DANGEROUS PLAY by Emma Kress
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Zoe has one goal for the year: to lead her field hockey team to the championships where she’ll have the chance to impress scouts from her dream college. It’s not going to be easy, especially since most of the team will be new players, but that’s why Zoe has been leading her handpicked new girls in middle-of-the-night training sessions, so that they really blow Coach away at try-outs.
Everything goes according to plan, except that one of the girls who makes the team isn’t one of Zoe’s picks. In fact, the only time Zoe has seen Nikki before was when she ran across the field during one of the middle of the night trainings, her shirt undone, a wild look in her eyes like she was fleeing for something–or someone. Zoe is pretty sure something happened to Nikki, just like she’s pretty sure that another teammate has been getting harassed at school while the administration does nothing, but the best option seems to stay out of it and focus on the game. But when Zoe is sexually assaulted at a party, her focus begins to slip away, and suddenly she realizes: she and her fierce teammates shouldn’t be saving all their fight for the field. Their nighttime training sessions would be better spent wreaking vigilante justice against the boys who have hurt them.
This novel is packed with emotional intensity and morally-questionable heroics. Ultimately, Zoe and her friends will find a way to fight for justice without using violence, and Zoe’s fraught family relationships will settle into a supportive community. A great read for anyone wanting to vicariously take out some rage against the patriarchy with an positive and constructive message about how all high schoolers can take a proactive stance against rape culture.