Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Comeback Season” as Want to Read:
The Comeback Season
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Comeback Season

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  1,611 ratings  ·  226 reviews
Baseball brings them together—but will his secret keep them apart? Find out in this heartbreakingly beautiful novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight.

The last place Ryan Walsh should be this afternoon is on a train heading to Wrigley Field. She should be in class, enduring yet another miserable day of her first year of hig
Paperback, 246 pages
Published October 13th 2015 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published February 11th 2008)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Comeback Season, please sign up.
Recent Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,611 ratings  ·  226 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Comeback Season
'Hi,' he says.
'Hi,' she says back, and then to her great surprise, she begins to cry.
'You know,' Nick says as he hands her a tissue from the bedside table,' for all this talk about how you don't cry, you sure are sprouting a lot of water.'

This could be a conversation between me and one of my friends: What is is with me and my dripping eyes lately? I always used to read reviews of books I loved but survived with all my lashes still encased in an immaculate layer of mascara and wonder what made my
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 experi
♡Ann  Matalines♡

P.S I can't find any other sports gif.

“She understands now what she, in all her worry, had forgotten. That even as she hesitates and wavers, even as she thinks too much and moves too cautiously, she doesn't always have to get it right. It's okay to look back, even as you move forward.”

Samantha (WLABB)
Rating: 4.5 Stars

I won't lie, I cried quite a bit as I read this book. I am still crying right now, because Ryan suffered quite a bit of loss for someone so young, but she also gained a lot from those moments she had.

This book was pretty heartbreaking, and I totally didn't expect it. JES usually causes me to feel, but this one had me sobbing. Regardless, I really enjoyed this book. It was one of those beauty in the pain situations, and it was a pleasure to get to watch her grow and heal.

Elizabeth K.
This was a little disappointing. I had been eager to pick it up after reading a blurb somewhere about this YA novel about Cubs fans. For some reason on which even I am not entirely clear, I know a lot of Cubs fans, so I thought this would be a fun read and then I could pass it along to someone else who would appreciate it. Now, I'm not sure it's worth sharing, it's too maudlin.

The basic set-up is that high school freshman Ryan's love of the Cubs was instilled by her dad, who died when she was 10
Najwa (najreads)
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

It's not my favourite but was still a good read. There was so many things baseball it was so technical and I couldn't get like half of the book. It was like a different language of baseballs which threw me out. FYI, sports not my thing.

Despite all that, it managed to make the butterflies in my stomach to flip and dance to some cute scenes that is obviously not going to happen in real life. I like the family elements in it. I love how they don't show too much affection to
Dec 10, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Too much with the baseball. I found myself skimming those parts but wishing for more about her relationships with her family, boyfriend, and friends.
Bibliophilic Richard
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Actual Rating : 3.5 / 5
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First, I have to thank my lovely friend Jess for telling me about this book. