This YA debut by Ali was not only riveting it was exceptionally written. This novel almost feels like chess when you’re reading it and watching how intricately Ali has weaved these characters together. Mallory, who loved chess until an unexpected tragedy in her family, now 18 and working to help support her family, beats a world champion, Nolan. Suddenly, everything in her life gets all mixed up as she stumbles into a romance she didn’t know she wanted. This novel, like her adult novels, does an AMAZING JOB touching on the sexism and expectations of a female vs male in the chess (STEM sport) community.
Check & Mate by Ali Hazelwood, (List Price: $14, G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, 9780593619919, November 2023)
Reviewed by Charlotte Beck, Main Street Reads in Summerville, South Carolina