Book Reviews

Book Review: Play the Fool

By Lina Chern

Publication Date: March 28, 2023

320 Pages

Katie True is a slacker.  At least, that’s what her family thinks. With a string of dead-end jobs, crappy apartment, and no life skills, Katie thinks they might be right.  The only person who doesn’t think that is Marley, Katie’s friend from the Mall.  Katie’s only friend.

When a photo of a dead Marley turns up, but no body, the police aren’t interested in pursuing it.  So Katie investigates her friend’s disappearance herself and is soon embroiled in a mafia-style family takeover she had no idea existed in her little part of the world.  How can she solve Marley’s apparent death with no other skills than reading Tarot and avoid screwing up her life even worse in the process?

Let me start out by saying I adored this book.  It was so much fun!  First there’s Katie True – possibly the most perfect name I’ve come across in a long time.  I’m always going to root for the underdog MC and Katie is a perfect underdog.  Misunderstood by her family, never thinking things through, and terrified of going for her dreams.  Mystery MCs that barge ahead and do things that make me cringe light me up – especially when they’re well aware that what they’re doing would be considered stupid by most people.

“Play the Fool” interpreted by Wombo Dream

I commented in another review that I love MCs who have a quirk that makes them unique.  Katie thinks in Tarot.  If Tarot isn’t your thing, you might roll your eyes at that but I read Tarot and I think in astrological archetypes so from the get-go, I was loving this girl.  I even emailed a friend about this character trait and she applauded the author with me for using it.

Yes, a few events made me suspend disbelief because I seriously doubt information would fall into her lap quite that easily.  But by that point, I was enjoying myself too much to care.  A few scenes had me laughing so hard my dog wandered in to make sure I was okay.

Final words – a really fun, quick-paced read.  I’m hoping Katie True makes an appearance in a sequel.

4.5/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐+

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing/Ballantine for providing the ARC ebook.  I’ve left my review honestly and voluntarily.

Until next time, thank you for visiting.

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