I am notorious for picking my monthly TBR and then chucking it out the window depending on the mood I’m in later on. Playing Nice was definitely not even on my radar at the beginning of the month, but the other day.. I changed my mind.
Picking the next book to read is always a struggle, since I have well over 100 unread titles in my to-be-read pile. I am currently still in Estonia, which means that the majority of the books available are on my Kindle. Normally I’d use a TBR Jar but that, too, is in England and unavailable.
Therefore I ran a quick poll on my Instagram stories and you guys picked between Playing Nice and Such a Fun Age. The first poll wasn’t very helpful because it was a draw – 50/50. I ended picking Playing Nice because I have loved JP Delaney’s previous books*.
Perhaps I was also rushing to pick the next book read as I had just finished The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray and I had nothing to read. Next time I will give enough time to let all of you cast your vote before picking the book to read next.
But the poll is something I will definitely keep up, because it was definitely more fun to pick something you guys voted for! Make sure you follow me www.instagram.com/bookskatlikes to take part in the next one!
A quick spoiler alert, I am currently reading The Shadow Friend, chosen by you lot! This one won by a long mile.
Playing Nice – JP Delaney
Published in 2020, by Ballantine Books
You can order a copy from Amazon
Paperback available from Feb 2021.
Pete Riley answers the door one morning and lets in a parent’s worst nightmare. On his doorstep is Miles Lambert, a stranger who breaks the devastating news that Pete’s son, Theo, isn’t actually his son—he is the Lamberts’, switched at birth by an understaffed hospital while their real son was sent home with Miles and his wife, Lucy. For Pete, his partner Maddie, and the little boy they’ve been raising for the past two years, life will never be the same again.
The two families, reeling from the shock, take comfort in shared good intentions, eagerly entwining their very different lives in the hope of becoming one unconventional modern family. But a plan to sue the hospital triggers an official investigation that unearths some disturbing questions about the night their children were switched. How much can they trust the other parents—or even each other? What secrets are hidden behind the Lamberts’ glossy front door? Stretched to the breaking point, Pete and Maddie discover they will each stop at nothing to keep their family safe.
They are done playing nice.
I’m a massive fan of JP Delaney ever since The Girl Before. I went into Playing Nice with my eyes closed, figuratively, without knowing any details about it. Just knew I wanted to read it because of the author.
I already knew pretty early on that I already absolutely loved it’s concept:
What would you do if you found out your baby isn’t really yours and you’re raising someone else’s child?
The narrative is told to the reader in alternate chapters through Maddie and Pete who are trying to come to terms with the shocking news that their beloved son Theo isn’t their biological child. The day when Miles comes knocking on their door revealing their babies were switched at birth sets off a series of events that will keep you turning pages late into the night.
Playing Nice raises and explores questions such as
- Should a child be raised by their biological parents or those people who have been looking after them, providing love and stability?
- How big of a role do genetics and environment play in shaping children’s personalities?
- How far are you willing to go to protect your child?
It’s an incredibly easy read (in search of a better term), yet full of twists, obsession and moral dilemmas that give plenty of food for thought.
Although overall I really enjoyed Playing Nice and I would definitely recommend it if psychological thrillers are your cup of tea, the ending ruined the fun for me. It felt far fetched, unrealistic and unnecessary. I’d have liked a different outcome and the final twist should’ve been completely left out.
But you know I’ll still be reading any and all work this author puts out into the world! No doubt.