I finished reading Play On (Lewis Creek #1) by Michelle Smith for an Around the World ARC Tour.
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."
By now, it's known that I love my sports stories. So when I saw this book was about baseball, I jumped on the tour. That being said, I have a hard time with guy narrators for some reason. (Although I did love all the baseball references.)
This book felt both real and not real to me. Austin and Marisa's relationship--they almost fit together too well. I'm not sure why, when I think about it. But with the exception of one part, it was just too easy. He fell for her too easily and was crazy about her and I don't really know too many teen guys like that.
That's where the real comes in--depression and suicide. Such a real and tough topic. I liked that we got to read about how it affects other people, not just the one suffering. I think teens need to realize that depression is real and that it's okay to talk about it.
My one suggestion for the book--and it may already be included since I read an ARC--but I really, REALLY hope the final book has a page at the end with hotlines and website for teens and people struggling with depression and suicide as a reference for help.
I gave this book a rating of 3/5.
*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.