Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Comeback Season


Smith, Jennifer E. 2008. The Comeback Season.

Opening Day at Wrigley Field isn't always April 8. It's not like Christmas or the Fourth of July, with their dependable calendar slots, the reassurance of a fixed number.

Ryan Walsh is a baseball loving teen who is still aching over the loss of her father--five years or so previous--her mother and sister may have moved on...her mother has remarried and is expecting a baby even. But Ryan can never forget her father--the man who taught her how to keep score while watching the game. The man who passed on his love for the Cubs. That the anniversary of his death should fall on Opening Day? A sign that she should skip school and go to the game.

Ryan is in many ways a girl after my own heart--"she doesn't care about makeup or jewelry, and has grown used to getting the once-over for her lack of fashion sense, an up-and-down stare reminiscent of the way her mom studies produce at the grocery store. Ryan prefers ponytails to curling irons, the soapy smell of her shampoo to the fruity ones all the other girls use. She feels most put together when wearing jeans, and she would never trade her flip-flops for a pair of heels. And mostly, she's okay with this." (27) And this telling passage as well--"Given the choice between future and past, she would always and without hesitation choose to move backward, and for years she has lingered through her life in this way, loitering and meandering, a wanderer with the most aimless of intentions." (38)

On that fateful day, April 8, Ryan meets Nick. Okay, so they've been going to the same school together. And true, she's seen him around enough to know that he's her classmate. But on this day--the two share a purpose--to catch the Cubs game. The two begin talking, chatting, and soon it looks like a beautiful friendship is born. Could it be more than friendship? Ryan certainly hopes so. There is an easiness, a rightness, about when they are together. Perhaps Nick says it best, "Sometimes I feel like talking to you is the same as talking to myself. Like you already know all there is to know, so there's no point in explaining..." (123) For Ryan to find love with Nick, she'll have to risk her heart--risk that it could be broken once more.

The Comeback Season is a bittersweet novel about life, love, hope, and redemption. You don't have to love baseball to love this novel. (Though if you do, it might mean that much more to you.) Ryan Walsh is a character that I won't soon be forgetting. I ache when she does. And her hope became my hope.

This is Jennifer E. Smith's first novel, and it is definitely recommended.

Other reviews: The Compulsive Reader, Not Acting My Age, TeenSpace Blog, Shooting Stars Mag, The Story Siren, Let(t)'er Rip, A Patchwork of Books.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 comments:

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

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
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • 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.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge
Linked to sign up page

Family Tree Reading Challenge

Family Tree Reading Challenge
Link to sign-up page

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge
Linked To Sign Up Page

2018 Charity Challenge (Sign Up)

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge
Link to sign up page

2018 Picture Book Challenge

2018 Picture Book Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge
click image to go to sign up post

Good Rules Cheat List

Board books and picture books = new is anything published after 2013
Early readers and chapter books = new is anything published after 2013
Contemporary (general/realistic) = new is anything published after 2007
Speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy = new is anything published after 2007
Classics = anything published before 1968
Historical fiction = new is anything published after 2007
Mysteries = new is anything published after 1988
Nonfiction = new is anything published after 2007
Christian books = new is anything published after 2000
Bibles = new is anything published after 1989

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP