Welcome to The Cover Contessa's stop on the Play On blog tour!
Author: Michelle Smith
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Synopsis: 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."
I want to thank Spencer Hill Press for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my thoughts or review.
I have been very in contemporary reads lately. Especially YA contemporary reads. So given the chance to read this book, which also includes a sports theme, I jumped on it.
One of the things I think I enjoyed the most about this book is it's told from the male point of view. There is just something about YA books told from that point of view that really appeal to me. Maybe it's because we don't often see books sole from this POV. Usually when I do encounter books that include the male POV they are dual POV. So it was nice to see this told from a guy's perspective.
What can I say about Austin. I really loved him. He's sweet and loving and extremely caring about his friends and family. He also holds on to a secret about his father's death that only those closest to him know. And he's been nursing a broken heart for a bit since his girlfriend broke up with him when she graduated and went off to college. His life revolves around baseball and making sure he graduates so he can get the heck out of dodge. But he's not doing so well in his chemistry class and he's afraid he'll fail and lose his scholarship to play ball. He never expects to meet someone that will change how he thinks and sees the world.
Enter Marisa. She's a science nerd who offers to help him with chemistry. Not ready for a relationship, she holds secrets of her own. As Austin slowly breaks down her barriers and learns more and more about her, he sees that she's not the put together person he thought she was. And slowly, they both learn that the secrets that they hold will eat them up inside if they don't let others in.
This book is full of sweet moments and also moments of heartache that tore me apart. It's also full of friendship. And the side line plots do not detract from the main elements of the book in any way. The side plots do a great job in fleshing out Austin's character. He's so strong, even though he has moments where he thinks he's weak. There's nothing that will stand between him and his friendships or those he loves. And the way he fights for it all makes me love him even more. Some of the greatest moments of the book are Austin's interactions with his baseball teammates.
This book is a hidden gem that needs to be read! If you're a fan of Julie Cross' Whatever Life Throws at you, Katie' McGarry's Dare You Too, or the show Friday Night Lights, then this is the read for you. It combines humor, tenderness, and honest life lessons that anyone can relate to. I highly recommend it!
Michelle lives near the Carolina coast with her family.
Author Social Media Links: