Book Review – ‘The Comeback Season’ by Jennifer E. Smith

Wasn’t quite knocked out of the park…

The Comeback Season Book Review Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Contemporary

No. of pages: 256

From Goodreads:

The last place Ryan Walsh should be this afternoon is on a train heading to Wrigley Field. She should be in class, enduring yet another miserable day of her first year of high school. But for once, Ryan isn’t thinking about what she should be doing. She’s not worried about her lack of friends, or her suffering math grade, or how it’s been five whole years since the last time she was really and truly happy. Because she’s finally returning to the place that her father loved, where the two of them spent so many afternoons cheering on their team. And on this — the fifth anniversary of his death — it feels like there’s nowhere else in the world she should be.

Ryan is once again filled with hope as she makes her way to the game. Good luck is often hard to come by at a place like Wrigley Field, but it’s on this day that she meets Nick, the new kid from her school, who seems to love the Cubs nearly as much as she does. But Nick carries with him a secret that makes Ryan wonder if anyone can ever really escape their past, or believe in the promise of those reassuring words: “Wait till next year.” Is it too much for Ryan to hope that this year, this season, might be her comeback season?   

Page border by Casey Carlisle

I’ve been dying to get into a cute contemporary of late, it feel like it has been ages since I picked up a title to make me smile and tug on my heart strings, and so ‘The Comeback Season’ jumped out at me from the shelf. But comparatively, this books was sweet but dull.

If you are not a baseball fan, or a sports fan for that matter, ‘The Comeback Season’ may feel a bit slow, the narrative is bogged down with statistics and aspects of the game. For me, that’s what happened, and found myself skimming forward frequently. I had read a number of reviews that have stated the same opinion, but I just had to find out for myself given how much I enjoyed other titles by Jennifer E. Smith.

The Comeback Season Book Review Pic 02 by Casey CarlisleAlthough our protagonist, Ryan, and her love interest Nick are relatable, there was nothing outside of the baseball connection that had me particularly relating with them. But I must admit, they make a really cute couple and I definitely ship them J Overcoming their personal obstacles in an unassuming manner to discover the truth under their noses was endearing.

This book talks a lot about loss, and what happens after. And despite the fact that I too have lost a parent not too long ago, the book failed to draw the raw emotion to the surface. And that bothered me. I did however, shed a tear from a scene from Ryan’s childhood and the loss of her dog. That was heartbreaking and beautifully written.

I loved the note this book finished on – in true contemporary style, and is worth the read just to get to that destination.

We touch on some girl politics and friendships in high school, and it was a great relief to see them have great depth and evolve throughout the novel, avoiding the trap of a two-dimensional character… well done Smith!

For an unassuming book it has a lot to say. I truly wish I had connected with the book more, but by the end the narrative felt clunky and some of the symbolism, a little cliché. So, this juxtaposed with the beauty of Jennifer E Smith’s prose left me with an unsatisfied feeling from what I have gotten out of her other titles.

I think if there wasn’t so much baseball in the content I would have enjoyed ‘The Comeback Season’ a lot more, despite its authenticity, and rated it much higher.

A quaint contemporary, but not my favourite by Jennifer E. Smith.

Overall feeling: It’s okay…

The Comeback Season Book Review Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

The Comeback Season Book Review Pic 04 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

2 thoughts on “Book Review – ‘The Comeback Season’ by Jennifer E. Smith

  1. Louise / geniereads says:

    Great review, too bad you didn’t liked the book that much. This sounds like an okay contemporary but I’m not really a fan of baseball or any other sports, so I don’t know if I’ll pick this up any soon.

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