Well Played by Jen DeLuca | Book Review

Hello, book lovers! 💕

I know we’re already halfway into January, but I thought I’d talk about my Reading Goals for 2021 today. Maybe by writing it all down will somehow hold me accountable for sticking to them. If nothing else, I hope to have a year full of reading and good books (one can only hope all the books I read are good). Even if I don’t manage to reach all my goals by the end of the year.

But anyway, I don’t have too many goals for this year, mainly because I suck at sticking to them and I don’t want to make reading into something that feels like work or something that’s stressful.

So without any further ado, let’s get onto my 2021 reading goals!

To think that I’ve been doing the Goodreads Reading Challenge for ten years. That’s kind of hard to wrap my head around. But I started doing that challenge back in 2011 (though I think I started late that year, which is why I only read 5 books).

So it goes without saying that one of my goals for 2021 is the Goodreads Reading Challenge. I set my goal for this year at 65, since I was able to read more than that last year. But this is where I don’t want to put too much stress on myself to reach that goal. I know that some people don’t count comics or manga in that number, but I don’t think I would be able to reach that many books read if I didn’t. As long as Goodreads counts it as a book read, I’m counting it as a book read.

That’s my main goal for 2021, but I also have a couple other smaller goals that I want to achieve this year. Those include not how many books I read, but the types of books I read.

I’m always looking to read more diverse books, whether that’s a diverse author or main character. Or even setting where the book takes place. I don’t want to feel like I’m reading about the same character regurgitated into different books.

I want to be pushed out of my comfort zone when it comes to the books that I’m reading. So that includes reading different genres than I’m used to. I tend to gravitate towards YA fiction and fantasy, and last year I began to branch out into Adult fiction, even some mystery/thriller books. I want to continue that journey. I want to read more books in genres that I have never or rarely read. The main ones being Adult fiction, Mystery/thriller, and Middle Grade.

Then there’s the goal of lowering my TBR and not buying as many books. I put this as a goal of mine every year, but I never seem to stick to it. While my TBR isn’t nearly as long as some people’s, it’s still longer than I would like. But I keep adding books to it because books keep coming out or I keep discovering new books that I want to read. It’s a never ending cycle, so I don’t think that goal is ever truly obtainable.

As for not buying as many books, well that’s something I’ve always struggled with. And I am trying not to buy as many, mainly because I’m running out of physical space in my room to store so many books. But I still buy ebooks, so I can’t really win. I know I could be using the library (and I do sometimes), but with the pandemic, I’m not comfortable borrowing physical books. I do borrow audiobooks and ebooks sometimes though.

So there you have it. Those are my 2021 Reading Goals. I’m already on track for my Goodreads goal as well as reading diverse books as of right now. Hopefully I can keep it up as the months go on.

What are some goals you have for this year? Are you good at sticking to your reading goals? I’d love to chat in the comments below!

The following is from Goodreads:

Stacey is jolted when her friends Simon and Emily get engaged. She knew she was putting her life on hold when she stayed in Willow Creek to care for her sick mother, but it’s been years now, and even though Stacey loves spending her summers pouring drinks and flirting with patrons at the local Renaissance Faire, she wants more out of life. Stacey vows to have her life figured out by the time her friends get hitched at Faire next summer. Maybe she’ll even find The One.

When Stacey imagined “The One,” it never occurred to her that her summertime Faire fling, Dex MacLean, might fit the bill. While Dex is easy on the eyes onstage with his band The Dueling Kilts, Stacey has never felt an emotional connection with him. So when she receives a tender email from the typically monosyllabic hunk, she’s not sure what to make of it.

Faire returns to Willow Creek, and Stacey comes face-to-face with the man with whom she’s exchanged hundreds of online messages over the past nine months. To Stacey’s shock, it isn’t Dex—she’s been falling in love with a man she barely knows.

My Thoughts:

I knew before picking up this book that I would most likely enjoy it because I had read Jen DeLuca’s previous book, Well Met, last year and really enjoyed it. It wasn’t something that I normally gravitate towards, being that it’s set at a Renaissance Faire which isn’t something that I know anything about. But I gave that book a chance, and when I heard that there was going to be another book, I was pretty excited.

And I’m glad I read this when I did. I really related to the main character Stacey. She is a 27-year-old who basically lives at home with her cat. Which is pretty much me in a nutshell. I’m also not used to reading books with characters who are so close in age with me; that probably made it easier for me to relate to her. So that’s most likely a revelation that I need to read more adult romance rather than YA romance since I can relate to the characters more.

That being said, I really enjoyed the romance in the story for the most part. It was really cute, and I was rooting for the two characters to get together.

But I do want to mention that I feel like the cat fishing element of the story lasted way longer than necessary. It was pretty much 75% of the story, so the romance was cute, but it also only started over halfway through the story. Stacey also forgave the incident pretty quickly, which I can kind of understand, but at the same time, I felt like it was a red flag. It was really off-putting because the cat fishing relationship went on for almost a year. So I can understand why there are some mixed reviews about it on Goodreads.

It is a romance though, so you do expect the main character to get together with the love interest by the end of the book. It’s also in the synopsis, so the reader knows going into it that that’s what is going to happen.

Overall it was a lighthearted story that I really enjoyed, I’d recommend reading it if you enjoyed Well Met. And I’m really excited for the next book in this companion series because it has to do with April and Mitch, who you saw a lot in this book. That should be a lot of fun when it comes out in 2021.

So there you have it. There are my thoughts on Well Played by Jen DeLuca. Have you read this book or Well Met? I’d love to chat about it in the comments below!

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Published by The Reading Addict

I am a twenty-something-year-old who is an avid reader. I love anything from young adult fantasy to adult fiction to young adult contemporary.

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