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.
Published August 16th 2016 by Bloomsbury Spark
Four and a half stars: A fun, flirty, best friends romance that takes on some serious topics.
Eric Perry should be ecstatic, on cloud nine, celebrating that he is the starting pitcher for his high school baseball team, something he has worked for his whole life. Yet he is not. Eric instead feels a sickening dread in his stomach, and the only way to get rid of that tension is to have a few drinks. The only problem is that he is on thin ice, since he got caught drinking last year. Luckily, his neighbor and former best friend, Bri, offers to drive him home. Eric can't figure out why she is dating one of his teammates, whom he can't stand. Unfortunately, Bri driving Eric home causes tension between her and her jerk boyfriend, causing Eric to intervene. The fight lands him in hot water, and it may cost him his baseball career, that is until Bri steps in. Can an old friendship be rekindled?
What I Liked:
- This book was exactly what I needed. It was fun, flirty, and had a best friend romance that took its sweet time building. I also appreciated that this one took on some more serious topics such as teen drinking, the pressure to achieve, an abusive romantic relationship, and all the drama that occurs in a small town. I loved the strong focus on family. All around this was a win win.
- The romance is the best kind. It is one where two neighbors who grew up as best friends, rekindle their friendship and then it slowly blossoms into more. It takes its time to build and build until you can't stand it anymore, and then the magic happens. I loved watching this couple help one another, and I liked the way they supported each other, and became better people. It was just right.
- I liked that the author didn't shy away from the tough stuff. This one has teen drinking, and the consequences, the stress one feels to perform under tough conditions, and the harsh reality of gossip and everybody poking their noses into one another's business in a small town. I especially appreciated the spotlight on the teen romance that was becoming controlling and abusive. Big props to the author for handling the issues well.
- Surprisingly, this book featured a wonderful cast of adult characters that were involved in the kids' lives. I loved the dynamic between Eric and his parents. His parents were present, and always there for their kids, to the point where Eric's mom stood up to the town gossips. At first, I thought the baseball coach, Coach Taylor, was going to be the stereotypical type of coach, but he surprised me, especially when he took action to help Bri with her situation. By the end, he was one of my favorite characters.
- I am a sports fan, so I appreciated the focus on soccer and baseball. This book with its small town setting and love for their high school baseball team reminded me a bit of Friday Night Lights.
- The ending was a bit abrupt, mostly because I wanted more, but it ended in a good spot, and I liked the way things resolved. I was left though wanting more story, and I am hopeful there will be a third book.
- This was the second book in a the series, but it is a companion book, so I was able to jump in and read this without having read the first book, which focuses on Eric's older brother. I have already bought a copy of Play On, and I plan on reading it right away.
The Not So Much:
- I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't a bit more focus on Grace, Eric's younger sister. She was dealing with her own issues, and I was itching to know more. I am hoping that perhaps the third book will be her story.
- I didn't like that the boys in the book were always sleeping around. Even Eric was disappointing in the beginning because he was always hooking up with girls.
- This is a book that I would consider for older readers because it takes on issues and topics that are suited for older teens.
- I was hoping for some type of movement with Bri and her father, but it didn't pan out.
Game On was a delightful read that snagged me with its engaging characters, serious topics, focus on sports, and a sweet best friend romance. If you are in a bit of a reading rut, this is one to try, it certainly put a smile on my face. I cannot wait to read more from this author!
I purchased a copy of this book. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.
Check out the first book: