This series was honestly just ridiculous. It was another of of those books that I saw being talked about by the same people who recommended The Song of Achilles and The Captive Prince and it was dead cheap on Amazon so I thought why the hell not.
The best way to describe the trilogy is you go in expecting some gay sports romance and instead there is 9 completely unhinged college kids, a Japanese mafia and some sport that’s a cross between tennis and lacrosse.
All For the Game is like that one over dramatic tv show you continue to watch even though it’s just absolutely ridiculous and you’re aware of how insane it is. I literally could not stop reading these books even though it seemed to have every every single trope in it that one can have without veering into fantasy territory. If you are triggered by anything feel free to check with me before reading it as there’s a whole lot of upsetting content.
The thing that really kept me reading this series despite the insane plot was the character development. Over the course of the three books we really begin to understand each different character and why they are the way they are and do the things they do. Neil has been on the run since he was a teenager from his serial murderer of a dad, Andrew was in the foster system and had a pretty fucked up upbringing, Nicky’s parents hate him because he’s gay, Matt’s mum got him into Heroine, and so on and so forth.
One thing I saw in a few reviews was people’s issues with how unrealistic everything was, and I get that it’s a contemporary but if you can have shows like Grey’s Anatomy on the tv for a very long time which has series finales that rival a damn thriller movie then surely you can suspend your disbelief over a few things in a book which are secondary to the characters anyway.
If I had one major complaint it would be the split up of the books. The first book just ended and I was left with a very much like “huh? it’s over” feeling. It didn’t really seem to have a conclusive end to it, it just stopped.
I couldn’t put this series down, despite everything that was ridiculous in it and I fell in love with the crazy characters.