If these books played in a baseball game, it would be a perfect game.
Play On by Michelle Smith
Play On is the first book in the Lewis Creek series by Michelle Smith. In Lewis Creek, everyone is obsessed with baseball. As a result, the starting pitcher, Austin Braxton faces a lot of criticism and scrutiny. When a failing grade jeopardizes his spot on the team, Austin needs a tutor to help him raise his grade. When a mysterious new girl comes to town, she promises to fix Austin’s failing grade and his broken heart.
I received a copy of Game On (see my review here), the second book in the series, from NetGalley and really enjoyed it for its realistic portrayal of a small town and male point of view. While I didn’t like Play On as much as the second book in this companion series, I still enjoyed it. Like with Game On, Play On is very realistic in terms of character and setting. I appreciated that the author used a male voice to tell the story, especially since it was extremely authentic and not a cardboard cutout of a perfect YA boyfriend. As for the relationship in this book, it was okay and I liked how mental health affects relationship, but I never felt like never knew exactly who his love interest was as a character. Consequently, I never felt extremely invested in their relationship. I give Play On four out of five stars.
The Boyfriend League by Rachel Hawthorne
Play On by Rachel Hawthorne follows Dani, a high school students, an aspiring journalist, and a baseball fanatic. This summer, her town’s local collegiate teams need more families to host baseball players for the summer. Dani sees this as the perfect opportunity for an in to the team… and a potential boyfriend. Dani’s plans turn south, however, when she finds herself falling in love with the baseball player in her house, which she promised her parents she would not do.
Unlike the book above, The Boyfriend League doesn’t deal with deep topics and some of the characters are a little flat and one dimensional. However, this book leans more towards a fun and lighthearted read which makes it perfect for summer. I’ve reread this book and other books by Rachel Hawthorne numerous times, and I enjoy her books every time I read them. In this book specifically, Dani is a relatable character and her love interest, Jason, is extremely likable. While Dani does use the baseball league to try to get a boyfriend, it is also extremely clear that she loves baseball and would enjoy having a player around even if she wasn’t romantically interested them. I rated this book four out of five stars.
What are you favorite baseball-themed reads?