Book Reviews

Review: Dangerous Play by Emma Kress

Dangerous Play hit me hard in the feels. A story rooted in friendship, feminism, and fighting back, Dangerous Play ignites rage, emotion, and heart. Talk about a book I thought I’d love, and then did! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Zoe Alamandar has one goal: win the State Field Hockey Championships and earn a scholarship that will get her the hell out of Central New York. She and her co-captain Ava Cervantes have assembled a fierce team of dedicated girls who will work hard and play by the rules.

But after Zoe is sexually assaulted at a party, she finds a new goal: make sure no girl feels unsafe again. Zoe and her teammates decide to stop playing by the rules and take justice into their own hands. Soon, their suburban town has a team of superheroes meting out punishments, but one night of vigilantism may cost Zoe her team, the championship, her scholarship, and her future.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: sexism, sexual assault, mention of rape of SC

Dangerous Play delivers an atmosphere of friendship and survival. Of simmering rage, sexism that protects perpetrators, and how society encourages silence. I knew that stories like this hit me differently emotionally, and while I was prepared, the rage that boils to the surface always somehow surprises me. How society forces us into this box of not saying something because of the repercussions, consequences for our future, and how it reinforces itself.

Dangerous Play is about both that feeling of powerless, but also the importance of agency. Of anger at injustice, the necessity of solidarity and support, and how rage can overwhelm us. I felt so deeply for Zoe and her worries, her stresses, and her love. The needs to feel in control, the ways it all suddenly crumbles down. All the ways we will do what we need to feel safe. Dangerous Play is about the power of speaking up and using our words, but more importantly about solidarity and supporting each other.

(Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information you can look at the Policy page. If you’re uncomfortable with that, know you can look up the book on any of the sites below to avoid the link)

Find Dangerous Play on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


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