I highly recommend reading this one!

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