I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Play On by Michelle Smith
Published by Spencer Hill Press on April 14, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, YA
In the small town of Lewis Creek, baseball is everything. Especially for all-star pitcher Austin Braxton, who has a one-way ticket out of town with his scholarship to a top university. All that stands between him and a new start is one final season. But when Austin starts flunking Chemistry, his picture-perfect future is in jeopardy. A failing grade means zero playing time, and zero playing time means no scholarship.
Enter Marisa Marlowe, the new girl in town who gets a job at his momma's flower shop. Not only is Marisa some home-schooled super-genius, she's also a baseball fanatic and more than willing to help Austin study. As the two grow closer, there's something about Marisa that makes Austin want more than just baseball and out of Lewis Creek--he wants a future with her. But Marisa has a past that still haunts her, one that she ran all the way to South Carolina to escape.
As Austin starts to peel back the layers of Marisa s pain, it forces him to look beyond the facade of himself and everyone he thought he knew in his town. What he sees instead is that in a small town like Lewis Creek, maybe baseball isn t everything--maybe it is just the thing that ties them all together.
What I Thought…
• Play On almost broke me. When I first requested Play On I thought it would be a cute sports romance, but it turned out to be so much more. So many feels!
• I wasn’t sure if I would like Austin at first, he’s a bit cocky about his baseball playing abilities, but he has enough positive qualities to outshine that fault of his (plus faults make him more real).
• Marissa on the other hand was easy to like. She was cute and funny and generally easy going.
• Play On was narrated by Austin, which is a nice change from the typically female narrated or dual narrated contemporaries.
• Play On deals with mental illness, which I didn’t know going in, but made the book much better than the cute romance I thought it was going to be. I wish there were more books like this that addressed mental illness in some capacity, they are badly needed in the world.
• Everything that Marissa is going through made me ache for her and want to help her wish her problems away. Seeing Austin and her parents struggle as well absolutely broke my heart. There was a lot of heartbreaking going on.
Overall everyone should read Play On. It tackles a serious issue while still having humor and fun.