Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Review: Out of Play by Nyrae Dawn and Jolene Perry

Out of Play by Nyrae Dawn and Jolene Perry
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: August 6, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from the publisher (for the tour)

Summary (from Goodreads):

Rock star drummer Bishop Riley doesn't have a drug problem. Celebrities—especially ones suffering from anxiety—just need a little help taking the edge off sometimes. After downing a few too many pills, Bishop wakes up in the hospital facing an intervention. If he wants to stay in the band, he’ll have to detox while under house arrest in Seldon, Alaska. 

Hockey player Penny Jones can't imagine a life outside of Seldon. Though she has tons of scholarship offers to all the best schools, the last thing she wants is to leave. Who'll take care of her absentminded gramps? Not her mother, who can’t even be bothered to come home from work, let alone deal with their new tenants next door. 

Penny’s not interested in dealing with Bishop’s crappy attitude, and Bishop’s too busy sneaking pills to care. Until he starts hanging out with Gramps and begins to see what he’s been missing. If Bishop wants a chance with the fiery girl next door, he’ll have to admit he has a problem and kick it. Too bad addiction is hard to kick…and Bishop’s about to run out of time.

What I Liked:

I'm on the blog tour for this book, but I would have requested to read this one early anyway, because I absolutely love Jolene's books, and Nyrae's books! I was so excited to see how this collaboration would turn out - I believe it's their first. Jolene and Nyrae both have a way of creating broken yet beautiful stories, so when you put them together... well, let's just say that this book is DOUBLE the broken/beautiful-ness! 

Bishop has been taking drugs to help with his problems with crowds and anxiety. He thinks he doesn't have a problem - but he definitely does. He almost dies, and is sent off to quiet Alaska, to recover from his drug problem with the media knowing.

He and his "babysitter" rent cabins from Penny's mother - which is how Bishop meets Penny/Penny meets Bishop. Penny is a tough girl - she's the only girl on a men's hockey team. She's a high school senior looking to go to a college that she wants, and not what everyone else wants for her. Everyone wants her to go to a university with a top ice hockey women's team, but she wants to stay in Alaska, and play on a men's team.

Penny basically carries a chip on her shoulder for a lot of the book. This isn't a bad thing, but she walks around with an attitude. She gets mad about her mother never being around. She gets mad about having to leave parties to take care of Gramps. She gets ad because she's had a crush on her teammate and best friend Mitch, but he's dating someone, and he's totally in love with his girlfriend.

When Bishop and Penny meet, they don't instantly fall in love with each other. Both of them recognize the chemistry between them, but Penny lets her attitude shield herself, and Bishop would rather not deal with her finding out about who he really is. Eventually, Penny starts to hang out with Bishop, because Gramps tell Penny to be nicer to him.

I love the character of Gramps. I think that despite the onset of his disease, he is very astute and intelligent. He saw right through Bishop from the start, I believe, which is why he wanted Penny to be nicer to Bishop. Gramps likes Bishop, and he lets Bishop help fix Penny's car (which, at first, Penny does NOT appreciate). I was glad when Gramps had such a large role in Bishop's healing/recovery process.

The romance in this book is very... wonderful. Penny and Bishop slowly learn to trust each other, like each other, need other. Bishop doesn't tell Penny everything, but Penny trusts Bishop to tell her when he's ready. I LOVE that. No one is obligated to tell a virtual stranger EVERYTHING, all at once. That's something that people always expect, in YA lit, that they shouldn't. I liked seeing this level of trust come from Penny, when it finally did.

The plot of the book is really centered around Penny and her ice hockey tournament. We all know what to expect coming down to the end of the book. Penny's team will make it to the championships... and Bishop will have to go back. For good? Temporarily? Find out when you read it!

The ending is great! I liked it, but I can't say anything specific about it, without giving anything away. I totally saw it coming, but that's okay. It's a predictable ending, but good nonetheless.

What I Did Not Like:

I kept mentioning how Penny has this attitude, right? It's a great display of tough-girl, especially since she's surrounded by hardcore males all day... but sometimes, it rubbed me the wrong way. I have a feeling that Penny and I wouldn't be friends in real life, if she weer real. I'm not a girly girl that freaks out about hair and makeup and clothes, and I'm a die-hard sports fan and athlete... but I'm not as rude and harsh as she is sometimes.

***Possible general spoilers coming in the next paragraph***

I also sort of hate the ending. While I absolutely love it, it's predictable, and there's something specific that I hate about it. You know when the guy bends over backwards to please the girl, and he changes his life for her? Yeah. That. I hate that Penny makes zero effort to be with Bishop, whereas Bishop drops everything for her. And himself, sort of, but for her. She's such a "tough girl", but she lets others conform to what she wants, rather than compromising. I hate people like that.

***End possible spoilers***

Would I Recommend It:

Despite the things that I disliked, I would totally recommend this book to YA readers! Youths and adults alike will enjoy this refreshing contemporary romance novel. I really enjoyed it, especially the sport aspect of the book, which usually isn't featured in YA books! Especially when it's the girl. Love it!


4 stars. Definitely worth the read! Two fantastic authors come together and make magic!

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  1. I hadn't heard of this one, but your review makes me really want to read it! Gramps sounds awesome & I like that it isn't another insta-love or love triangle. I am kind of burned out with that. I like when sports are a part of the main female character's storyline too which is why I liked the book Catching Jordan so much, so this one sounds like something I'd enjoy. I've never read a book where the sport is hockey though. I have to agree on the spoiler-y part about characters that don't compromise. We get it, you're tough, but that doesn't mean you can't bend a little & meet others halfway, right? Great review!

    1. I am so tired of love triangles, so I'm glad to see something simpler! Hmm, I'll have to check out Catching Jordan! And EXACTLY! I'm so glad you agree, Ren ;)

      Thank you! <3

  2. I read this and really liked it. My favorite part was when Bishop was teaching Penny how to play the drums. I've never read books by either author before but I will now.

    1. YAY! I'm glad you enjoyed it! And yeah, any scene with Bishop playing the drums was fun ;) I've books by both, and they're both awesome individually! Together... well, this book was great :D

  3. First this cover! Secondly, I too love that in a romance! I love the real kind of romance where it's awkward sometimes and you have to learn to love. No one instantly falls in love within days or a week, you just can't in my opinion. Plus, it's more fun to watch a romance evolve, anyway. So I think I might like this book! Great review, Alyssa!!

    1. I think it's a great cover! And progression is key, don't you think? If you read it, I hope you like it! :) Thank you!


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