Series Review + Reactions: All for the Game by Nora Sakavic

Hi book nerds! Today’s post is a little different. Instead of a book review, I came up with a series review of my own.

Why series review? Two reasons:

1) After reading the first book of this series, I immediately devoured the next one. As a result, I had no time to make a book review for the first.

2) I realized I had a lot more to talk about and share with you guys. Not only about the first book, but the second one as well. And so, I decided to just binge read the rest of the series and make a series review.

Alright, I’ll go ahead and start. I’ll try hard not to spoil anything! (And since I feel like this is too long, there is tl;dr at the bottom!)

Discovering All for the Game

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Series: All for the Game
Author: Nora Sakavic
Genres: Contemporary, Sports Fiction, LGBTQ+

I’ve had several people suggest The Foxhole Court to me as a book for my Pride Month TBR. But before that, I’ve already seen them in a few photos in bookstagram, so I’m already familiar with the book covers. Since it was free on Kindle, I went ahead and downloaded it. I started the first book with very little expectations and a bit of hesitation (I saw some mixed reviews and low ratings), but now, it’s safe to say that this trilogy is one of my fave reads this 2019.

This series took my breath away, surprised me in every way possible, and made me fall in love with the characters and their stories. It’s truly amazing in its own way.

What you need to know

First and foremost, you need to know that this book is not fluffy or anything like that. This isn’t sunshine and butterflies, this is smoke and fire and bruises. It deals with a lot of mature content and sensitive themes such as drug abuse, murder, child abuse, violence, rape, psychological trauma, self-harm, and a lot more. It can get intense. With that said, I feel like this series belongs more to the Adult/New Adult bracket, rather than Young Adult. So, if by any chance you want to read these books after I finish rambling below, please keep this information in mind.

Next is that, the story partly revolves around this fictional sport called Exy. In the books, it was described as “a bastard sport, an evolved sort of lacrosse on a soccer-sized court with the violence of ice hockey…”. It can take a while before you can get a grasp of it, but as you read more, you learn more about it through the characters.

The Foxhole Court (Book #1)

My rating: 3.5/5

My thoughts:

This was truly an interesting read.

The writing style was fine for me. It’s not poetic or too emotional or anything like that. Instead it was dark and straightforward, and it really lets the characters stand out. I love the author’s use of metaphors; there’s something about them that’s both melancholic and harsh. There are minor grammatical errors that irked me a little bit (just a couple of missed commas), but otherwise, it’s all good.

The characters (which happen to be my favorite part of the story) got me hooked. They were all so intriguing, mysterious, and unpredictable, and with the way the story is being told, I got invested in them and their own stories and journeys. Some of them (okay maybe a lot) were a tad annoying and maybe psychotic, but I really wanted to know more of them.
Neil Josten, our main character, is definitely an intriguing character, and I just can’t help wanting to witness his journey as he moves forward in this strange chapter in his life. He went through a lot, he has a lot psychological trauma, and we see him trying to relearn how to live in such a normal setting instead of running from city to city. Andrew Minyard shocked me with his entrance (SERIOUSLY!!!!), annoyed me, then started rubbing off on me. Kevin Day, on the other hand…you can’t help but admire him and feel for him once you get to know him and and his story.

The plot is interesting as well. It contains a lot of elements and factors which just makes me more curious as a reader. Right now, this first book seemed more like prologue as it mainly introduced the characters, the world, the game, and everything else.

Also, THIS BOOK IS INSANE BUT SO, SO GOOD. 

Quotes I liked:

“It’s not the world that’s cruel. It’s the people in it.”

“Hope was a dangerous, disquieting thing, but he thought perhaps he liked it.”

“It sounded like a dream; it tasted like damnation.”

The Raven King (Book #2)

My rating: 4.5/5

My thoughts:

A couple of people told me that the sequel is better than the first book, and I’m gonna have to agree! I feel like the writing style is better here (or maybe I just got used to the author’s story-telling?). It was haunting, dark, straightforward and harsh. The author definitely does not shy away from the horrors of traumatic past lives and I love that. In a way, it’s also very profound and yes, a little bit depressing. With this, I realized that the story is now taking on an emotional turn, and I really love it. I probably cried five times, I lost count. 

The characters, wow. I feel like the characters really came together here in this book. In The Foxhole Court, we only get a feel of Neil, Andrew, and Kevin, but here I got to see and learn more about the other Foxes. About Nicky and his struggle with his sexuality, about Dan and her past, about Matt and his near-fatal experience, about Renee and the traumatic experience with her biological family. Best of all is Neil and Andrew. Their characters just got more complex, and as a result, I got more invested. These two definitely grew on me in this book, and I would gladly PROTECT THEM WITH MY LIFE.

The plot, ooohhh, how it thickens! There were several moments and plot twists that just took my breath away. The plot is an intricate web of games, relationships, crimes and syndicates, and a lot more. The events are just engrossing, and with every scene I am anticipating the reactions of every character and just how they’re going to deal with it.

