Member Reviews

I wanted to love this one because it sounded like it was perfect for my nerdy little heart. And if this had come out when I was a teen it would have been. But I did enjoy it. But I loved the hero Nathan more than Riley, Nathan was the type of guy that I would have fallen for in high school and college. However, Riley the heroine got on my nerves for most of the book who I didn't think deserved Nathan. And while I don't play Dungeons and Dragons or other role playing games myself I'm familiar enough with it because my dad plays and has played for a big chunk of his life.

I have to say this one would be perfect for teenage bookworms, drama club members and other nerdy girls. It's also perfect for those nerdy girls who want a walk down memory lane.

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Dungeons and Drama by Kristy Boyce, 304 pages. Delacorte Press (Random House), 2024. $12. Lgbtqia, the show must go on
Language: PG (13 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG
BUYING ADVISORY: HS - OPTIONAL
AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE
After getting caught driving home from seeing Waitress with her best friend—without a license—Riley’s punishment is to work at her father’s game store for several weeks. Now on top of homework and her unwanted job, the new choir teacher announces that the school musical has been canceled. And Riley can’t let that happen.
Riley is the definition of “if there’s a will, there’s a way,” which gets her into a myriad of scrapes. I loved that Boyce doesn’t focus on any one aspect of Riley’s life, but, instead, shows how this trial in her life affects her hobbies and her friends and her family—because that’s how this messy life works. Throughout the book, Riley learns how to reconcile herself to the changes in each of these areas of her life, and her story feels both relatable and adorable.
Riley and Nathan are depicted as White on the cover, Hoshiko is Japanese, Anthony is Latino, Jordan is Black, and Sanhi is Asian. A couple of guys in the DND friend-group are gay. The mature content rating is for mentions of alcohol (including underage drinking), illegal activity, kissing, and innuendo. The violence rating is for a joke about running into oncoming traffic.
Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

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Ohhhh how fun and lighthearted and cheesy and nerdy!! What a sweet read!

At first I didn’t love the mc, Riley. I’m not really a fan of the over the top theatre kids (in books and real life, lol), but she started growing on me when she started playing D&D. I liked her a lot more once she started having more of a open mind and stopped being so whiney and snooty.

Once Riley got better, I flew through the rest. I LOVED the game store - what a fun setting!! My husband loves that type of place.

And I’m always down for fake dating. ;)

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I loved this book!!! It was such a cute read + I devoured the whole thing in 24 hours. I loved Riley and Nathan so much, they were so cute💕 I went into this book blind so I had so much fun with all the little turns it took to get to the HEA. I found Riley to be super relatable, at least to my younger self lol. But I loved her determination and her overwhelming amount of love she had for everyone and thing she was involved in. I loved the little fake dating moments between Riley and Nathan, and loved how Riley became such good friends with the D&D boys. I was not expecting the part with her dad at the end, so it had me near tears. But seeing al her friends pull together, it really showed how loved and appreciated Riley was to everyone around her. I am completely obsessed with this one and loved the writing as much as the characters. It's a good light, fun and easy read for anyone that enjoys a good YA book!

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Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

This was a very fun and adorable YA romance. I am always a fan for a good rom-com and this one was great. I liked the opposite attracts trope between the nerdy D&D player and the preppy drama student. Whether you have ever played D&D or not, I think you will enjoy this book.

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Dungeons and Drama caught my attention, because of the Dungeons and Dragons element, but also because it features fake dating. That is one of my favorite tropes. Both of these elements were a lot of fun in this story. The author did a great job referencing things that people familiar with the game understand, but not too much that someone who doesn't know Dungeons and Dragons would become lost.

Riley was a great main character. She was very passionate about musical theater (so much so she got herself grounded by doing something she wasn't supposed to to see a show). I love her talking about it and that she just seems to be herself. While grounded she had to work at her father's store and that created a family story line I really enjoyed. The relationship with her father wasn't the best before this and I think it brought them closer together and made her realize he cares more than she thought.

