Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip (MG/YA)

Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip. Jordan Sonnenblick. 2012.  Scholastic. 304 pages.

The first picture is a wide-angle shot, taken through the chain-link fence of the backstop behind home plate. There's a boy standing on a pitcher's mound in full uniform: green and gold. His cap is pulled low over his eyes, and his unruly black hair sticks out below the brim in all directions. He leans in toward home plate, his throwing arm dangling loose at his side. He must be looking in to get his sign from the catcher.

I expected Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip to be good--really good. Why? Well, Jordan Sonnenblick rarely--if ever--disappoints. He's an amazing writer; he's great at writing characters that I just love. His stories tend to be emotional and compelling. Though almost always they have a lightness to them as well. Curveball The Year I Lost My Grip did not disappoint. While I'm not sure that it is my favorite, favorite Sonnenblick novel--he's written so many that I just love!!! It is easy to recommend this one.

The hero of Curveball is Peter Friedman. The summer before his freshman year in high school, he plays his last baseball game. The injury in his arm is so severe that doctors tell him he'll never, ever be able to play the game he loves so much. So who is he if he's not a great pitcher and catcher? Who is he if he's not a great athlete? Well. He'll have plenty of time to figure that all out.

One of the main characters in Curveball is Peter's grandfather. I just LOVED him. I think there aren't enough--could never be enough--YA books that highlight the special relationship between grandparent and grandchild. Inter-generational stories make me happy, very happy. Even when they're sad. Even when they're bittersweet. Peter and his grandfather are incredibly close. And so it's not all that surprising that Peter's interest in photography becomes all that much stronger. (His grandfather was a professional.)

So Peter's interest in photography leads him to take a class where he meets a girl that wows him...

This YA book has it all. Great characters, good storytelling. It's just an enjoyable read!

Read Curveball The Year I Lost My Grip

  • If you're interested in baseball
  • If you're interested in photography
  • If you like realistic romances
  • If you're a fan of Jordan Sonnenblick
  • If you like coming-of-age stories with a strong emphasis on friendship

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

2 comments:

Ellie Warren 12:54 PM  

Is photography becoming the new fashionable thing in YA books? There's another one I noticed where apparently the teen character gets a fab photo job which I could never read because I know the work involved and a kid doing it would most likely annoy me!

Ms. Yingling 1:51 PM  

Previously my favorite was Zen and the Art of Faking It, but this may be my new favorite.

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
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I am not a fan of:

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  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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