Blog Tour & Giveaway: Game On by Michelle Smith

Series: Lewis Creek #2
Publication Date: August 16, 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 328 (eARC)
Source: From Publisher For Review
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.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

I was eagerly anticipating this book for so long, and I am so happy to say that it did not disappoint. While I was a bit hesitant about the main character being the son of a pastor, all my worries about religion were thrown out the window because instead of this being a platform to preach, it is a simple plot device. Plus, it helps that Erica's family is amazing--something that is rarely found in young adult books these days. A pastor with a few party animals in the line and also a gay son for good measure who tells the world to deal with it is the leader of a kickass family. Plus, they've got a wild chicken named Oscar. Everyone needs an Oscar in their life.

The best part about this book is the fact that most of it focuses on Bri and Eric repairing their friendship. The romance is there and it is ridiculously slow burning, but it takes a backseat to their friendship. Friends force, love later. I loved this mentality because it allowed us to truly get to know both of our main characters--a boy who drinks away his fears because he doesn't think he's good enough and a girl who finds an incomparable inner strength.

However, this brings me to my main complaint: the kissing. There's not a lot of it in this book, which is unfortunate for a romance. I mean, we start the book off with Eric having a night in the backseat of a truck with some girl at a party because he is the guy you to go to "have fun." And then there is barely any kissing with him and Bri. They're super passionate on an emotional level, but when you start a story there it's like your teasing us because we aren't getting much from the actual relationship, yet we made it all the way to home base in the first chapter with a girl whose name I have completely forgotten. I feel slightly cheated because I haven't gotten more. But then I remind myself this story is just so dang perfect and I get over it. A little bit.

The way Smith focused on Bri's past relationship was really important too. While it seemed a little over the top sometimes, detailing verbal abuse and psychological abuse is important because it's an abuse that happens often in society and is often swept under the rug as not being as important. It messed with you, and this book shows that, and it's nice to see that Bri found people to support her and help fight with her--never FOR her. This girl's strength is ridiculous, and I have a lot of respect for her. None whatsoever for Matt Harris who can go fall into a hole and never come out, but so so so so so much for Bri. Matt's drama really took away from the story at times because it was so over the top, and it's easy to find yourself frustrated with Bri ignoring his threats and being scared to act on them, but when you're bullied the way she was it's hard to properly seek help, which is why it is so powerful when she eventually does so.

Also, shout out to a small glimpse of our favorite characters from book one making an appearance and getting up to their old shenanigans like nothing ever changed. I loved that!

I hope there's more in the Lewis Creek series because there's always room in my library for Southern men, killer romances, and a little bit of baseball for good pleasure. Lindsay Smith, I am so happy you found a home with Bloomsbury Spark and this book made it out into the world. Well worth the read.

4 stars

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FTC Disclaimer: I received no compensation of any kind in exchange for my honest review.



Bloomsbury is kind enough to host this giveaway internationally! Good luck. (:
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  1. I love sports stories. I appreciate your review about this book. This sounds like one I must check out.

    1. Yup! It can stand apart from its predecessor but I recommend reading PLAY ON first!

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