Play On by Michelle Smith

Posted 13 April, 2015 by Danny in Blog, Danny, Danny's Book Review / 2 Comments

Play On by Michelle SmithPlay On by Michelle Smith
Published by Spencer Hill on April 21st 2015
Buy on Amazon
3.5 Stars

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 façade 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 love YA books that deal with sports – maybe it’s because I’m not the sporty kind of girl. No, just kidding. It’s more the dedication and focus these kids pour into these sports with so much passion ,and usually these stories often make up for a really good story!

Austin, The Baseball Star with the soft heart

Austin truly is the poster boy of YA protagonists. Hot amazing Baseball star who’s also this amazing guy everyone loves, who loves (in a not-romantic way of course) his guy best friend, who loves his mum and falls for the new girl. Seriously, this guy is perfect and I loved his interaction with his mom, how they have family dinners ever so often and I loved how he treated his friends. But of course, also Austin has his some issues he caries around ever since he lost his Dad.

Hey Marisa –  intriguing new Girl with the dark secret!

I guess it won’t be the biggest spoiler to say that Marisa has to deal with Depression and as cute and lovely and funny she often is, sometimes depression waves hit her and she struggles. Having thankfully no experience with depression I think it was quite honestly and genuinely displayed here. I feel so horrible for Marisa when it hits her and no one seems to be able to help her. And Austin again proves that he’s just THE perfect guy, he’s standing by her side, and as complicated it is, he never leaves!

… Just not enough…

I don’t have so much to complain about the story, other than it was lacking intensity. I think everything could have been more intense, deeper in some ways. Also, as much as I loved Austin – he was just too perfect, where were his flaws? Flaws is what makes people interesting, what make them stand out. That’s why everyone loves the bad boy, because he can be redeemed, here you can be surprised by a soft heart – sadly, Austin didn’t really surprise, just like the rest of the story.

But you know what made me tear up? The tiny side story about Austin’s gay best friend, who’s a popular football player in love with another football player, who also is the preacher’s son. When these two decided to come out, it completely made me tear up!


Bewitched Rating

Rating 3.5

Bottom Line

Play On by Michelle Smith was a great story with a great hero, a cute romance and it deals quite wonderfully with mental depression. It could have been more surprising and more intense.



Do you also love the flawed characters more than picture-perfect heroes? 

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