A fresh and fun Ya romance

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moukthika Avatar


"Check & Mate" was one of my most anticipated reads this year, and I'm happy to say it didn't disappoint. It had all the classic elements that you'd expect from an Ali Hazelwood book, and it kept me thoroughly entertained. One thing I really enjoy is when an unexpected underdog surprises everyone, especially in sports. In this story, Mallory, a talented chess player who had distanced herself from the game due to complex emotions, finds herself facing off against the world's #1 player and pulls off a stunning victory. This sets off a chain of events that completely turns her life upside down.

I appreciated how Ms. Hazelwood delved into Mallory's struggles as the eldest daughter, her feelings of guilt, and the immense responsibility she felt she had to shoulder. On the other hand, Nolan was the steady anchor in Mallory's stormy life. What drew me into this story from the start were the themes reminiscent of the "Queen's Gambit" show. Additionally, I loved the unwavering support Mallory and Nolan received from their friends.

I was eagerly looking forward to the showdown between Mallory and Nolan, but I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed with how it played out. Despite this minor gripe, this was one of the most engaging reads I've come across lately. If you're a fan of upper YA romance, I think you'll definitely enjoy this book. Thanks again to Penguin Teen for letting me dive into this captivating world early!