Review: Out of Play by Jolene Perry and Nyrae Dawn
Out of Play
by: Jolene Perry and Nyrae Dawn
Publication Date: Aug. 6, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: e-ARC provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 320 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4/5 stars
This is my first book by both Jolene Perry and Nyrae Dawn. I've heard great things about both authors but just hadn't had a chance to read one of their books. I'm so happy I started with this one! I've been reading a lot of contemporaries lately and I love when I find those books that really make their own mark in the book world. The topics discussed in this book are not new to the YA contemporary world and neither are the issues both characters face. However, this story takes place in the Last Frontier (Alaska!) and I felt that was such a refreshing addition that I really enjoyed.
The story is told from both Penny and Bishop's POV. Bishop is a drummer for a Grammy winning band, who is struggling with an addiction to pills. He denies he has a problem, yet after overdosing one night, his mother and people who care about him decide to step in and take matters into their own hands. Bishop is less than thrilled about being sent to Nowheresville, Alaska. In fact, he is pretty resentful. He is being treated like a child- having to endure walks with his manager's brother Gary, periodic check ins, and time for reflection. Yet, drumming is his passion and he can't imagine not being part of the band. Therefore, he finds themselves renting little cabins in Seldon, Alaska in hopes he will be able to kick his addiction. These cabins are under the ownership of Penny Jones and her family- her mother and grandfather. Penny is the only female hockey player on a men's team and she wouldn't have it any other way. She's definitely tough and easily fits in with the other guys. I loved how her teammates always had her back and watched out for her. However, Penny really only wants the attention of one guy- her best friend and fellow teammate, Mitch. Unfortunately, Mitch doesn't see Penny that way and instead clings to his girlfriend Rebecca, unintentionally throwing their relationship in Penny's face. Penny is an awesome hockey player- who has the potential to play at any college of her choosing- on a women's team. Penny, however, would rather stay in Alaska and play for the men's team. Even when people are trying to convince Penny of what's best for her future, she stands strong and won't let anyone else sway her. I love her resolve most of all in this book. She has known loss in her life, from losing her father at a young age and now is helping to take care of her grandfather who has early onset Alzheimer's. Her mother is always working late nights and shifts, so it's up to Penny to step up and be responsible.
Penny and Bishop's relationship is pretty slow progressing. While Penny tries to be friendly to the brooding boy next door, Bishop is definitely not making it easy for her. Believe it or not, it takes a crazy old man who accidentally makes steak and strawberry pies, who listens to bad country music, and yet is way too perceptive for his own good to make Bishop start to open his eyes. Hanging out with Gramps and eventually Penny makes Bishop feel at ease. He lets the stress and strain of his old life fade away and he focuses on being the new Bishop- someone who doesn't need pills to thrive and succeed. His journey definitely isn't an easy one and Bishop still stumbles quite a bit along the way. Yet, he wants to be that guy Gramps is proud of, the kind of guy that deserves Penny, and the son his mom deserves. He's far from perfect, but at least now he recognizes when he needs help instead of ignoring it. Penny on the other hand, begins by crushing on her best friend Mitch. However, it's pretty obvious he's very into his girlfriend Becca and vice versa. Once Penny starts spending time with Bishop, she begins to notice the little things about him that she likes- like his smile. He doesn't do it nearly often enough and she starts wondering what she can do to put one on his face. The more time she spends with Bishop, the more she realizes maybe her feelings for Mitch weren't quite what she thought, but really it was just the fear of losing someone else that mattered to her. Yet Bishop is keeping secrets from Penny- secrets that could completely shatter their new found relationship. Bishop has to decide if he's strong enough to step up and be the new Bishop and come clean with her. Sometimes falling in love isn't easy, and you never know if the risk will outweigh the reward.