Review: ONCE UPON A PLAYER by Agay Llanera

by - 10:54 PM

Title: Once Upon a Player
Author: Agay Llanera
Release date: August 9th, 2014

Gorgeous college senior Val Fabian is a player in every sense of the word. She's the star spiker of her university's volleyball team, and she never runs out of dates. But it seems that this year, she has finally been bitten by the commitment bug. She sets her sights on an unexpected target--the unassuming yet ultra-cute Jake Clementia. Val is used to getting what she wants, and is sure she'll snag him before graduation. But in the process of winning his heart, she is sideswiped by a surprise move that sends her tumbling from her pedestal.

Hell. To. The. Yeah. When I read a book I have so high expectations for and actually ends up being so much more? I get super happy and get to this sort of "slump." All the books I've read after this one don't feel like great enough and I just want to go back to Val and her funny moments and reread all of this book. 

Val is much like me. I said this before (somewhere) but yes. I want to be perfect in everything that I do. I am a perfectionist I can say for sure. Val is like this. Because of her dad leaving them and so many things more, Val feels like she isn't enough when it comes to people. That's why she has to always win. (The main reason behind this might not be the same but I can relate to Val SO MUCH). She reminds me of Blair Waldorf, scheming and trying her very best at everything she hopes to achieve.

Also adding my two favorite things in the world: sports and food. 1) Val is a superstar as a volleyball player in her college team. They're on the championships and all the pressure is getting to her. Yet she loves the flashes and the fame and everything that comes with it. 2) The cute guy in this book wants to have his own food business. And there are some scenes that made me salivate *oops* 

And let's talk about this cute guy because he stole my heart and he is my new book boyfriend. Say hello to EJ. He appeared first as this really cute and excited guy trying to have a blind date with Val, but didn't go as he wanted it to go. Though they remained as friends after and actually HAVE THE GREATEST SCENES TOGETHER. Every time Val encountered him somewhere I squealed. I knew these kids were going to wreck me. It's such a great ship, I died.

And they have the greatest banter in the world:

"Dark, straight-cut, medium-rise. Boring but serviceable." Her voice glazed with venom. "Just like you."  
Deadpan, EJ accepted the jeans and rubbed the fabric between his fingers. "It's stiff and it rubs me the wrong way, but yeah, it looks nice." He dropped his voice a little. "Just like you." He did a mock-bow and headed to the fitting room.

There are also some fab female friendships. They are there to support each other 1000%. And even if there are some downfalls and fights, if you accept you're wrong, those are the greatest friendships in the world. And I believe Val, Dessa and Kat are the true kind of friendship.

And if you were looking for a college NA romance, look no more: Once Upon a Player is what you're looking for!

Agay Llanera is a freelance writer for television and video, and a published writer of children's books. She is the author of NA Romance books Vintage Love, Once upon a Player and This Side of Sunny, and the YA book, Choco Chip Hips.

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  1. Ahh this looks so cute and definitely right up my alley! Love this review and I'll definitely be adding this book to my TBR. :)

    1. Oh my god yes Tamara! This book is so fab and one of my 2016 faves! You have to read it :')