Brooke's Reviews > The Comeback Season

The Comeback Season by Jennifer E. Smith
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's review
Sep 26, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: i-own-a-copy, kindle, death-tragedy-suicide, realistic-fiction, tugged-the-heartstrings, favourites, lovey-mushy-stuff, taught-me-a-lesson
Read from September 26 to 29, 2011

Well. This is book two by Jennifer E. Smith for me, and I wasn't disappointed. She has this way of writing that just makes you feel, sucks you into the story, tumbles your insides around with her words, makes you laugh and cry and sight contentedly when you're finished reading.

The Comeback Season just about ripped my heart out, I don't think I've been so moved by a book in a long while! You know that feeling of incredible loss? Heartbreak? That gut churning, throat tightening sensation? I experienced that several times throughout this book. I teared up. I wanted to hug Ryan and tell her that I was there for her.

And when the time finally comes to say good-bye, she'll swallow hard against the tightness of her throat and the weight of her heart. She'll think I'll miss you and she'll think don't go and she'll think please. But what she'll finally say is simply thank you, and it will mean all of these things - everything promised and remembered, everything wordless and spoken and understood - and so much more.

After losing her father five years ago, Ryan's life has been a jumble of old memories, new memories, happiness, sadness. Old family, new family. Old friends who are no longer friends. After meeting Nick, the new guy in her grade, Ryan comes to find they both share a love for their town's baseball team, the Cubs. Their friendship develops and grows into something perfect, primarily due to each having gone through traumatic events in their lives and the fact that they really understand each other.

Ryan's relationship with her father was gorgeous. The little snapshots of memories made me want to cry. The quotes, the discussions... I could just picture this innocent little girl who loved her dad, and having him suddenly ripped away. My heart ached for her. He was wise, kind, caring, loving - for a guy who was only featured in the novel through these memories, he certainly won me over. Just when Ryan was losing faith, he always knew the right words to make her feel better, to restore her hope, and I loved that.

This was probably one of my favourite passages in the whole book. I had to share it with you, for fear that those of you who never read this book, will never see it:-

She remembers that the cubs had been losing badly in the eighth inning. The whole stadium was pulsing with heat, restless beneath a blistering sun, and she'd been tired and sweaty and faint. But when she'd tugged on Dad's hand to ask whether they could go, he looked at her sideways. "It's not over," he said, lifting her so that she was standing on the seat beside him. Ryan had leaned an elbow on his shoulder and sighed mightily. "But we're losing by so much." "That's the fun of it," Dad said. "You never know when there might be a comeback.". Later, after a series of batters had failed to do anything to remedy the declining situation, Ryan had tapped him on the shoulder. "We're still losing," she pointed out. "True," Dad said, smiling. "But there's an art to losing. It's just as important to know how to do that as anything else.""How come?" "Because that's how you learn," he'd said, cupping her chin in his hand. He studied her with pale gray eyes. "It's how we learn to keep going. It's how we survive." On the field below, the Cubs hit a double, and Ryan began to cheer in earnest, hopping up and down on the seat and clapping for her team. Dad put an arm around her waist, and she could tell he was proud of her. It took a certain kind of person to love the Cubs, he always said, and Ryan was happy to be one of them.

I loved Nick, he was adorable, funny, witty. My heart ached for him as much as it did Ryan. I must say though, that ending... a little annoying. I wanted to know if he was okay, and I guess that's where an Author can leave you hanging.

If you love heartfelt, emotional books, this one is definitely worth a read. Keep some tissues handy.


(a couple of other quotes I loved).

- All she remembers is that of everyone there that night - over thirty thousand roaring fans, it was her dad that was cheering the loudest. And if this was not actually so, then it was, at least, the way it seemed. It's the way she will always remember it.

- But Ryan knows better. It wasn't the extra innings or the weather or the long short to left field to end the game. It wasn't even the final score. It was, she knows, the possibility of a comeback. That last reservoir of hope, when what may or may not be out of reach suddenly seems so very reachable.

- Since he died, Ryan has learned to read silences like a map, to study them for the spaces in between, predicting and forecasting the gaps. Because it's within these moments of quiet that she can almost hear him, a sound like a whisper, like the last murmurings before sleep. She knows he's always with her, bit never more so than in those dips between words. It's a feeling like falling, though not in a scary way. It's like hoping for hope itself.
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Reading Progress

09/26/2011 page 32
13.0% "Cuuute! *grins*"
09/27/2011 page 113
47.0% "Am I really only 113 pages in? So much has happened already! Wow. Such a sad (but cute) story. I want to keep reading!"
09/28/2011 page 163
68.0% "Cannot cry, cannot cry, cannot cry. *bawls eyes out*. I want to go home and hug my puppy. What a sad memory *hugs to Ryan*."
09/28/2011 page 199
83.0% "Well I kinda saw that coming :o("

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Reynje (new)

Reynje Is it just me, or do the hands look really similar to the cover of This Is Shyness?

Brooke Haha they do actually. Bizarre!

oliviasbooks Cover couple!!

oliviasbooks So glad you loved it, too!

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