(Lewis Creek #2)
Published: August 16, 2016 by Bloomsbury Spark
Source: I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This has not impacted my opinion of the novel in any way.
Summary from Goodreads:
As king of baseball in the small town of Lewis Creek, Eric Perry can have any girl he wants and win every game he plays. But when a fight lands him in jail, he’s only got one more strike before his baseball career is over for good. His only chance for redemption? The girl next door, Bri Johnson.
Bri hasn’t talked to Eric in months—for starters, she’s been too busy dealing with her jerk of an ex-boyfriend, not to mention the fact that Eric’s been preoccupied trying to drink every keg in the country dry. But when he needs a way to stay on the team, she proposes a plan: if he helps her out with community service, he can stay on the team. At first it’s a nightmare—Eric and Bri stopped being friends years ago, surely that was for a good reason, right? But as volunteering turns to bonding over old memories of first kisses under the stars, they start to have trouble remembering what pushed them apart.
In a town as small as Lewis Creek, nothing stays secret for long and their friendship and romance might mean bad news. But in this final, tumultuous spring before graduation, Eric and Bri are about to realize that nobody’s perfect alone, but they might just be perfect together.
I was sucked in from the very beginning. Told in dual points of view, Eric and Bri both have interesting & engaging voices, and they were both well-developed characters. They are both struggling with the pressures from the people around them. They both undergo significant change by the end of the novel, and, for the most part, I really loved reading their transformations, but there were definitely some points where I got frustrated. I thought both of the characters could be a bit over-angsty and dramatic at times. Also, I thought Eric made some really stupid decisions. Let me revise that statement—he makes the same stupid decision multiple times. He has a hot head and he constantly relies on his fists to ease his anger, even though he'd literally been put in jail for fighting and had been warned by multiple people if he didn't stop he'd basically be screwed. Like honestly how hard is it to just walk away when someone pisses you off when everything you care about is on the line?
I thought the romance was really cute. It built pretty slowly, but I was rooting for it the whole time because who doesn't love the classic neighbors/long-time friends falling for one another. Also. They do volunteer work together which is so cute and, as someone who loves volunteer work, definitely the dream.
I do wish that Bri's point of view had been a little more fleshed out. We get to see a lot more of Eric's life than we do of Bri's, and I almost wonder if her perspective was absolutely necessary. I feel a lot of what was revealed through her narration could have easily been disclosed through Eric's eyes.
Like I said, this wasn't a particularly earth-shattering novel, but it was a cute & light contemporary that is perfect for people who like sports and small town settings (which, if you didn't know, I just adore small town settings). This is the second book in a companion series, so you can read it on its own without reading the first one! I'm definitely interested in checking out more books by Michelle Smith, though, so I will keep an eye on this series!