Happy Monday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for DANGEROUS PLAY! I’m so excited because today I have a guest post by Emma Kress to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so excited to for you to find out more about it, PLUS enter for a chance to win a print copy!
Dangerous Play by Emma Kress
Published on August 3, 2021 by Roaring Brook Press
Genres: Contemporary, YA
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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.
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from Dangerous Play?
“We hold more power than anyone told us we could.”
This line survived many revisions and remains one of my favorite lines in the book. Much of this book is about girls figuring out how to claim their power, especially given the pervasive reality of rape culture. Many of the choices I made centered this idea of girls flexing their muscles with regard to both holding power and pushing against societal expectations. This is why I chose field hockey for Zoe’s sport; there’s something about holding that stick as a teen girl that makes you feel powerful in a way that society doesn’t often let you feel off the field. It’s why I intentionally gave space on the page for the girls to be physical powerhouses, to be fiercely athletic, to be their own action heroes—which are all characteristics we’re used to seeing assigned to boys and men in books and film, but rarely to girls and women. It’s why I wanted to fully explore the wide range of emotions that survivors feel after an assault—even and especially rage.
I wanted to write about all that it is to be a girl in this world—the messy, the vengeful, the regretful, the sad, the mad, the smart, the funny, the real. I wanted these characters to explore all the ways they might break the box society tries to pin them inside.
The sport of parkour was a big piece of helping these characters see new ways of being a girl in the world. While field hockey is a sport built on rules and boundaries, parkour is all about erasing those boundaries and inventing something entirely new. I wanted to write a book that empowers girls to rewrite the world as it should be. I wanted to write a book that gives girls both permission and ways to change the game.
Finally, the “we” is deeply intentional. “We hold more power than anyone told us we could.” Solidarity and sisterhood are critical parts of the feminism in Dangerous Play. The book is a celebration of female friendship and the power that emerges when girls from all backgrounds, ethnicities, sexualities, and classes band together. There is tremendous power in the word “we.”
What do you think about Dangerous Play? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!