Playing Tyler

Playing Tyler - T. L. Costa This review was first posted on Music, Books and Tea.I’m not the biggest gamer. In fact, I think it’s fair to say that I’m not a gamer at all. (Unless you count The Sims and Mario Kart.) But I do enjoy reading about gamers, and that was what got me so interested in reading Playing Tyler.Playing Tyler was a book that took me by complete surprise. I didn’t expect it to include such a huge focus on both Ani and Tyler’s family, especially as their family lives weren’t perfect. Tyler’s Mom annoyed me to no-end, especially when it came to his brother, Brandon. Yes, he was a drug addict, no, he didn’t want to get better, but I wish she’d accepted those facts and still supported Tyler when it came to Brandon. Instead, she just ignored the issue and seemed to disappear away on business trips, leaving Tyler to look after himself. She just didn’t settle with me, at all. Neither did Ani’s sister, Julie, who loved her sister so much only contacted her when she needed a grade changing. Seriously, those two characters wound me up so badly. I just wanted to crawl into my Kindle and knock some sense into them both. Okay, deep breath. /end rant. Also, Brandon’s actions at the end of the book? I was definitely close to tears at that point.I loved Tyler and Ani’s relationship in Playing Tyler. They had a kind of forbidden love relationship going on, which I actually really enjoyed reading about. I like how Ani grounded Tyler and didn’t care about his ADHD, and how Tyler just saw Ani for who she was, not who people believed she was. And I loved the way that they spoke about each other in their alternating chapters, as it made their feelings seem a lot more genuine, and it was easy to see that their relationship wasn’t one sided whatsoever.Obviously gaming is a large part of Playing Tyler, but it’s not written in a way that someone who has no clue about gaming won’t understand. Yes, there’s references to video games and gaming tournaments, but nothing out of the ordinary, and I thought T.L Costa was very clever in how the gaming elements were written in the story. In fact, her writing style throughout the entire book was excellent. I thought the way she wrote Tyler’s chapters was brilliant, he has ADHD and finds it difficult to concentrate and focus on things, and the writing reflected that really well. I know it might turn some people off, but for me, I felt it fit the story really well and helped me to get to know Tyler even better.The ending felt rushed, which I was disappointed in, but at the same I understand why it had been written like that, as Tyler and Ani were desperate to save their lives, and couldn’t exactly take time over doing that! All loose ends in the story had been tied up rather nicely, and firmly made sure that the book was a standalone, and not the first part of a series, which I really appreciated! Playing Tyler is an interesting book, blending together a lot of elements that aren’t really combined in a single book, and I really enjoyed reading it.