Anything #RomanceClass · Entries In English · Filipino-Authored Book · Reactions And Comments · Stories And Books Done Reading

#Backlist Revival: “Once Upon A Player” by Agay Llanera [Review]


Title: Once Upon A Player

Author: Agay Llanera

Genre: New Adult Romance


Gorgeous college senior Val Fabian is a player in every sense of the word. She’s the star spiker of her university’s volleyball team, and she never runs out of dates. But it seems that this year, she has finally been bitten by the commitment bug. She sets her sights on an unexpected target–the unassuming yet ultra-cute Jake Clementia. Val is used to getting what she wants, and is sure she’ll snag him before graduation. But in the process of winning his heart, she is sideswiped by a surprise move that sends her tumbling from her pedestal.

Purchase links:

Amazon | Smashwords

*The paperback version, published by Spark Books (Anvil), is available in National Bookstore outlets in the Philippines.

My Thoughts:

Hopefully, this review won’t come out late since I know I haven’t posted the other review plus dream cast of the other featured book for the Backlist Revival project. Geez! I can’t even remember which month that book was featured. Thankfully, I managed to finish reading this before the deadline.

I wasn’t exactly a fan of any sports nor had any desire to play one except archery. Well, I guess that wasn’t much of a physical outdoor sport, huh? But my point here is, even though I wasn’t a fan of any sports at all, I managed to imagine the scenes where the characters played. Or should I say struggled with their game?

Though this book was part of the RomanceClass, somehow I noticed that this book doesn’t exactly highlight the romance genre too much. Especially on Val’s part. It was more of her desire to please everybody in any way she can after everything in her life had gone haywire when her father left them for good. For the most part of the story, I hated Val’s characteristics and personality. She wanted to grab everything—particularly attention—that she wanted for her life to be considered perfect in her perception, just as how it was before when she was a child. She wasn’t the bitch type—at least to me. But I really didn’t like thew fact that she was so selfish and quite vain.

But as the story progressed, I saw her grow up, no matter how slow it had been. Though I must say, she did quite a damage to everything and everyone around her before she managed to learn something and grow up because of it. At one point, I really want to strangle her. But that’s impossible, right? Staying strong and trying to keep up with it all those years was obviously a hard task for Val and in a way, I can understand that. Though unlike her, I never tried to do something to have people notice me or to belong to a group.

One thing I noticed in the story, there were no distinctions between events told in the present times and flashbacks, even though it was narrated. This is more specific to the actions and dialogues of the characters during the flashback. Other than that, I love reading this story despite not being a sport fan and disliking Val most of the time.

And I never knew that this was posted in Wattpad before. I wish I read that version.

In any case, thank you so much for this story!

About the Author:

Agay Llanera is a Manila-based freelance writer for television and video, and a published writer of children’s books. Her novellas include Vintage Love, Once upon A Player, and the YA book, Choco Chip Hips. Get in touch with her through the following:

Facebook: AgayLlanera
Twitter: agayskee

Wattpad: AgayLlanera


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