Game On – Michelle Smith – Lewis Creek #2 – Bloomsbury Spark – Published 16 August 2016
As king of baseball in the small town of Lewis Creek, Eric Perry can have any girl he wants and win every game he plays. But when a fight lands him in jail, he’s only got one more strike before his baseball career is over for good. His only chance for redemption? The girl next door, Bri Johnson.
Bri hasn’t talked to Eric in months—for starters, she’s been too busy dealing with her jerk of an ex-boyfriend, not to mention the fact that Eric’s been preoccupied trying to drink every keg in the country dry. But when he needs a way to stay on the team, she proposes a plan: if he helps her out with community service, he can stay on the team. At first it’s a nightmare—Eric and Bri stopped being friends years ago, surely that was for a good reason, right? But as volunteering turns to bonding over old memories of first kisses under the stars, they start to have trouble remembering what pushed them apart.
In a town as small as Lewis Creek, nothing stays secret for long and their friendship and romance might mean bad news. But in this final, tumultuous spring before graduation, Eric and Bri are about to realize that nobody’s perfect alone, but they might just be perfect together.
Sport and romance combine in this fun story of second chances and starting over.
Eric finally has the starting position as pitcher on the baseball team. And that means a whole lot more pressure and more people watching his every move. So getting arrested for hitting one of his teammates isn’t going to improve his popularity with the townspeople. Bri knows its time to end things with her boyfriend. But she doesn’t need her neighbour and old friend Eric fighting with her ex for her. She surprises herself when she stands up for Eric, offering his coach an out instead of Eric getting kicked off the team. Even if it means spending a whole lot more time with Eric.
I love boy/girl-next-door love stories, especially ones about friends. Bri and Eric haven’t spent much time together since they were kids, so it’s fun watching them reconnect, especially as they share with each other everything that is going on in their lives.
Bri has been coping with a lot, an abusive boyfriend, an absent dad, and now everything’s worse with the rumours being spread about her. I loved how Bri wants to stand up for herself. Sure, having Eric there to back her up is nice, but she doesn’t like it when he takes up for her. She knows she needs to find the strength within herself (go girl), which she does!! She also knows that she needs to take things slowly and not fall straight back into another relationship. Even if this time it’s with the right guy. But talking with Eric helps, just as it helps him to have someone to share everything with.
And mixed in with all the romance and friendship developments, the family interactions and the small-town drama, is sport, baseball and soccer. It brings a sense of added lightness and drama in this touching book.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Themes: Sport, romance, abusive relationships, baseball, soccer, high school, dating, small towns, family, church.
Reading age guide: Ages 13 and up.
Advisory: Coarse language, s***, f***, sl**, wh***.
Published: 16 August 2016 by Bloomsbury Spark.
Format: Paperback, ebook. 328 pages.