The Dungeons and Dragons game with Nathan and his friends didn't take over the story either, but actually helped her theater loving heart a few times as well. I loved them talking about their characters and Riley really enjoying herself. When the fake dating came in, it was a lot fun. Nathan was genuinely a sweet guy and it was great seeing them slowly actually start falling for each other.

Dungeons and Drama was the perfect mix of teenage drama, romance, family, and having fun. I'll definitely be reading more by this author.

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This was the cutest book I've read in a while!! The characters were super cute and the romance was so wholesome and innocent. I would definitely give this to the teenagers in my life that not only love cute stories but that also love Dungeons and Dragons.

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5 stars 🌟

Thank you to Random House Children's and Delacorte Press for the arc through netgalley, and Get Underlined for the finished copy in exchange for an honest review!

I absolutely fell head over heels for this book, with such high hopes going in I hoped so desperately that I would love it, and luckily it lived up to all expectations! In the reading world, I feel as if I've seen a few more stories around that are being written about roleplaying games or Dungeons & Dragons and it has made my DND player heart so happy. I was even more thrilled when I read the author's page at the end of the book, because it stated she found DND in high school as well and ended up marrying her Dungeon Master (DM) and my boyfriend is our DM. I thought that was so fun, and made me even more appreciative of her writing this romance.

From reading this story, it's so very obvious that Kristy Boyce knows her stuff with DND even if I hadn't read the author's note at the back. There are a fair amount of terms in this book that are presented to the reader, and as a player, I recognized all of them, but if you were not a player it would not be overwhelming at all. Boyce doesn't go into a ton of the actual complexities of the game, this story is more about the benefit of the game in making connections and memories with friends which is such a heartwarming theme. I've made my best friends playing the game since my boyfriend introduced it to me, and I'm forever grateful to have my favorite people play with me.

Beyond that, the moment that Riley stepped into her dad's game store I wanted to be there so badly with her, it sounded so cozy and welcoming. The game store was in the front, with a gaming room towards the back where people gathered to play games and obviously Dungeons & Dragons. The community aspect and support from the people who were regulars at the store were just as heartwarming as the time Riley spent playing the game. It was basically a real-life version of found family and one of my favorite aspects of the book.

Riley was such a fun main character, there were a few times she sort of drove me bonkers or I was confused about her decisions (aka the very first decision we're introduced to from her character) and yet it was very hard NOT to root for her. Especially as she spent more time at the game store and came to understand how important it was to other people, just as theater was important to her. She is also one of the most motivated and successful main characters I've read in a young adult book in a long time. When she puts her mind to something, she actually really accomplishes it.

Nathan was the perfect romantic interest and no one can tell me otherwise, even if he wasn't exactly the person I was envisioning prior to starting this book. He really is sweet and cares a lot about his friends and the game, something that can be seen through so many of his actions. But he's also a bit of a grump at times, something Riley uses to her advantage to mess with him. Just trust me that there are so many cute scenes between them and that I was in love with him so fast.

The romance was done SO well in this book, fake-dating/forced proximity and enemies-to-lovers are my favorite tropes and to see this intermixed with DND as well was so much fun. Riley and Nathen begin fake dating so that they can make Riley's ex-boyfriend leave her alone, and a girl Nathen likes jealous. Quickly, at least to me, it becomes apparent that they share a lot of the same values and really hit it off, and they fall for each other as they play in-game as well. I wish there had been a little more flirting in character as that would've been fun to see, and something I am definitely prone to as my boyfriend is the DM, but it was still so lovely. I think they ended in a good spot as well, and the classic "third-act breakup" actually seemed realistic in this instance. It still wasn't my favorite as I kind of hate that there always is one, but it didn't bother me as much because it felt realistic. <spoiler> The moment that absolutely sold their romance for me was when he bought her dice to play with and she painted her nails the color and design of the dice, SWOON. </spoiler>

Everything about this story was exactly what I hoped for, and it makes me really hopeful that more people write about Dungeons & Dragons, as it was so heartwarming to read about it as a player. I definitely recommend this cute little romance and I hope it gets all the love it deserves.

