Thursday, November 5, 2015

REVIEW: Game On by Olley White

I found this book for free on Amazon and, as much as my mother told me not to judge a book by its cover, I totally did.

But it’s a damn nice cover.

The Good:
This is a cute story. Like, really, really cute. Also very British, which is understandable… since it was written by a British author and set in the UK. It doesn’t bother me at all, but fair warning for anyone who picks it up: if you’re not familiar with British slang and colloquialisms, you may want to brush up on them before you crack this book open. Or have Google at the ready.

The premise is also very appealing to my inner geek. Two people meet playing an MMO, hit it off, and eventually agree to meet in real life. I love that. More nerd love is always a good thing, in my opinion. I also enjoyed being surprised. See, when they were online, Max thought St3ff was short for Stephanie… not Stefan. That wasn’t a shock. The shock was the outcome. You see, I figured that it would turn out, since that’s sort of the status quo. But I also figured I would hate it. Straight guy and gay guy get together? Highly unlikely. But it worked out. Somehow, the author made it work in such a way that I actually believed it. It required Max to be very open to his own sexuality, but that worked out exceptionally well. The part I thought would be the weakest ended up actually being good.

As for the story, it held together from beginning to end. It was all very sweet, not much drama. Not exactly my cup of tea, but even I enjoy something light and sweet from time to time. Game On definitely fills that place in my library. Like I said above, it’s cute, and there’s nothing wrong with cute.

The Bad:
I don’t have a ton of complaints, but I have some. As I said above, it wasn’t very dramatic. That led to the occasional goofy moment that ruined the experience a bit for me. There was a dance scene at the end, a roller disco, and some moments inside the MMO. They weren’t a major issue, just not my preference. I like darkness with my love stories. Always have.

I also had issues keeping the characters straight in my head. I found them very similar to each other, so when they were talking, I found myself having to go back a few times to figure out who was saying what. It’s an issue I’ve seen a lot in M/M romance. A lot of times, the differences between the two heroes are physical only. It makes for attractive heroes, but it becomes confusing quickly. That was the case here. There were differences between them, but only very slight differences.

The other little complaint I have was the final love scene. It was a paragraph. I honestly didn’t see the point in putting it in at all. The book could have been a romance sans sex, and that likely would have improved the quality of it, in my opinion.

The Ugly:
This is a problem that might not bother everyone, but it was very large for me: proofreading. This book badly needed a proofreader to go through it. Commas were used in place of periods, words were misspelled, and the grammar was just a big issue for me. Not so big as to ruin the enjoyment of the book, but noticeable to me. Noticeable enough that I was pulled out several times. There were several sentences where the grammar changed the meaning, which is a problem even if you aren’t anal-retentive about spelling and grammar like I am. But the book managed to be cute enough to overcome those issues, which is saying a lot for me.

All in all, Game On is a really sweet little love story. Especially for free, I’d give it a chance.

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