Cover Image: Dungeons and Drama

Dungeons and Drama

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Riley stole her mom’s car and drove to see the musical Waitress. Sounds like a completely logical thing to do to me. I mean, it’s Waitress! However, Riley’s mother doesn’t feel the same and grounds her. Her punishment? Working in her dad’s geeky game store. What’s even worse? The Spring musical has been canceled. She’s been anticipating it all summer and now, all her dreams come crashing down. Unless she can save it.

Enter Nathan-a guy she goes to school with, but hasn’t really spoken to and works for her dad at the store. He’s kind of a jerk, definitely a nerd and they instantly get off on the wrong foot and become something of annoyances to each other. When Riley’s pretentious ex, Paul, comes into the store with his new girlfriend, she’s put in an awkward position and lies about having a new boyfriend. The name that came out of her mouth? Nathan, of course. When she learns that Nathan has a crush on insufferable Sophia, the plan is simple: They’ll fake date so that Sofia is jealous and Paul leaves her alone. As Riley juggles saving the musical and fake dating Nathan, she starts to wonder what’s real and what’s still fake. Nathan may be more tolerable than she thought after all.

I know nothing about D&D, but I know a thing or two about musicals and I absolutely loved this! I liked learning about the game as I read and that helped immerse me in the story. Riley and her bff Hoshiko were great and I loved their relationship. Honestly, all the friendships in this novel were amazing. The D&D boys pulled at my heartstrings for sure. This had my emotions going like a rollercoaster. You know when you yell at the TV, “he likes you, you idiot!”? Yeah, it was like that.

This was fast paced and a super fun, swoony read!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Netgalley and Random House Children's, Delacorte Press for an ARC of Dungeons and Drama by Kristy Boyce.
I loved this book! I loved the nerdy aspect of having Dungeons and Dragons . I needed a romcom and this absolutely hit the spot.

Was this review helpful?

Talented Theater Kid, Riley, and Gamer Nerd, Nathan, have the sweetest YA slow-burn relationship I’ve ever read. They begin fake-dating when they become co-workers at Riley’s father’s game store, and as they come closer to achieving their original goals for the fake relationship, Riley’s real feelings for Nathan catch her by surprise.

'Dungeons and Drama' is a YA coming of age novel in which we follow Riley as she learns that there are more important things in life than driving to a musical theater show without a driver’s license, in the dark. We get to watch Riley join Nathan’s Dungeons & Dragons game and learn that role-playing is quite similar to singing and acting, and like all the musical shows she so enjoys. This brings her some relief as she endeavors to convince her high school to not cut the funding for their Spring musical.

Riley and Nathan have been living in my head rent-free since I finished reading. I couldn't put this one down, it's so very good! This is my favorite book by author Kristy Boyce, and I love all 3 of her Contemporary YA novels. Releasing on January 9, 2024, grab a copy!

Was this review helpful?

Kristy Boyce creates a great young adult romance novel, it does everything that I was looking for. I enjoyed the use of Dungeons and Dragons and the characters felt realistic. It was written perfectly and left me wanting to read more from the author.

Was this review helpful?

I questioned whether I was the right fit for this book. Even though my inner child is still singing loud and proud, my teenage years are ancient history, and I don't really know much about the Dungeon & Dragons universe (I even watched the movie adaptation, but it wasn't my cup of tea).

However, the cover was so vividly enchanting, perfect for someone like me who loves anything colorful! It practically called out to me, urging me to dive in and read. So, I did. Surprisingly, I loved it even more than I expected. I've come to realize that it's not always about the plot or genre that draws me in; what truly matters is the emotions and feelings a book stirs within you. This book rekindled a sense of joy deep within me. The estranged relationship between Riley and her father, her passion for musical theater, her determination to make her dreams a reality by pitching a low-budget musical idea to the school committee – all of these elements, along with the complex dynamics with Nathan, captured me and made for an engaging and emotional story.

The story revolves around Riley, still grappling with her parents' divorce and harboring resentment toward her father for prioritizing his career over his family. As a punishment for borrowing her mom's car without permission and embarking on a road trip to New York to catch a musical with her best friend (despite lacking a driver's license), she's forced to work at her father's game store for eight weeks. There, she finds herself surrounded by game enthusiasts and her father's favored employee, Nathan, who happens to be a school friend with whom she has a rather rocky relationship.

