Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Review: James Games by L.A. Rose

James Games
by L.A Rose
Published: September 30, 2014

Buy from Amazon

Every year, the girls of Phi Delta Chi, Fiona Arlett’s dream sorority, hold a competition.

The prize?

James Reid, king size bar of eye candy and famous actor turned haughty undergrad.

The rules?

No girl but the winner can touch him.

The problem?

Fiona miiight have unknowingly banged his brains out last week.

Losing the competition may mean wearing a chicken suit to the sexiest Halloween costume contest, but she’d rather have feathers up her butt than let the truth out.

Unfortunately, she and James have lots in common and more chemistry than the science wing. Soon they’re sneaking around behind the backs of UCSD’s hottest and most vengeful girls.

If they find out?

Fiona’s screwed.

It was James Reid who caught my interest first and foremost in this book. There's an excerpt of James Games at the end of Adrian Lessons and while it was a very interesting and catchy one, it's the fact that James Reid who is a famous actor in the book happens to also be a famous actor here in our country that got me. One who I got a big crush on when I first saw him on TV. That was a gazillion years ago but now he's back on screen and I'm not that obsessed with him anymore but still. LOL.

I was so ready to ask the author for a review copy but she beat me to it. She gave me a copy before I was able to send my e-mail and I was so happy that I read it immediately. I was even more happy because as it turned out, the book was great and I really, really enjoyed reading it.

It's been a long time since I finished a book that made me pause as soon as I closed it and think back on the things that happened and ponder things. The whole story may seem kind of silly at first but I think it's the characters that made it something. Fiona, according to James is:

"You’re obnoxious and exhibitionist. You’re pushy and aggressive and you thrive on conflict. You’re arrogant and vain and you never lie, you never hide, you’re made for confrontation."

And he's right. I thought it would make the book annoying since I get frustrated with characters who gets too obnoxious even at the most inappropriate times. But Fiona is the type of girl I can't help but admire. She grew up Amish and realized that that kind of lifestyle doesn't really suit her so she left and built a new life for herself. While that new life consisted of different hook ups and parties and people saying negative things about her because of it, most of the time she doesn't mind. She stood by the decisions she's made ever since she became Fiona Arlett.

She's brave, but she obviously is just a girl who also have feelings and I like that she doesn't try to bury it all inside her and turn into the kind of girl who hates the world. I guess it’s one of the characteristic that made me like her more. She’s a very loyal friend and she would do anything so her friends wouldn't get hurt in this mess she’s found herself in. When it all got too much I saw this vulnerable girl who just wants to have fun and not have people who doesn't even really know her mess with her and her friends lives.

Then there's James who is a really nice and compassionate guy. Nobody really knows anything about him and he doesn't make the effort to change that so naturally people assume the worst even if everyone in school is actually a little bit in love with him being the famous actor that he was. They think he's a cold jerk but that's just him not taking anyone's BS.

I like it when Fiona and James talk. One of my favorite scenes was when Fiona and James officially met:

“So you think we should just give up on everything because life has no meaning.”
“No,” he says calmly. “People just need to be strong enough to face reality.”
“Except that that’s not reality. Life has meaning. Nietzsche is saying that nihilism occurs when life doesn’t have the meaning we thought it had. That doesn’t mean there’s no meaning at all.”
He doesn’t lift his eyes from mine. For the first time in my life, I feel shaken by someone else’s gaze. And the only way to deal with that is to talk louder.
“People don’t need to be strong enough to face reality,” I finish. “They need to be strong enough to understand that reality might be different from what they’ve always been taught. And that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.”


“But you’ll fall in love someday, obviously.”
“No. I won’t.”
“Don’t be an idiot.” I crank a little harder than necessary. “I’m no relationship expert, but love is like, the meaning of life.”
“I don’t believe life has a meaning, remember?” He takes my peeled apple and slices it to bits. “It’s just life. You do the best you can and then you die. There’s nothing inherently special or meaningful about it.”
“Right, I forgot about your nihilism. Don’t sneeze on me. I heard it’s contagious.”
“You’re angry,” he observes.
“Because it’s a stupid viewpoint! What’s the point of living if you’re just going through the motions? Life has meaning. Everyone just needs to discover what that meaning is for themselves.”

I also liked how the two developed the kind of friendship that they have. Fiona only knew James as the famous actor who goes to their school but she doesn't know what he looks like (no TV in Amish-land) so when they met, she thinks that a piece of James' life story should be earned by talking to him as a friend and not from gossip. And it's kind of sweet to see how gradually they fell for each other.

Primarily, James Games is about, well.. James Games. It's a competition held by Fiona's sorority where the winner gets to date James Reid. Fiona was vocal about the ridiculousness of it which made her the enemy of Sigrid who has her eye on James ever since. I admit all of Fiona's attempts to show exactly what she thinks about James Games was ridiculous but I have to give it to the girl. She rocks. It's refreshing to see her dealing with bullies with her chin up although I don't get why some people can so easily hurt someone physically just because. There's been plenty of reports about hazing victims I saw this year and this topic is present in the story. I'm glad it was dealt accordingly but not before Fiona got hurt. Good thing James was there to the rescue. Am I ever glad that James is the type of guy who doesn't tolerate people like Sigrid?

Wow. I didn't realize my review is already this long. So anyway, it's obvious this book was a great read. I encourage you all to pick this up and I hope you enjoy and appreciate it as well as I do.

"If anyone bothers you about this article, let me know and I’ll handle it."
"I can fight my own battles." I feel stupid handing that one to him, knowing full well how badly I’d needed him to fight last night’s battle.
"I know. But something about you makes me want to fight those battles for you."

Awww.. James, so sweet ;)

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