Play On by Michelle Smith
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Spencer Hill
Age Group: Young Adult
Summary: 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.
My Thoughts: When I first saw the summary for Play On, I was super excited! It sounded really good and it was also about baseball. When I was a teenager, I loved playing baseball! It was probably my favorite sport.
We are introduced to Austin who is one of the towns star players. Everyone also knows about his dad, who committed suicide a little while ago. Austin still doesn’t understand why. Everyone likes Austin, he’s popular. But in the process, everyone expects a lot of him.
We are also introduced to a girl named Marisa. Marisa is new to town and she ends up getting a job at Austin’s moms flower shop. This pairs them together quite often. Austin is also having trouble at school so Marisa starts tutoring him.
I liked Austin and Marisa. I liked them together. I liked their personality. And Marisa isn’t perfect and Austin understands that. They both come with their own baggage.
Once again, I also loved the sports angle of this. I loved getting to know his teammates and how they relate to things.
I thought this was a really cute contemporary. I liked how much they both have to overcome to have a relationship with each other and they don’t expect it to always be 100% perfect either. They were raw and real.
Overall: I enjoyed it. I think this one rates between a 3.5 and a 4 cupcake rating for me. There was a lot of depth to it, even though it wasn't very long. I really liked Austin!
Cover: Cute! I’d pick it up for the cover alone. Something about it just draws me in and I want to know what its about!
What I'd Give It: