Title: The Obvious Game
Author: Rita Arens
Publisher: Inkspell Pulishing
Published: January 2013
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: From author*
My Rating: 4/5
When Diana accidentally starts teaching the new kid, Jesse, how to play the obvious game, she doesn’t realise that their relationship will strengthen until the secrets that she is so determined to keep hidden prevent her from realising she is not the only one hiding.
Rita Arens is not afraid to confront big topics and issues that are prevalent in today’s society. At the beginning of The Obvious Game we learn that Diana’s mother is recovering from breast cancer. It is easy to not notice all the other issues in Diana’s life because of this, but the beauty of this novel is that it encaptures how a situation is never fully created from one issue.
While this book has a lot of hard-hitting topics, including eating disorders, I didn’t find the style preachy or in any way openly commenting on them. Instead, the novel is simply a snap-shot of what life can be like for those struggling with similar issues. I personally loved this as it allowed me to fall into the world of Diana and, as it is told through her point of view, understand her decisions while feeling incapable of changing them, as the others in the book are.
I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants a slice of reality while retaining the light side of the struggles. I think anyone trying to understand eating disorders especially should pick this book up.
The only thing I didn’t love was the ending, as it felt a little too neat and tidy for a book based in reality as this one is. However, I am certainly looking forward to reading more by Arens.
*I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.