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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Press Play Eric Devine *ARC Review*

When I won the Press Play Cover Reveal Party giveaway a couple months ago, I was stunned; I entered at the last minute because I just couldn't resist all those delicious books--and that gorgeous Unhinged poster *^_^*...and I won. 

*Dance jam after fist pump...*
So if you think you're never going to win a super giveaway, think again!  

Today I'm honored to share my thoughts about Eric Devine's Press Play , which is coming out in October this year. 

Again, HUGE thanks to the giveaway prize participants (Bethany Crandell, A.G. Howard, Eric Devine, Justin Holley, Lisa Ann O'Kane, A. Lynden Rolland)! You're stellar ^_^

And review.
Truth, at whatever cost.

Because this is apparently my thing when it comes to book reviews, my one word to describe Press Play is *hardcore*.

Press Play is also gripping, provocative, and authentic, and there's loads to digest during and after reading it.

The depiction of bullying might be considered dramatic by some, but I felt it was as accurate as it was chilling. As such, some of the content is difficult to swallow...but really, that's part of the point. 

Abuse--whether in comes in the form of hazing, bullying, cyber-bullying, and/or neglect--is a terrible, terrible thing that shouldn't happen. It shouldn't be excused or permitted. Yet it does happen, and it is excused or permitted in many contexts--particularly in schools. 

Sometimes, we choose to stand on the sidelines and do nothing even though we know someone is suffering from some form of abuse--whether it's because we're afraid of the abusers, or afraid of the perceptions our peers will have about us. We all have our reasons. 

Press Play delves into those reasons and presents a solid case for doing what's right no matter the consequences, showcasing virtues like compassion, courage, determination, and honor. Devine really engages us and challenges us to consider our choices and perspectives.  

The style, setting, and characters have an authenticity about them that's difficult to come by. I'll admit the swearing was a bit much, but it did  capture the high school setting well. Still, I was overwhelmed at times. 

But I loved how each character--no matter how "together" they seemed--struggled with something on a soul-deep level...and they all tried to hide it. Press Play offers comfort and hope to all of us because we all keep secrets, and we all struggle.

And that plot! Whoa. It was riveting. I had so much fun reading this book! The cliff-hanger chapter endings were tough to resist. (Not-spoiler: I couldn't resist!) 
Me when I read a good book
The villain(s) and/or antagonists were fantastically well developed, and all the character arcs--especially Greg's--were phenomenal. One of my favorite parts about Greg's arc: his changing perspective and reaction to Alva when he begins to see Alva as more than just a bully...but also as a human being. 

Finally, I loved how the title connected back to and emphasized the theme(s). Killer ending with resolution across the board=where's the next book by Eric Devine?! :)

Final verdict: 

| Add Press Play to your Goodreads shelf! |

About the Author:
Eric Devine is the author of multiple works of Young Adult fiction, most recently Dare Me. He is also a veteran high school English teacher, where he spends as much time teaching as he does completing field research for his novels. His work has been listed by YALSA and Booklist for reluctant readers and for Best in Sports. He and his wife have two wonderful daughters and two not-so-wonderful Labradors. Eric’s next novel, Press Play, will be released 10/28, and he is currently working on two novels. Find out more at his blog, his Facebook fan page, or Twitter: @eric_devine

| Website


  1. Great review! I can't wait to read this. Having a special needs high school kid and a typical one in college now, I'm not sure I want to know all the stuff they have to go through in this new technology age, but I think as a parent, it's important. No matter how hard it is to swallow.

    1. Thank you :)! Yeah, the world is a scary place :/, but I think facing it rather than ignoring or running away from it is important.

      I didn't have a parent who was on my side/had my back. (Never underestimate the power of support and encouragement!!) Part of having their back is being willing to involve yourself in their world/culture.

      Thanks for being a fantastic parent!

  2. Great review! I can't wait to get my hands on this one.

    Also, "Um...cheesecake?" is wonderfully adorable and random and I LOVE it!

    1. Aww, thanks :3! Everyone else seems to have these short, succinct bios and mine just kinda...sprawls like a giant panda eating I was considering shortening it.

      I honestly wasn't even sure if anyone had ever read it! But after reading your comment, I'm definitely keeping it ^_^. Thanks!

      October 28th needs to get here faster, right? LOL. I actually haven't gotten a chance to read any of Devine's other novels, so I' going to check them out. So excited!


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