We’re so excited to be kicking off our blog tour for Emma Kress’s Dangerous Play! If you haven’t already, make sure you’re following our wonderful hosts, and don’t forget to add this book to your TBR list! A link is available below to pick up a copy for yourself, if you don’t already have one on your bookshelves.
by Emma Kress
Published by Roaring Brook Press
Released on August 3rd, 2021
YOUNG ADULT FICTION—Contemporary
A fierce team of girls takes back the night in this propulsive, electrifying, and high-stakes YA debut from Emma Kress
Zoe Alamandar has one goal: win the State Field Hockey Championships and earn a scholarship that will get her the hell out of Central New York. She and her co-captain Ava Cervantes have assembled a fierce team of dedicated girls who will work hard and play by the rules.
But after Zoe is sexually assaulted at a party, she finds a new goal: make sure no girl feels unsafe again. Zoe and her teammates decide to stop playing by the rules and take justice into their own hands. Soon, their suburban town has a team of superheroes meting out punishments, but one night of vigilantism may cost Zoe her team, the championship, her scholarship, and her future.
Perfect for fans who loved the female friendships of Jennifer Mathieu’s Moxie and the bite of Courtney Summer’s Sadie.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and Dangerous Play?
I’m Emma Kress, an author and teacher living in Upstate New York, and Dangerous Play is my debut novel. Dangerous Play is a contemporary young–adult novel about Zoe, a field-hockey team captain, who desperately wants to win the NY State field hockey championship and earn a scholarship to her dream college. But when she’s sexually assaulted, she and her ride-or-die team become vigilantes to fight rape culture in their town. But it just might cost them everything.
Do you have a specific process for writing your books?
I am a forever learner so my process is constantly changing. Typically, I let a question, character, or concept percolate for some time before I begin to write. When I began Dangerous Play, I leapt in without a plot, drafted many versions, and worked through dozens of revisions. Now, I typically like to do more exploratory writing ahead of time, then create a plot, before writing that first draft.
Was there a specific part of the book you had an easier time writing than the others?
The action and game scenes as well as the team bonding scenes came easily to me. But which of those scenes to choose…now that was tough. It also took a long time to get the ending just right. I’m pretty sure I rewrote the last third of the book dozens of times.
If you had to choose one character in your book to spend a day with, who would it be and what would you do?
The problem with writing a book about a team is that I really adore every single character on the team. I’m going to cheat and say that I’d spend it with Zoe and we’d spend the day with the team doing what they love to do: practice, parkour, and play.
What book(s) do you think your characters in Dangerous Play would love the most?
When I began Dangerous Play, there were few books on the shelf representing fierce girl athletes. Now there are so many more and I think the team in Dangerous Play would devour all of them. They would love these books in particular that came out in the last couple of years: Holly Green’s In The Same Boat, Yamile Saied Méndez’s Furia, Jennifer Iacopelli’s Break The Fall, Carrie Allen’s Michigan vs The Boys, and Tanya Boteju’s Bruised.
Is there a reoccurring theme that can be found in Dangerous Play?
When the game is unjust, change it.
Is there anything you’re currently working on, and if so, can you give us any hints or details?
Here’s a hint: like Dangerous Play, it will be funny, feminist, and fierce.
Lastly, what do you hope readers will learn/take away from Dangerous Play after reading?
I hope Dangerous Play finds the readers who need it. I hope this book helps them feel seen, heard, and empowered. In many ways, this book can act as a map towards hope during those moments of powerlessness.
Emma Kress loves writing about badass girls and her debut novel DANGEROUS PLAY (Macmillan, Summer 2021) is a fast-paced thriller about a team of field hockey players who refuse to accept the world as it is, and set out to change it.
An educator of over 20 years, Emma was one of four finalists for New York State Teacher of the Year. She is a graduate of Vassar College, Columbia University’s Teachers College, and the Vermont College of Fine Arts’ Writing for Children and Young Adults MFA program. Before teaching, Emma worked in social services helping survivors of sexual assault. Now, she lives with her family in Saratoga Springs, NY.
Up for grabs, we have ONE (1) finished copy of Dangerous Play by Emma Kress. This giveaway will be open to U.S. residents only and will run from August 22nd to August 30th at 12 AM CST. To enter, click the link below!