Member Reviews

I loved this book so much! Fake dating is one of my favorite tropes, and I feel this book did it very well. It had the perfect balance of D&D, musical theater, romance, and friendship.

Was this review helpful?

**4.5-stars**

Dungeons and Drama is truly adorable. It made my nerd heart so happy and left me wanting more from this author!

This YA Romantic Comedy features a fake dating trope and lots of cute, fun and witty character moments. In this story we follow Riley, a theater girl, who gets busted taking her Mom's car without permission to go see a show in the city. With her best friend in tow, the girls take the risk, and sadly, don't get away with it. Riley gets grounded. She's allowed no extracurriculars and as extra punishment, she has to start working at her Dad's game store after school.

She's barely ever set foot in the store and has no interest in games. All Riley cares about right now is getting the High School Spring Musical, currently canceled due to budgetary considerations, back on. Her life is a mess without the possibility of the Musical. She can hardly think of anything else. Well, there's a few other things she thinks about: her uncomfortable relationship with her Dad, her ex-boyfriend succeeding in all things theater and the fact that he's driving her nuts.

A new co-worker at the store, cute and shy boy, Nathan, could be exactly what Riley needs. She convinces him to pretend they're into one another. Her ex now thinks she's moved on and the girl that Nathan likes is suddenly more interested in him, eaten up with jealousy because of Riley. All is going to plan, until Riley realizes that flirting with Nathan is no longer much of an act. Have her plans gone too far? Is she falling for the D&D boy at the game store?

This book was so lovey. I read it in a day and got completely swept up in the story. I loved both Riley and Nathan. They were both incredibly earnest and naive, but in a way that felt natural to the story and works for the YA-genre.

I also enjoyed exploring Riley's relationship with her Dad. As a child of divorce, who lives with her Mom, Riley has felt sort of abandoned by her Dad. He's not a bad person, you can tell how me he loves her, but their communication at the start isn't great. I loved watching the time they spent together at the store have such an impact on the way they communicated with one another. I felt like that development was just as satisfying as the romantic portions of this story.

But yeah, the romance was pretty sweet. It was just so cute, I can't think of another way to describe. I was crushing right along with Riley. Nathan is a pretty special guy. I loved how he got Riley to join his D&D group; which was one of my favorite parts of this story. She ended up really enjoying it and was even able to channel some of her musical talents in her role as a bard.

I think as far as YA Rom-Com stories go, this has to be one of my faves. I feel like it was just really well executed. The character work was fantastic and I loved the messages and themes explored throughout. I would definitely recommend this to any YA Contemporary Reader, particularly if you are a fan of RPGs, or the theater. This was a perfect blend of those things for me!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Delacorte Press, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I'm really looking forward to reading more from Kristy Boyce.

Was this review helpful?

I dnf'd this book a few months back, then decided to pick it back up again and it was a super cute read. Sometimes we just aren't in the right headspace for certain books.

I'm not a dungeons and dragons player, but have friends who play. I could definitely see my 16/17 year old self enjoying this read. It brought me a lot of joy and positive emotions. Will be adding this to my high school class's library!

Was this review helpful?

A super cute YA novel about a broadway musical obsessed girl that after getting in trouble for driving without a license to another city with her friend to see a musical, gets grounded and is forced to work at her fathers game shop. After an awkward with her ex in the store she lies and says that she’s seeing someone and blurts out the first name she can think of. Except he doesn’t like her and she can’t stand him. After coming to a fake dating agreement that mutual benefits them both, they enter into a fake relationship. After spending time together for they slowly discover that the faking maybe isn’t fake.

🔹fake dating
🔹 He falls first
🔹D&D
🔹 High school drama

Was this review helpful?

This was absolutely adorable!! What a pleasant surprise. You know it’s a good YA book when you can’t stop smiling and feel giddy the whole time. This has the perfect balance of teen angst, fake dating, and jealousy. Riley and Nathan are a great example of opposites attract. I loved the crossover with D&D gamer boys and musical theater girls. It is one of those books you will finish in one sitting.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Children's for the advance electronic copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.

I enjoyed this book. Definitely didn't believe all of it--if my unlicensed kid took my car and drove to the city to see a show, she would definitely find herself with a more serious punishment. Also found it pretty predictable. That being said, I was a theatre kid who raised a theatre kid, so I definitely appreciated that aspect of the story. Also appreciated the way it handled the family situation--divorced parents, child lives with one and feels pressured to be loyal to that one.

What I didn't expect was to be fascinated by the Dungeons and Dragons piece of the story. As the drama kids got involved with the game, I wanted to be there playing too. Just ordered my own dice and looking at books for beginners.

A cute book, that actually went a bit deeper than expected about friendship.

Was this review helpful?

I don’t personally play dungeons and dragons, but my husband loves it which is why I was looking forward to reading this book. The cover of this book really caught my eye, also. This book brought me so much joy and other positive emotions I don’t even have words for!

Was this review helpful?

This was such a fun, immersive, sweet YA romcom. I love Kristy Boyce's work, and this one was a fresh departure from her travel romances—learning about D&D and following the twists of this fake dating situation was a total joy. Can't wait for more!

Was this review helpful?

One of my most anticipated books stuck the landing.

As someone who had no idea what D&D was, this is perfect who felt the same way. It explains it really well. I had no idea what D&D was for the longest time and now I finally know.

