Published by Bloomsbury Spark on August 16th 2016
Also by this author: Play On (Lewis Creek, #1)
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository
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.
It’s no secret that I seriously enjoyed Michelle Smith’s first novel Play On. It’s safe to say that Game On was yet another delightful read set in this extremely awesome Lewis Creek world. I really hope that we get more stories from some of the other baseball players! I would love for Blake or Kellan to get their own love story. Anyway, this was a sweet romance with relatively low angst going on here. This was a light read, and very fast paced, I was able to devour it fairly quickly. I’m glad I read this, and I recommend it to any YA sports romance fan!
Bri was an absolutely fabulous main character. We saw glimpses of her in Play On, so I’m glad that we get inside her head in Game On. I was surprised by how much I was able to relate to Bri on a personal level. I guess I shouldn’t be, because Michelle Smith has already proved that she can write these incredible female characters who have their inner demons that they try to conceal. Bri’s story was a sad one to say the least. My heart broke for her when we learned about how her mother verbally abused her before she left for good when she was only six. She was also in a verbally abusive relationship with one of Eric’s teammates for months until she finally reached her limit. I liked learning more about this smart and passionate girl. She also has such a huge heart, which we see through her community service of teaching little kids how to play soccer. Could this girl be a better human? I doubt it.
Eric was a pretty great main character as well. Michelle Smith is amazing at writing male POV’s. She makes Eric’s voice so hilarious, and he feels like such a typical teenage boy. I laughed out loud countless times while reading Eric narrated chapters. I can’t think of any specific lines off the top of my head, but take my word for it, it was freaking hilarious. He’s far from being a perfect book boyfriend, but what teenage boy truly is? He has his fair share of flaws, especially when it comes to relationships, but the guy has a great heart underneath it all. Eric has made lots of mistakes, but Bri helps him see that those don’t have to define who he is. I also loved how protective he was when it came to Bri. He didn’t hesitate to throw down if it was in defense of his beautiful neighbor.
Once things got started, the romance was pretty adorable. Take my word for it though, this is basically the definition of a slow burn romance. Eric and Bri don’t kiss until right about the 80% mark. Typically, I want the relationship to already be established by that point, but Smith made it work. The author took her time with reconnecting Eric and Bri as they strengthened their friendship. The feelings that they had for one another became obvious long before they get together, but the two fight it for different reasons. Like I already mentioned, the relationship is so sweet and adorable once it finally gets started. I definitely loved seeing them as a couple, they truly balanced each other out in the best possible ways.
Game On was easily one of my most anticipated reads of the year. I feel like I’ve been waiting on it for such a long freaking time now, so I’m beyond excited that it was finally released! In my opinion, there can never be enough YA books out there about baseball. I’m such a huge fan of the sport, and Smith was able to bring it to life on the page yet again. Fingers crossed that there will be more Lewis Creek books released in the not so distance future!