Review: Game On by Michelle Smith

Posted August 25, 2016 in Review / 14 Comments

Review: Game On by Michelle Smith

Game On

Series: Lewis Creek #2
by Michelle Smith
Published by Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury Spark on August 16 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 328
Format: eARC

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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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.

Swoon YA Romance

Ever grab a book because everyone else was reading it?

Yep, been there, done that…  quite a few times.  So I’m pretty leery of doing just that.  I had my eyes on this book for a while.  I was hesitant to read it because I had read another Bloomsbury Spark title earlier this year and it wasn’t at all what I expected.  I didn’t like it all.  I guess that was a fluke thing and I hadn’t misinterpreted the imprint’s focus on teen titles.

Game On is a great young adult story with substance and sweetness all rolled together.

Told in dual POV, the story starts off with Eric having a not-so-good night.  He’s very drunk and has wandered into trouble while looking for food.  When his next door neighbor, Bri, rescues Eric from trouble, Eric and Bri stumble down the path towards friendship again.  They were inseparable best friends growing up but unfortunately, things (err, people) have gotten in the way of their friendship.  And they each could use a friend right about now.

The story behind the romance is what really pulled me in.  Bri is trying to ditch a “troublesome” boyfriend while Eric is trying to ditch his bad boy reputation and rise to the occasion as he steps onto the baseball mound as starting pitcher for the new season.  There’s a past that holds Bri’s psyche hostage but Eric (and his wonderful family) help her come to terms.  Eric is put in a tough position and he needs to find his inner strength.  He wants people to see his worth, have some believe in him.

All the characters in the story are wonderfully written.  I enjoyed the dual POV in this story because Ms. Smith didn’t spend too much time in each character’s head but rather, just enough to understand what they were going through.  It’s hard thing to balance, IMHO.  I often get bored when I’m reading a story where the protagonist is in their head too much.  That was NOT the case here!

The side characters were fun.  One downside was that I didn’t get to know Becca, Bri’s best friend, very well.  But to make up for it, I enjoyed seeing a pastor’s family dynamics in a book.  Within the family, being a pastor’s son was no different than being anyone else’s son.  But to the outside world, there were added pressures put on each family member by their congregation.  Very interesting…

This was yet another book I devoured in a day so it’s safe to say it’s a quick read.  You will not want to put it down.  It is that engaging!

My only “beef” with the story… why do teen guys all have to sleep around?  I mean, granted, it takes two… but still.  It’s in almost every YA book I read!  Was I blind and naive back when I was teen?  Yup, must have been…

About Michelle Smith

I’m a YA Writer, storyteller, book lover, Southern girl, and Hufflepuff, through and through. I love baseball and football and Carolina nights. I fully believe that Friday Night Lights should be required viewing. Give me coffee and I’ll adore you forever. Also: don’t come between me and my sugar stash. I can’t guarantee the safety of your fingers.


Recommended200Teens 13 and up and adults that enjoy young adult romances with substance where the romance is a perfect slow and steady burn to HEA.




About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of "happily ever after" books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It's for her family's sake. When not reading, she's homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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14 responses to “Review: Game On by Michelle Smith

    • You should try this one b/c it’s a next door neighbors friends to strangers to friends to *cough* boyfriend/girlfriend *swoon* YEP, I love romance, too!!