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Chessboxer by Stephen Davies, #58 review

Publication date : October 2019

‘Gripping and surprising. I gulped it down’ Sarah Crossan

Leah Baxter is a genius. She’s a few wins away from becoming a junior chess grandmaster, and her life is on course to achieve everything her mom and coach want for her.
But Leah is at stalemate – grieving for her father, and feeling suffocated. She decides to make the ultimate sacrifice and quit chess. But chess doesn’t want to quit her. Soon Leah discovers her new gambit: chessboxing, a dangerous hybrid sport which will test her body and mind to their limits. Can the pawn become the queen?

Thank you to @definitelybooks for sending me an ARC of this book, Chessboxer will be available in bookstores in October 2019.

Leah Baxter is a teenage chess prodigy. Ever since the death of her father, her game’s been off. She is only a few wins away from becoming the first junior chess grandmaster in the world. But she keeps on self-sabotaging her career. In lieu of losing another game, she decided to quit chess. But chess was not checkmated with her, the game is still ongoing. She stumbled upon a group of chessplayers in the park who play for money. They would play a game with strangers with a bet of their choosing amount of money. Since then, she is known as Leah “Park Girl” Baxter after a stunning chess match that astounded the chess world. She went viral. She was then introduced to the intense firey hybrid sport – chessboxing. With a new goal in mind, she set out to destroy anyone who blocks her King on the board and ring.

Chessboxer by Stephen Davies a collection of blog posts in a book. It was like reading a complete story taken off from Tumblr, some of the posts have comments. It is an interesting concept as I have not read a book this way. Before reading this book, I didn’t know that there was such a thrilling sport called Chessboxing. I play chess, though I am not a very good player. I beat my peers on a good day. So, I can understand the chess talk in the book. If I were to go up against our main girl Leah, she would gut me clean. Brrrrrr.

Leah is not a perfect person, she is angry from her father’s death and in grief. She is stuck in her own well of emotions. When you put anger and sadness together, it is destructive to a person. Many readers are saying that she is an angry girl, I think contrarily, she is a sad person mourning for her father when the rest of her family have moved on, to her chess career. She appeared to be mean, tough and hostile. However, inside she is a normal girl with emotions and that can be seen through her blog posts. I need to point out that I like how the romance is presented in the book, he’s a friend to her instead of continuously pursuing her. He understood that Leah is not emotionally ready to be in a serious relationship, he respected her space and stayed by her side as a friend. I admire that about him.

Chessboxer is a book that I think has more depths under the black and white board, it contains hidden moves and plots to expose the readers to the character’s world. Some readrs might not like the reading format. I ask that you keep an open mind and think of it as reading Tumblr posts.

Thank you once more to @definitelybooks for sending me an ARC. Chessboxer will be in all good bookstores in October 2019.

By elysianbooksish

The Bookish Faerie who loves to read and write, and bake too

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