Games by Christopher Paul High on Unsplash: Make Your Move by Laura Heffernan (The Modest Reader)

Book Review: Make Your Move

Ah! I’ve officially fallen behind in my reviews. I’m going to try to make it my 2020 resolution to stay on top of it, but with the baby coming in 6-ish weeks, I can’t promise I’ll be great at it at the beginning. I will do my best!

That being said, I was drawn to Laura Heffernan’s Make Your Move mostly because of the cover (isn’t it gorgeous?), and because of the tag under it that says “A Gamer Girls Novel.” I didn’t really realize at the time that it was not the first one in the series (this is the third), but I loved the idea of the main character being a gamer. I love games, from video games to board games, escape rooms and everything in between, so I was excited to dive into this world.

At twenty-eight, Shannon has yet to fall in love. Which is fine, since she’d rather spend her evenings creating games than swiping right or going on awkward blind dates. Right now though, she has two little problems. First, she’s stuck for a new game idea. Second, the only candidate in her roommate search is Tyler, the gaming buddy who’s long had an unrequited crush on her.

It should be awkward. But when Tyler moves in, the situation doesn’t go at all the way Shannon expected. Between helping her deal with coworkers and fixing the bugs in her latest game, Tyler’s proving to be damn near perfect. Except for the fact that he’s falling for someone else…

Maybe Shannon has already forfeited her turn. Maybe she’s playing for nothing but heartache. But the best games have endings you can never predict…

My musings
I really enjoyed the world in which this novel takes place. I love that Shannon and her friends are all nerdy game-lovers, but they aren’t portrayed as painfully awkward and introverted. I have a lot of friends who enjoy games as much as I do, and we’re all very different, and Heffernan really reflected that in the story.

I did struggle a bit, however, with the fact that I had a really hard time keeping track of who was who when it came to her friends. I think it has something to do with the fact that this is the third book in the series (and the first two probably focus on other couples in the friend group), but as a person coming in blind, I would have appreciated maybe a little bit more of an explanation as to who people were…by the end I couldn’t pinpoint anyone and just considered them all the same person, really.

This feeling of confusion wasn’t helped by the dialogue. It didn’t seem super natural for a group of friends who knew each other really well (or coworkers who worked together for years). For some reason, I felt like the dialogue was just moving the plot along—which is totally fine, because something needs to make that happen—but in this case it was at the expense of the characters’ interactions.

That being said, I LOVED Shannon, the main character, and how the story progressed around her. I will admit, I’ve never read anything featuring a demisexual character before (nevermind a protagonist), and it was very refreshing to have it just be. Sure, Shannon’s sexuality complicated things a little bit, but her sexuality was not the main point of the story, nor was it used as something that make her quirky or different. I applaud Heffernan for thinking of those little details.

If you like cute love stories and a lot of talk about board games, I definitely recommend you pick this one up. Heck, I might even go back and read the first two novels in the series…once I’ve caught up from my blogging slump, of course!


Make Your Move by Laura Heffernan (Book Cover): The Modest Reader

“As difficult as it had been for me to realize that I was fine on my own, that I didn’t need a partner, it was just as tough to admit that it was also okay to be with someone. Freedom to be alone meant freedom to choose not to be alone, too.” —Laura HeffernanMake Your Move

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the advanced copy, and to Christopher Paul High on Unsplash for the featured photo of the board game.

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