Play It Again
The videos are fun.
But it’s the host who has him coming back for more…
When Seattle-based blind YouTuber Dovid Rosenstein finds Sam Doyle’s Let’s Play channel, playitagainsam, he’s instantly captivated by the Irish gamer. Everything about Sam is adorable, from his accent to his personality, and Dovid can’t get enough of his content.
Dovid’s glowing shout-out on Don’t Look Now, his own successful channel, sends Sam’s subscriber numbers skyrocketing overnight. He has more comments than he can read. And while the sudden surge in popularity is anxiety inducing, Sam decides it’s only right to dedicate his next episode to Dovid…which soon leads to a heart-pounding exchange of DMs.
They may have never met in person, but Dovid’s never felt this close to anyone before. What they have feels worth exploring—no matter the distance. But is it possible to already be in love with someone who’s half a world away?
This book is (to use Dovid’s word) adorable. First off, I have to say that I’ve been loving the disability and queer rep in the books I’ve been reading lately – I don’t know if I’ve just been really lucky with my book choices or what, but Play It Again is just lovely.
Our first lead is American YouTube sensation Dovid (and you’d better not call him David!), who lives his life out loud and often very publicly on his YouTube channel, Don’t Look Now. Dovid is blind because of a childhood illness that took his eyes, and he works with his twin sister Rachel to run their YouTube empire that deals with a variety of topics, including giving people an inside view into Dovid’s lifestyle as well as reviewing various restaurants and whatnot and rating them on their atmosphere, food, and accessibility. Dovid and Rachel’s relationship is so great, and WOW, they’re such enterprising people! Shout out for Dovid being quietly bi (I am just always thrilled to read bi characters in books – it seems like there are plenty of M/M and F/F romances but still a lot of bi-erasure going on), and also for Rachel being aro/ace. Again, I think there’s a lot of exposure for people who are gay or lesbian, but some of the other areas of the LGBT spectrum (collective?) don’t see the light a lot, and Play It Again does a really great job explaining what aromantic and asexual are. But I digress a bit!
Our other lead is the ADORABLE Irishman Sam; introverted IT guy by day, quiet Let’s Play gamer with a major Mr. Rogers vibe going on in his spare time. Sam has some major self-esteem and self-worth issues, and I love the amount of personal growth he goes through over the course of the book. I just want to hug him and squeeze him and tell him he’s great.
The relationship between Dovid and Sam is just SO GREAT and cute and wonderful and UGH, I am die. They live in really different time-zones, which causes some challenges for their friendship because it makes communication a little awkward to time. The online aspect to their relationship, plus the drastic difference in their personalities, lends itself really well to making Play It Again a truly delightful slow burn. I marked this a “closed door romance,” but it really doesn’t go beyond kissing and cuddling. Definitely more fluff than steam to this romance, as well as being really low angst. I found myself grinning like an idiot through most of this book, and had to keep physically wiping the smile off my face. 🙂
An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review.