For Noah Sullivan being the best friend to a douchebag and player like Jake Nelson has never been easy. It's been a rocky road since kindergarten when Jake duct taped Noah to his chair before recess. With just six weeks to high school graduation, Jake accidentally blows his drunken ass up on his grandfather's tractor, and Noah finds himself immersed not only in a whirlwind of grief, but on a quest to find a mystery girl from Jake's past.
While cleaning out Jake's room, Noah and Jake's dad make a startling discovery. Instead of the obligatory porn collection or pot stash, they find a ring, but not just any ring. Its half a carat of commitment in a platinum setting-proving even man whores have taste. After Jake's mom pleads with Noah to find the girl who meant so much to Jake, Noah begins a modern day Grail quest to track the girl down.
Since Jake was a notorious player with a legendary collection of trophy panties, Noah finds himself in over his head. There are the usual suspects like Avery, the Ice Princess Jake dated for appearances, or Presley, the school mattress Jake dated for convenience. But the trail begins to point to the most unlikely of suspects: Maddie, the Valedictorian and choir girl who was trying to help the unmotivated jock graduate--the girl who also has surprisingly caught Noah's eye and meddled with his heart.
Hanging out with Maddie shows Noah a different side of Jake--one that was deeply human and surprisingly douche-free. And the more he tries to solve the mystery of the ring and of Jake, the more Noah starts to discover about himself and of love.
I loved this book!!! This story tugged on my heart, had me crying after chapter 1, laughing out loud, and made my heart break and smile at the same time!! Kudos to Katie Ashley for writing a book that touches a reader's heart, mind, and soul all at once!
Jake and Noah are best friends to the core! They party together, get in trouble together, chase girls together, and are planning on going away to college and rooming together. What they don't plan on is Jake dying during their senior year in high school and the wrench his death will throw into their well laid plans. Noah is at a loss and doesn't know how to handle or accept the death of his best friend, especially when some secrets start to surface that have him and everyone else questioning if they really knew Jake or not.
While Noah was looking for personal belongings with Jake's dad for his funeral service, they stumble upon an engagement ring and song lyrics. This is a shock to everyone seeing how Jake was a self declared player and never had a serious relationship. Noah is set out on the mission to find out who the girl was that finally snagged Jake's heart and made him want to commit. There are several candidates like Avery, the school's ice queen that Jake dated for appearances, Presly, the school's one woman welcoming committee that had sex with any and everyone, and then there is the preacher's daughter that tutored Jake. It seems that all signs start to point to the preacher's daughter, Maddie. Problem is that Noah also starts to fall for Maddie and is now in a predicament. Does he tell her about Jake or does he selfishly hide that from her and profess his love for her? Can he tell her about both and have her love him back? Noah questions himself and all the while is learning about a different side of himself by spending time with Maddie.
Don't Hate the Player had me on an emotional roller coaster the whole book. I felt so happy for Noah for opening himself up to this new side of himself, it wasn't really a new side... but a buried side. I wanted him to be lost in love with Maddie and for her to return his love. I could see his inner battle about feeling that he was falling for his best friend's girl, even if it was a secret love. I felt the need that he yearned for in wanting his father around, the pain he felt from his grandfather's death, and the over protective love he felt for his mother. I fell for Noah and just wanted to see him happy. I give Don't Hate the Player 4.5 stars on the knock m socks off scale. This is a must read and I warn that the reader MUST have their tissues ready!!
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About the Author:
Katie Ashley is the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best-Selling author of The Proposition. She lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her two very spoiled dogs and one outnumbered cat. She has a slight obsession with Pinterest, The Golden Girls, Harry Potter, Shakespeare, Supernatural, Designing Women, and Scooby-Doo.
She spent 11 1/2 years educating the Youth of America aka teaching MS and HS English until she left to write full time in December 2012.
She also writes Young Adult fiction under the name Krista Ashe.