Thursday, June 20, 2013

Book Recommendation: THE COMEBACK SEASON by Jennifer E. Smith

I don't like cancer books. There, I said it. I think it's just because I read too many of them as an eleven-year-old (all right, I admit it--I was a Lurlene McDaniel junkie), but for whatever reason, I have a hard time getting into them. But then the library didn't have THIS IS WHAT HAPPY LOOKS LIKE, so to get my Jennifer E. Smith fix, I decided to try THE COMEBACK SEASON. Plus, it sounded like it might be a good comp title for Bonnie, so at the very least, I could chalk it up to research.

As it turned out, the book wasn't very comparable to Bonnie at all, but it was still an awesome read.

THE COMEBACK SEASON follows fifteen-year-old Ryan Walsh, whose life has been less than spectacular since her baseball-loving dad died five years earlier. When she ditches school to catch the first Cubs game of the season, an annual tradition she's overlooked for the last five years, she doesn't expect to bump into Nick, the new kid at her school who apparently loves baseball at least half as much as she does. And she certainly doesn't expect this chance encounter to possibly set her life on repeat, but that's precisely what it does.

I think what I loved most about THE COMEBACK SEASON was its realness. (Have you noticed how I often I mention this in book recommendations?) It didn't feel sappy or overdone, and it never got melodramatic (which, admittedly, it could have). It was just a book about real kids living real lives against the backdrop of a baseball season. Oh, and one of them has cancer.

If you like contemporary fiction or baseball or any combination of the two, you'll probably love THE COMEBACK SEASON. Of course, even if you don't, you should still give it a try. I don't love or even like baseball, but this book and MONEYBALL* almost converted me. Almost.

*Another awesome baseball book I think everyone should read, though this one is nonfiction. It's more about economics than it is about baseball (which is probably why I liked it so much), but it has a lot of real-world applications. You might have seen the movie a few years ago, but not surprisingly, the book is even better.


Jenilyn Collings said...

I was a Lurlene McDaniel junkie, too! With the same results. But I do love Jennifer E. Smith, so I'll have to check this one out. Thanks for the recommendation!

Kelly Loy Gilbert said...

Ooh, this sounds right up my alley--thanks for the recommendation!

And I was super into Lurlene McDaniel books too, I'm ashamed to admit. What an odd, odd phenomenon those were.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Jeni, I think you were the one who tipped me off on Ms. Smith's books when you mentioned THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT on Goodreads. (Loved it!) I guess what goes around comes around:)

This does sound right up your alley, doesn't it, Kelly? I mean, you are one of those baseball people;)