[TW: parental divorce mentioned/divorced parents, absent parents, cheating mentioned, health scare and hospital visit]

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This book was bound to be a viral hit from the moment it was published, and sure enough. I have seen this adorable adventure story everywhere I turn, except my library! That's because this book has been so popular among young adult patrons. Whether you like romance, or TTRPGs, you will love this story.

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Purchased for my high school library. My students love this author. I won’t see this book once it is in and processed. It will pass from hand to hand never making it into my return box, only to the checkout counter to switch people responsible for the copy.

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such a sweet and swoon worthy romance. also so much angst! both of the characters were so loveable. i love seeing things like d&d and just ttrpgs in literature

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I really enjoyed this book! It is a quick, light-hearted read that is a lot of fun. I loved the musical theater references and the Dungeons and Dragons as well. Riley's growth in her relationship with her dad is a good look at growing up and maturing.

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This was such a cute YA romance! This book had a mixture of D&D and plays and I loved it. I don’t know much about Dungeons and Dragons but it didn’t make a difference in understanding what was going on in the book.

I really liked the fake dating trope so this one was right up my alley. The romance and chemistry in this book was so good!

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Dungeons and Drama is a really cute young adult romance, and I genuinely enjoyed it. Is it a fake dating trope? Absolutely. Am I a D&D nerd who was excited to see a high school D&D romance and didn't care? Also absolutely.
I don't think that I am 100% the target audience for this, simply because I am in my 30s, so high school is kind of out of my area of interest (though I am a teacher, so I guess high school is also not entirely out of my wheelhouse either) but I think that the romance was really well-done, even if there was a little too much miscommunication. But I do love that it is so cute and appropriate for younger YA readers!

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This book was ADORABLE! I was a theatre kid in high school and majored in it in college so this novel appealed to me IMMEDIATELY. There is such an underrated appreciation for sweet, nerdy men. Nathan was the perfect love interest and the witty banter between him and Riley was just everything. I am so thankful to have been able to read an e-ARC of this book! Thank you to NetGalley and Kristy Boyce for sending me an ARC.

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This was a really sweet romance about learning to reconnect with family, try new things, and be dedicated to your passions. I wish this was a story available in my youth to support my nerdy self as both a theater kid and a gamer!

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Oh goodness! This book was so fun. I haven’t read many fake dating in YA, especially with Dungeons and Dragons involved. SO fun! I adored Riley and Nathan and everything about this book. Huge thanks to the publisher for the Netgalley approval.

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This was a fun book. I enjoyed the characters and the drama. I also loved seeing D&D in a book. I also enjoyed the sub plot of the rehearsals for trying to get the musical back in session. Riley is a confident female lead and I enjoyed the story.

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Dungeons and Drama is nothing but cuteness! This is a charming YA romcom of fake dating, Broadway meets Dungeons & Dragons in this nerdy love story.
Riley is a character that took me a while to warm up to. There was something about her that rubbed me the wrong way but as the story went on the more I started rooting for her. Riley is a character that has a lot of growth. Nathan is a cinnamon roll, sweet. He works at Riley's fathers, game shop. Right away you can tell these two will play well off each other. It develops nicely, you get to see their feeling grow.
I do have to say this is a story of teens who have passions. Riley her school spring musical and Nathan's Dungeons & Dragons. It's nice to see.
I wasn't sure how the relationship between Riley and her father was going to go. But I felt that it was done well. It starts rocky and then you see the more she spends time in her father's world the more she understands him.
Overall, I did have fun reading this but I had a hard time connecting with Riley, and seeing the world from her made it hard for me to be drawn in as much as I was hoping for.
This was my first time reading anything by Kristy Boyce and I felt that she does a good job at writing characters relationship development. That was the part I liked best was seeing the character's relationship grow. It was a fine read. I will try another book by her.
If you like nerdy fake dating with family drama and a dash of enemies to lovers; then you may like this read.

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Thanks to Netgalley and Delacorte Press for the ARC of this!

Omg! This was SO adorable. I felt a rollercoaster of emotion. I loved the fake dating, banter, and fun supporting cast.

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