Riley's introduction to Nathan's D&D friends group reveals that the game parallels her improv "choose your-own-adventure" theater exercises. She discovers a way to breathe life into her character, utilizing her vocal abilities to add depth. As she enjoys herself, her ex-boyfriend shows up with his new girlfriend, who nabbed the role Riley had longed for. In addition, Nathan harbors feelings for Sophie, a reluctant participant in their D&D sessions. This prompts Riley to propose a mutually beneficial arrangement: a fake dating scheme to incite jealousy in their respective crushes.

Interestingly, the fake dating plan unfolds as intended, igniting Riley's enthusiasm to save the school musical. However, her complex feelings for Nathan begin to complicate matters. Could their act lead to something genuine? Will Riley be okay watching Nathan's affections drift to Sophie, who's always seeking what she can't have? Perhaps Riley should focus on convincing the school committee to green-light the musical and appoint her as the student director. But as they say, the heart wants what it wants.

Overall, this book brought me so much joy and even sparked my interest in the D&D game universe. The characters are well-crafted, genuine, and compelling, making it impossible for me to put down.

A big thank you to NetGalley and Random House Children’s/Delacorte Press for sharing this fantastic book's digital review copy with me in exchange for my honest thoughts.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this book! It was such a sweet innocent read!

The story starts out introducing us to the main character Riley, who has gotten herself into a bit of trouble with her parents and is grounded. Part of grounding means having to work at her dads gaming store, which she despises. There she meets Nathan. Her and Nathan can’t seem to stand each other that is until Riley’s ex boyfriend shows up with his new girlfriend, and Riley blurts out that she is dating Nathan. Nathan has a crush on fellow DND player Sophia and agrees to fake date Riley as a way to make Sophia jealous! Will their plan work and Nathan will win Sophia over, or will Nathan and Riley end up dating for real!? Read this book asap to find out!! 5 stars!! Thank you net galley for my arc and for letting me review this amazing book!

Was this review helpful?

Reviewed for NetGalley:

A cute, sweet read throwing in a gamer store, a gamer, and a girly girl.

A little for the younger teenage crowd, but cute nonetheless.

Was this review helpful?

"Dungeons and Drama" is about musical theater kid Riley who is newly in trouble from "borrowing" her mom's car so she and her best friend could go see Waitress. Her consequence is having to work at her father's game shop, an undazzling emporium of Magic cards and Dungeons & Dragons fans. Riley has just found out the spring musical is canceled and in short order finds herself in a fake dating situation with Nathan, a D & D player from her school who also works there. This YA romance was compulsively readable. Its biggest strengths are authentic characterization and keeping things relatively simple. I also really appreciated the portrayal of post-divorce parent/child relationships. "Dungeons and Drama" has the heart of an 80s teen movie and it makes you really cheering for everyone to have their Happily Ever After. Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced copy. (The book comes out this January.)

Was this review helpful?

All the gemstone dice to this perfect YA romcom! Riley is sentenced to work at her father's gaming store as a punishment where she clashes with dedicated gamer Nathan. Soon they're pretending to be a couple to make her ex and his crush jealous. And in a new favorite romance line Nathan explains that role playing in Dungeons & Dragons will make him a natural at fake-dating. This is exactly why people say romance is unmatched. Because that is amazing! Dungeons and Drama is laugh-out-loud funny, swoony, and full of squee! Loved how Riley saw and appreciated more and more of the real Nathan as they got to know each other and the faking turned into real feelings. The book is rounded out by challenging parent issues, a beautiful found family of friends, and a lets-save-this-school-musical subplot. So good! And I can see libraries having so much fun with it--book club turns into game night!! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read early. Highly recommend! Can't wait to get my paperback!

Was this review helpful?

Book Name: Dungeons and Drama
Author: Kristy Boyce

ARC
Thank you to Netgalley and Random House Children's, Delacorte Press for an ARC of Dungeons and Drama by Kristy Boyce

Stars: 5
Spice : 0 (YA)

Standalone
Fast Paced
Plot Centric

FMC POV
Contemporary YA Romance

- Topics
- Integrity
- Priorities
- Friendship
- Tropes
- Fake Dating
- You Say It First
- Grumpy Sunshine
- Battle of the Nerds
- Thoughts.
- MMC is the Dream HS Boyfriend
- Hillarious Charter Banter
- Pop Culture References (🤢)
- Adorable Cute without being Hallmarky
- Solid Fun YA

Was this review helpful?

