Monday, August 12, 2013

Review: Playing Hooky by Rita Webb

Playing Hooky by Rita Webb
Book One of the Paranormal Investigations series
Publication Date: January 21, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC sent by the author

Official Summary:

Valentine’s Day.

And my 21st birthday.


Just another college day full of classes and more homework than is humanly possible.

…until Jason, my best-friend-since-kindergarten, shows up to take me out for the day. 

Like old times: the two of us on a wacky adventure, playing hooky from real life. With his lopsided grin and tickets to a circus full of misfits and monsters, he introduces me to a whole new world—one full of magic and mystery—and turns my reality upside down.

Except nothing goes as planned, and we end up running through the city to find a missing siren before someone brews a love potion with her blood.

Sirens and love potions, witches and elves, and Valentine kisses. Nothing will be the same for me again.

What I Liked:

This book was extremely short, which is one of the reasons why I took a chance and jumped on board the tour. Short books don't take much of my time to read, review, and post. It helps when the writing style is good enough that I zip through the book!

That being said, I enjoyed this book! It's a bit different from what I have been reading. It's a New Adult novel - but really, just in terms of the age level. Emma is in college, as is Jason, the male protagonist and love interest. There is no crazy wild sex in this book. Chemistry doesn't ooze off the pages, and it's not all about the romance. I like that distinction - because your typical New Adult book is usually a contemporary romance book filled adult sex and chemistry. 

Emma is a college student whose birthday is on Valentine's Day. The opening scene is Emma waking up to her birthday. Her younger sister Angelina arrives with Emma's best friend Jason. Jason is a typical player... except he's not. He doesn't sleep around, he just dates around, if that makes sense. Anyway, Angelina has a crush on Jason, which is awkward because Emma has a crush on him... a little more than a crush, actually.

Except Jason is in love with Emma, as much as she is in love with him. He doesn't tell her anything, because he is hiding something dangerous. He's not human. So, on her birthday, he decides to take her to a magical circus with unicorns and dwarves and sirens, in order to tell Emma the truth.

So they go to the circus. Emma finds out. But then the circus people realize that the siren is missing, and Emma and Jason are off to find the siren. They encounter things they never thought they would... and possibly grow a little closer.

This book was really, really short, so the climax comes pretty quickly. I didn't see the climax coming... until it did! I thought Emma took the whole magic thing really well. We don't get to know what Jason is, but I have a very good idea ;)

The romance is brief in this book, and not much happens between Emma and Jason. What happened was cute... but I wanted more. Not as much as most New Adult books, but more than what was given. That's when a book is TOO short.

The ending of the book is good! Everything wraps up well, except the romance, and Jason's magical identity, which leaves a great segue for another book or books!

What I Did Not Like:

This book was too short. I kept saying it was short... well, it was TOO short. Very little character development, very little romance development. The plot development and world building were both pretty good, but more needed to happen in terms of the romance, and in terms of character development.

Otherwise, not bad!

Would I Recommend It:

If you're in the mood for a quick read about magic and a little romance, then this is a good one for you! It's labeled New Adult, but it's not your typical New Adult novel at all!


3.5 stars -> rounded up to four stars. This was a really fast, intriguing read, and I can't wait for more!

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!


  1. So glad you enjoyed it! And the good news is that the next books in this series are all full length novels. You'll get more of Emma & Jason and their discoveries of the magical world.

    1. *Phew* Good to hear! I love long books versus short books :)

  2. This sounds really good!!! Love your review! And I definitely understand hating shorter books! I always want more!! Thanks!

    1. It is pretty good! Let me know if you read it. Thank YOU!

    2. Thank you for sharing your review of Playing Hooky. I was especially pleased with your explicit explanation of the book as not really a classic NA book. From what you've described, it sounds more like a YA book. I'm hoping the rest of the series will be NA, and that is why this novella was also classified as NA. I would be very disappointed if I purchased a book, expecting NA and discovered it to be appropriate for YA.

    3. It definitely is more of a YA book - just with older protagonists. I'm glad I could help with at least that! Thank you, Michelle!

  3. Great Review Alyssa and Yay I am so glad and happy you really liked this one yet another book I have and not read yet but if it is short and a fast read I most definitely move it up next to read soon and plus the great news there are going to be more books to this series and they are long length yes I have to read this one soon! thanks for sharing Alyssa!

    1. Short and quick and to the point! I probably won't read it again, but I enjoyed what I read. You're very welcome, Katiria!


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