Five-Star Read!

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When Mallory reluctantly joins her friend in a team chess tournament for charity after quitting the sport four years prior when it tore apart her family, she tells herself it's just the once time. She has more important things: taking care of her family. But after she beats the current World Champion, Nolan, financial pressure leads her to accept a year-long chess fellowship. Mallory struggles to keep her rising chess fame from her family as she falls back in love with the sport she had left behind--and her attractive opponent, Nolan.

I loved this book even more than I expected. I've actually only read one of Hazelwood's adult novels (her first) and loved it, but have been belated in picking up the rest. I finally put my hands on this young adult (really, new adult) novel and could not have been more impressed. I know nothing about chess, but was enthralled by beautiful descriptions of the game that Hazelwood crafted. The romance was woven in, and a constant, wanted presence, but not overpowering in the face of Mallory's personal growth and chess ranking climb. I really have no negative thoughts on this one and couldn't recommend it enough.

Thanks to Penguin Teen / Putnam for my ARC! All thoughts and opinions are my own.

5 stars - 10/10