Small Game

small game jacketSmall Game by Blair Braverman

Do you have what it takes to survive months in the wilderness? What about a grueling reality television show? Blair Braverman explores both scenarios in “Small Game.”

Mara never set out to be a celebrity, yet she found herself cast in a survival reality show called Civilization, with four others who are desperate to win a million dollars. The gist of the show is that five strangers turned teammates will need to survive in the wilderness with limited supplies and no modernized technology, for a whopping six weeks if they hope to win big. Mara’s parents raised her to live off of the land, which ultimately led to her career as a survivalist instructor, and consequently, she seems to have the game in the bag. That is, until strange events begin occurring, and Mara and the remaining contestants are left wondering how much of the show is fabricated, and what is truly at stake.

Survival and adventure novels are not the stories that I typically reach for, however, the reality television aspect drew me in. I’m so glad that it did, because I enjoyed this title immensely. Braverman’s prose is relatable (regardless of whether you’re a camping aficionado) and captivating, to the point where I wanted to consume the novel in one sitting. The well-developed and richly written cast of characters includes LGBTQIA+ representation, which plays a small role throughout the plot. Quickly paced, “Small Game” brings suspense, while raising existential questions and themes that left me reeling long after turning the last page.

Readalikes include “Patricia Wants to Cuddle” by Samantha Allen, “The Last One” by Alexandra Oliva, and “The River at Night” by Erica Ferencik.


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