21 June 2010

Double Review: PLAYING THE GAME & KNOWING THE SCORE

PLAYING THE GAME
(WAGs' World #1)
An ordinary girl thrown into an extraordinary life . . . Amy, sixteen, has moved to London for the summer to be near her eighteen-year-old boyfriend, Damien. He's just been signed to a top premiership football club and is getting a taste of the no-limits lifestyle – and he wants Amy to come along for the ride. She soon learns that the other wives and girlfriends are playing games too, but theirs are strictly off the pitch . . . Will a normal girl ever be able to cope in this fast and furious WAGS' world?
KNOWING THE SCORE
(WAGs' World #2)
An ordinary girl thrown into an extraordinary life . . . Amy Thornton is sixteen and planning a perfect summer in London with her lush footballer boyfriend, Damien. But things turn nasty when a fellow WAG threatens to blackmail Amy. Scared of ruining things with Damien, Amy accepts the demands and gets caught up in a whirlwind of celebrities and scandal. As Amy starts meddling in other people’s lives while hiding her own secrets, she realizes that dealing with gossip is about more than scoring points . . .

I've decided to do a double review of the first two books in the WAGS' World series (both written by an ANONYMOUS author, ooh la la) - I wasn't planning to, but as soon as I finished the first one, I *had* to start reading the second one and I thought I might as well review them together! Oh and if you're wondering what the hell WAGS means, it should be clarified that it's a synonym for Wives And Girlfriends (of sportmen, namely footballers). It's a HUGE thing in the UK, where this series is also set.

I'll admit that this isn't quite something I'd normally pick up as I've never been too keen neither on football nor WAGs, but I was offered to review these books and I thought I might as well give them a chance ... Well, guess what happened? Yep, I totally ended up loving the series, ha!

These books tell a story of Amy Thornton, a normal 16-year-old girl who's boyfriend Damien has just been signed to a top football club (Premiership League or something like that, big stuff and all). He's moved to London and after she's done with school, she decides to join him for the summer - which turns out to be nothing like what she's imagined ... She doesn't fit in with the rest of the super glam WAGs (Rosay, Paigle, Claudette, Kylie etc), the paparazzi are following her every move and she barely sees Damien as he's always either training or partying.

So then we follow Amy as she goes from the girl next door to a WAG in a matter of days, hehe. She quickly learns that nothing is what it seems and that she cannot trust anyone. She finds out why some of the other WAGs fell apart and of all the scandals that had happened before her time. Her relationship with Damien hits rock bottom as she suspects he's cheating on her - with another WAG. She's spending money she shouldn't be spending and she's seeing people she should be avoiding, especially in public - which is why is ends up being a victiom of blackmail. On the bright side, she seems to have become somewhat of a style icon and at least her best friends, Susi and Asha are there to support her - well, sort of ... Then she gets her GCSE result, uh-oh ... How will Amy get out of this mess that she's gotten herself into? Luckily, she's managed to dig up some dirt about her blackmailer and she's not scared to use it to her advantage ...

Well, that was a bit rambly there, but I just wanted to very quickly sum up some of the key events of the first two books, hehe! As you can see, there were just so many things going on that I couldn't help being completely sucked into the story and I cannot wait for Book 3 to see how it all ends!

What I liked about this series is that it's quite scandalous while at the same time it's still very innocent - meaning that there is scandal and gossip and betrayal and dark secrets, but it's nothing obscene; no drugs, no drinks, no sex etc., which may sound hella boring, but it's actually far from it! Yes, I'm aware that these books don't paint a terribly realistic picture of WAGs and I imagine that the real world of WAGs is far, far worse, but I actually liked how these books managed to remain sort of innocent, but still very interesting!

Furthermore, the books were really well written and the story (with all the twists & turns) flew really nicely - as I said, I was completely hooked myself! The book has its fluffy moments (unavoidble - this is the WAGs we're talking about), but there are also some quite serious topics thrown in for got measure, and I have to say I quite liked this.

The dialogue was fantastic and so were the characters. OK, I admit Amy and Damien were possibly slightly too perfect and thus a wee bit boooooring, but luckily the rest of the characters were a much more lively and hilarous bunch! I love Asha & Susi and Kylie (hey, it's a good thing she can keep a secret, wink wink :p) and Rosay (like the wine!) and Barbie and Paige and oh, the list goes on. I wasn't too keen on people like Claudette or Lauren, but I suppose that was the point, heh.

I'm not saying this is the best series ever, but the books are a fantastic read and I was really pleasantly suprised with them. As I said, it's possibly not the most realistic portrayal of the mad world of the WAGs and footballers, but maybe that's a good thing and besides, the books were just so much fun to read! No masterpiece or anything, but certainly a fabulous quick read!

Definitely recommended whether you're a tween or a granny, you're bound to get into sucked into this cute story, especially with all the World Cup fever going on! Speaking of which, I cannot wait to read the third and sadly the last part of the series (World Cup WAGs) to see how it all ends! Stay tuned for the review and possibly even a giveaway and an interview with the mysterious anonymous author, ooh! ;)

overall rating:
plot: 4/5 | writing: 4/5 | characters: 4/5 | cover: 4/5

7 comments:

Emidy said...

You've got me interested in this series, now! Great review though. I'm in the mood for something light and entertaining like this!

Ayesha said...

Hmm interesting...totally not a series i would fll for normally

Ria- The Beaucoup Review book blog. said...

These sound brilliant!
I saw a review of the third one on chicklish- and now I can't wait to read this series.
I don't really like football, and I don't keep up with the WAGS, but this sounds like my kinda book :)
Thanks for a great review
-Ria

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

Great review! Your enthusiasm is contageous, the review made me smile. Thanks for sharing!

Lea (YA Book Queen) said...

Nice review! I wouldn't really think this would be good, but it sounds like a fun series :)

Nina said...

Okay, need to read them. You and the awesome fun covers convinced me! They look so fab! :) Loved the review!

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

This series looks so interesting! I'm going to add it to my to read list!

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