Slow burn romance starts to pick up here as well. And that ending! THAT ENDING HAS ME WRECKED.

Quotes I liked:

“Neil thought about Renee’s bruised knuckles, Dan’s fierce spirit, and Allison holding her ground on the court a week after [character’s] death. He thought about his mother standing unflinching in the face of his father’s violent anger and her ruthlessly leaving bodies in their wake. He felt compelled to say, “Some of the strongest people I’ve known are women.”

“It’s not really about the food. It’s about family. Not necessarily the one we were born with, but the one we chose. This one,” Nicky emphasized, gesturing between them. “The people we trust to be part of our lives. The people we care about.”

“They’d come to the Foxhole Court as fractured messes but they were fixing each other one semester at a time.”

The King’s Men (Book #3)

My rating: 5/5

My thoughts: 

WOW WOW WOW WOW. I have so much emotions for this book!

I really came to love the writing style of the author, especially in this book. At the first book, I took a while to get used to it. At the second book, I started to love it. Now, I can see that it pairs well with the plot and how the author wants the story to go.

I absolutely loved the characters and all their character developments AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH. From the very first book, it was the characters that really got me hooked. To see all their developments individually and as a whole team just fills me with so much warmth and satisfaction. This time, I see them come together as what they really are—a family. I love it, I love it! Also, I’d like to say I WOULD DIE FOR THE FOXES, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY FOR NEIL AND ANDREW. I’d bundle them up and just protect them from the world.

The plot AAAAHHHHH. I loved how it kept surprising me from start to finish. START TO FINISH. The author wrapped it up nicely though, and that ending?!? I AM A WRECK BECAUSE OF THAT ENDING. It was shocking, heart-melting, and just truly beautiful. I absolutely loved it!

Also, can I just note that this book showed the importance of consent is such an amazing way? I am definitely a fan! As for the slow burn romance, I am in awe. I guess I have a new OTP now!

Quotes I liked:

“Thank you,” he finally said. He couldn’t say he meant thanks for all of it: the keys, the trust, the honesty and the kisses.”

“Fight because you don’t know how to die quietly. Win because you don’t know how to lose.”

“If you have to keep asking – I’ll answer it as many times as you ask. But this is always going to be yes.”

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Anyway. That’s it! AAAAAAHHHH I can’t believe I’m finally done with this series! But hell, who am I kidding? I will never be done with this series. It is now forever embedded into my mind! Now I have to read all the extra content and infos on the author’s Tumblr!

If you’re still reading this, wow. Thank you so much for reading all of my musings and ramblings on my new obsession!

And for those who skimmed, I still got your back!
tl;dr The Foxhole Court was recommended to me for my Pride Month TBR. I started the first book with very little expectations and a bit of hesitation, but now, it’s safe to say that this trilogy is one of my fave reads this 2019. It has intriguing, unpredictable characters with incredible character arcs, great LGBTQ+ rep (gay/demisexual characters), slow burn romance (!!!), intricate plots, family as an overall theme, plus a straightforward yet dark writing style I came to love. 

9 thoughts on “Series Review + Reactions: All for the Game by Nora Sakavic

  1. I just finished reading The King’s Men today, and I have so many thoughts! I think that as a whole, I’d give the series four stars. A lot of people, including you, binge read the last two books in the series. And while I read the last two books quickly as well, I think that it was because I didn’t have school and not because the series drew me in? I feel like the story gets so interesting when it comes to the Exy games, but the other scenes just pale in comparison. Though I agree that the writing is pretty straightforward and it’s really fitting for this type of story!
    As for the characters, my favorite Fox would definitely have to be Kevin. I don’t even know why. I just want to punch him, but in a friendly way? And I love how he just gets drunk whenever he’s scared cus same, haha. Unpopular opinion though? I’m not the hugest fan of Andrew. Omg please don’t kill me! Like, I get that he’s a messed up character, but… for me, trauma and mental illness doesn’t really excuse that kind of behavior? I would’ve loved to see some more character development in The King’s Men, or at least a sign that he was going to change, but there wasn’t. It was like everyone just accepted his volatile tendencies as a fact of life. I agree with you though that Neil and Andrew’s relationship’s focus on consent was THE BEST.
    I’m so glad that you loved this, and this was a really series review ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh true! The parts about Exy games were great. I think Neil roasting Riko comes close tho! 😂

      OMG YES. Kevin is a precious one! His character development is just superb!

      And haha! that’s totally, okay! I know Andrew isn’t the best character out there (the boy has issues indeed), and now that you mentioned it, there was little development regarding his attitude/behavior. His sessions with Bee continues though so we can only hope after The King’s Men, he tries to get better.

      So glad you enjoyed this series though! Not a lot of people know about it, but it’s one hell of a story.

      Liked by 1 person

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