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Some Things Aren’t So Obvious: A Book Review of Rita Arens’ “The Obvious Game”

Goodreads.com Description: ““Everyone trusted me back then. Good old, fdependable Diana. Which is why most people didn’t notice at first.” “Your shirt is yellow.” “Your eyes are blue.” “You have to stop running away from your problems.” “You’re too skinny.” Fifteen-year-old Diana Keller accidentally begins teaching The Obvious Game to new kid Jesse on his sixteenth birthday. As their relationship deepens, Diana avoids Jesse’s past with her own secrets — which she’ll protect at any cost.”

My Thoughts:

Rita Arens’ debut novel, The Obvious Game, is a well-written poignant coming of age tale. I was so moved after this book I couldn’t read anything else that day.

Arens crafted a memorable story about one teen’s overwhelming struggle. Diana should have been the average high school sophomore dealing with popularity issues, getting good grades and having crushes. Instead, she was challenged with a mom battling cancer, a boy magnet best friend and a few extra pounds on her body.

The Obvious Game masterfully addressed the issue of body image. It is common knowledge that many people struggle with real weight issues daily. And, unfortunately, teens suffer the most. They are busy trying to figure out who they are in the world and then someone makes the comment that they look “pudgy” or a particular guy likes girls with a certain body type. Poor Diana got caught on this horrible roller coaster.

Arens did a fantastic job with character development. I got a vivid picture and understanding of each person in The Obvious Game. I felt their pain, their struggles and their sorrow. It’s been a long time since I read a book that just had me wrung out. Diana’s story stayed with me for a couple of days. It was so real that it hurt.

Fortunately, there was a happily ever after for Diana. I cheered her progress. Arens’ The Obvious Game should be a must read for any one in high school. And, if you just want a good, heart felt story, add it to your to read list. You won’t be disappointed.

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