All the characters were lovable (except for Riley’s ex and Nathan’s crush) and their were other couples in the book who were cute too.

The banter made me laugh and they had amazing chemistry. Their dynamic was really great and didn’t turn into jerky territory. I like that they became friends first before they realized they had feelings for each other. Nathan giving her that die was one of the most romantic things I have ever read about.
Riley was unafraid of what people thought about her “quirky” personality. Reviewers lately have been bashing these types of characters, for being “cringe”. Even though there are plenty of people like that in the real world. Characters that are able to be nerdy without being labeled “cringe” are honestly what makes my heart happy.

Was this review helpful?

What a positively cute and quick read. For someone who is recently into DnD, and is currently playing their first campaign, this book made sense. The characters were light and fun, the story had a bit of everything and the romance was perfect for a YA novel. YA is typically not my favorite but this was a breath of fresh air from my normal reads. Riley was such a great main character that you just wanted her to succeed. Definitely recommend this pallet cleaner to anyone looking for something upbeat.

Thank you NetGalley & Kristy Boyce for an early copy of the book in exchange for a review.

Was this review helpful?

I think this is one of my favorite books so far this year, I enjoyed it so much. As soon as I had the time to start it I basically couldn’t put it down. The characters were so cute and I love faking dating.

Was this review helpful?

This was SO cute! Fans of Critical Role and the Chris Pine Dungeons & Dragons movie will love this. Fans of Dungeons & Dragons itself will love this. This is the YA novel or every theater geek and fandom nerd (it's me. I'm theater geek and fandom nerd).

Was this review helpful?

I really thought that this was really sweet. I loved her free spirit and I loved her reconciling her relationship with her dad. I love board games and I love theatre so this one was so sweet and warmed my heart!!

Was this review helpful?

"Dungeons and Drama" is a super cute book for young adults! It's all about romance and the fake dating idea, which makes it really fun. The love story is sweet and just right for the age group. It's a perfect pick if you want a heartwarming and delightful read.

What makes this book extra special is that it includes Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) stuff. The author explains D&D terms in a cool way, so even if you don't know the game, it's easy to understand. Unlike other books that just talk about gaming, this one takes you right into the action. I loved that! It adds a cool layer to the story. Even if you're new to D&D like me, you'll connect with Riley and learn about the game as she does. "Dungeons and Drama" is not just a love story; it's like a fun adventure into friendship, love, and the magic of Dungeons and Dragons!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me free access to the advanced digital copy of this book.

I love this fun nerdy romance. I would definitely recommend to another reader wanting a funny romcom but a bit of nerdy-ness.

Was this review helpful?

Fun and fizzy YA rom/com firmly placed in the world of fandom of many forms. Appreciate the fully fleshed teen characters with their own motivations/passions/hobbies/priorities.

ARC from the publisher via NetGalley but the opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

Dungeons & Drama by Kristy Boyce is a good fit for those seeking a lighthearted and humorous romance that explores the ups and downs of fake dating, enemies-to-lovers, and nerd culture, with a touch of hopefulness and heartwarming moments.

Was this review helpful?

I am a tiny bit torn on how I wanted to rate this book. Overall, I would say that I liked it and that I would definitely suggest it to teen readers and to any adults who may want a touch of high school drama or Dungeons and Dragons in their novel. However, I ended up not entirely loving it as much as I wish I would have.

A few issues that I had with the book is that everyone was very much a caricature of what a high school student is. I felt like they were all super stereotypical and not as well rounded as most teens actually are in real life. I felt like Riley was a little more annoying than I typically like in a protagonist.

Also, some of the descriptions of D&D were just NOT accurate at all which made me sad. Case in point, a line later on in the book that really stuck out to me. "I never get to use my accents at D&D since I'm always the DM." Excuse you? From playing once or from watching any of the popular D&D livestreams, that is 100% false. The DM is literally the one who can use accents the most given that they play all the bad guys and all the NPCs? The quoted statement isn't accurate to D&D at ALL.

But other than a couple little picky details I overall enjoyed it. I just wish it was a bit less full of stereotypes (you can absolutely portray a teen that is self involved and all drama nerd or D&D nerd in a better way) and with a few more accurate details about gaming.

Was this review helpful?

This a simple, sweet book about, you guessed it, Dungeons & Dragons and the school musical. It's pretty straightforward, and I really enjoyed that about it. I was in the mood for a book that would keep me entertained and just be a lighthearted good time, and this book delivered. Riley, the main character, is the theatre kid to rule all theatre kids. While some of her dialogue and actions were slightly cringeworthy (breaking out into the opening number of Legally Blonde: The Musical whenever she or her best friend say "omigod" comes to mind), but as a former cringeworthy theatre kid myself, I cannot argue that it is inaccurate. This book feels like high school for me to a T, and it was really fun to vicariously live through Riley.

Was this review helpful?

Such a fun read!!!

Top 5 Reasons to Read:
Strong female lead! “I’m a freaking catch.” Yes you are, young lady.
Total acceptance of diverse hobbies- from D&D to musical theater (and the author added some amazing theatrical references 🎭)
Friendships with an inclusive attitude of “the more the merrier.”
The right amount of teen rebellion…“It’s easy to get your parents on board if you never tell them anything.”
And of course….an adorable fake-dating trope 💕

Was this review helpful?