{Book Review} Play Ball

Most girls, when they get to a new school, just want to fit in. But Dashiell Brody isn’t like most girls. A natural at softball, Dashiell discovers her new school has a championship level baseball team – and Dashiell wants to play ball. One girl’s quest to play the national pastime with the boys will turn her family, her school, and her state upside down.*

First of all, I want to thank Oni Press for giving me a review copy of this book!

As you can see from the brief synopsis supplied by GoodreadsPlay Ball is a coming-of-age sports story about a girl who wants to play in a sport dominated by males. Dash sure knows the difference between softball and baseball, and she refuses to play the “watered-down version” of baseball, so she decides to try out in her high school baseball team. This decision caused a ruckus within the school administrative system – baseball has always been a men’s sport. It wasn’t specified in the rules because it was inherently known and accepted by everyone. Because of Dash’s stubborn determination, though, she manages to get into the team.

What I really liked about Play Ball was how it wasn’t all centered on Brody. The characterization was well thought out. Everybody has a different personality to them, and their reactions to things are fairly natural and realistic. Dashiell, for her part, has to contend with several factors before she could participate into the team: her jealous sister, the sardonic softball team, a disgruntled teammate, and the classic status quo. Each of the characters was able to grow, and I appreciated this very much. 

Though some parts were cliched and predictable, the plot was not an issue for me at all because I enjoyed the story. I am so curious to what happens after the book ends! Maybe it’s  because I have a soft spot for books that have really cool heroines, and Play Ball just fits into that category, but I liked this book. Girls who excel in sports rock! I really find it cool how Dash is really against playing softball for the reason that it is not baseball. The girl really knows what she wants. Not many people can tell the difference (to be honest, I couldn’t remember much difference myself except that the balls used are different, but hey, it’s a start). 

Play Ball will be released on April 25, 2012! It is written by Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir, the team who wrote The Avalon Chronicles and Amazing Agent Luna, and drawn by newcomer Jackie Lewis. You don’t have to be a baseball fan to enjoy this either. I recommend you read it! It’s definitely something you’d enjoy.   

In a nutshell…

Rating: 3/5
144 pages
Writers: Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir
Artist: Jackie Lewis
Publisher: Oni Press
Publishing Date: April 25, 2012
Genre: Sports, YA
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{Book Review} Practice Makes Perfect

When it comes to the laws of attraction, there are no rules–and the battle between the sexes is about to make two lawyers hot under the collar. Original.

Lately I’ve been really in the mood to read a lot of chick lit. Even though I’m still in the middle of 1984 by George Orwell and Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman, I wanted to read something light and funny like I’ve Got Your Number. Plus, this book came to my possession after a friend gave me an ebook collection as a gift. All I had to do was transfer a copy to my phone and voila! I could go anywhere and have a book in my pocket. I have been looking for recommendations from Goodreads as well, and most of my friends have been marking Practice Makes Perfect as a to-read book. I have heard of Julie James, but I never got around to reading her books, and I suppose now is a good time to start as any. Anyhoo. On with the review.


Payton Kendall and J.D. Jameson have hated each other almost a decade. Payton, a die-hard feminist, believes that J.D. is a spoiled rich kid who succeeds in his field because of old money and most particularly, his gender. J.D., on the other hand, believes that Payton gets ahead because she is a woman and several men-dominated industries are trying to add diversity by hiring more women. Always competing against each other, Payton and J.D.’s eight-year-long conflict escalates to war after their law firm announced that only one of them could be a partner. Suddenly, it is only one or the other. Who would it be?

This story is narrated in a he said, she said fashion, which is really appropriate since the readers can see from the man’s point of view as well, unlike the usual heroine perspective. From this viewpoint, we can see how wrong they could be in their assumptions as well as sense something more than hate brewing under the surface.

J.D. and Payton’s is a classic love-hate relationship, which is refreshing for me since I haven’t read really intense love-hate stories in a while. Both of them are sure they couldn’t hate the other any more than they already do, and as it turns out, they  really couldn’t… in a good way. You could really see their expertise in being lawyers. There were a lot of technical terms in their conversations that made me revel in how good Julie James was in researching what they did.. but then I found out she actually took up law! There goes why her other books involve justice and the law, which I find really cool. Just the Sexiest Man Alive, Something Like You, A Lot Like Love, and About That Night definitely go to my to-read list now. Besides, they all have such nice reader ratings in Goodreads.

I really liked how, as the book progresses, J.D. and Payton realize that all of their hating to a passion for the past eight years was actually because of another kind of passion. You know. And I absolutely love how they realize it, and how, despite hating each other’s guts, they begrudgingly admit the other’s best qualities with a reluctant sort of respect.  As the decision of who makes partner edges nearer, our hero and heroine, and the reader in turn, realizes that they are both well-matched and very much crazy about the other, which makes the ending very sweet indeed. (I hope I’m not spoiling anything by saying that. You know it does end happily, right?)

I found this a really entertaining book, and I still couldn’t believe I managed to finish this in six hours (from an hour before midnight till the wee hours of the morning, plus an hour during normal waking hours). It’s that addicting. So sue me for loving this book (pun intended). I recommend it for anyone who reads chick lit and contemporary romance, really. You can never go wrong with good ol’ love-hate chick lit.

In a nutshell…

Rating: 4/5
Author: Julie James
Original Language: English
Published: 3 March 2009 by Berkley Sensation
Genre: Chick Lit, Romance