Bullet Review: Out of Play

I received a free copy of Out of Play by Joy Norstrom from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


  • lots of humorous moments
  • good secondary characters with their own realistic plot lines
  • the female protagonist is not a fully reliable narrator, but the author fully discloses 51bd-lzvotlwhy- which makes the character continually compelling- even when her behavior is less than charming
  • several serious issues are woven into the plot of the book including interracial marriage, dating in after loss of a spouse, raising a teenager, infant loss, and aging parents. (A LOT for a book that’s a little over 200 pages)
  • Live-action role play (LARP) is a main feature of the book. It is portrayed in a way to let the reader see why people take it seriously, but also have fun in doing so.


Not for me:

  • The book was shorter than I like. I might not have requested it if I’d realized how short it was. It was over before I was ready. (Me! Me! Me!) 😉
  • The cover copy didn’t really let on to the deeper pain that is in the book. It could really take a person by surprise who was expecting a lighter LARP-based novel (which is what I thought I was getting).
  • The glimpses into the character of the male protagonist were so few and far between, I wasn’t really sure how they advanced the plot. One did tell some of the back story, which made later action understandable… but either more or nothing from him would have balanced the narrative better.


Fun (short) read with complex characters.


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