I binged this in less than a day. I could not put it down. I loved the gaming aspects of the book as well as the musical theater aspects. I have done DnD campaigns before and I play Magic, so it was nice see that representation. The friendships in the book were great and it was just a good read.

Riley is grounded after driving a friend hours away to see a musical…at night…without a drivers license. Part of her punishment is working at her dad’s gaming store. While there, she meets Nathan. Nathan likes a girl he plays DnD with and Riley’s ex showed up with his new girlfriend. Both Riley and Nathan would benefit from a fake dating situation - romcom gold. Along side this, the school musical gets cancelled because of budget issues and Riley LIVES for musical theater. She will do anything to save the musical because she aspires to be a theater director. This story weaves both aspects together flawlessly.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy for review.

Was this review helpful?

This book was too cute! It took me a minute to get into the book, but once I got hooked, I loved it! I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for teenage readers or just someone looking for a cute, fluffy read!

Was this review helpful?

A sweet and charming young adult romance novel from Kristy Boyce (author of Hot British Boyfriend and Hot Dutch Daydream). Kristy has done it again with a witty, endearing, and original rom-com about a fake dating scheme between a theater-obsessed girl and gamer boy. This book is perfect for pre-teens or younger teens who are picking up YA romance for the first time! The characters are in high school, but the antics and banter is accessible for younger readers as well.

Was this review helpful?

So good and bingeable! I laughed, but this book also managed to tug on my heartstrings.
You have your romantic comedy, but in the background is a story of a child finding a way to connect with a semi estranged parent.
I think I really connected with this one because I was a huge drama nerd in high school and always wanted a fake flirt situation.
Anyway! I'm super excited for this to come out!

Was this review helpful?

I loved this book! It had all of the best tropes and I loved the nerdy aspect. I needed a romcom and this absolutely hit the spot. I would highly recommend to anyone who loves the enemies to lovers trope with some D&D and musicals thrown in.

Was this review helpful?

This was such a good read! I was fully sucked into the story right away and I really enjoyed the characters. The journey the author took these characters on was exciting and unique which is something I am really interested in with books now. I will be recommending this book to all of my friends and family.

Was this review helpful?

This is a really cute YA rom-com filled with gaming, theater, drama and fun!
I loved seeing D&D through their eyes and how Riley's view of it changed throughout the book. I liked her love of theater and drama and all the hijinks they got into.
I liked that working at the store also brought her closer to her dad.
This was a super fun read that I like many teens will enjoy!

Thanks NetGalley and Random House publishing for this ARC!

Was this review helpful?

Ok this was cute as HECK! Nerdiness, theatre kids, and high school drama all wrapped up in a small town bow. I couldn’t put it down! This is the high school experience I wish I had 🥺 Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance copy.

Was this review helpful?

When it comes to romance, sometimes it doesn't hurt to play games. A fun YA romcom full of fake dating hijinks!

I don't read a ton of romance, especially not Y.A. romance, but I am a huge D&D nerd so this caught my attention. It was a very fun romcom. I really enjoyed my time reading it.

Was this review helpful?

The last thing that Riley wants to do is work at her dad's game store, but after "borrowing" her mom's car without permission (or a license), it is the punishment her divorced parents agree upon. Riley would much rather focus on figuring out a way to save her high school's spring musical.

Riley strikes a deal with her new co-worker Nathan that she will pretend to flirt with him so that he can catch the eye of his crush, and he won't tell her ex-boyfriend that she lied about her and Nathan being together. The best way for Riley to do this is join Nathan and his friends D&D campaign. Something that she thought she would hate, but finds it to be a great way to put her love of musicals to good use as a bard. Their plan seems to be working, but the lines between real and fantasy begin to blur. Riley realizes that the part she's playing doesn't feel like an act anymore, but Nathan's performance is too convincing for her to tell what's real.

A beautiful combination of romance and comedy for lovers of D&D and Drama. The characters are compelling and hilarious. A must-read for fans of the fake dating trope with a dash of whimsy!

Was this review helpful?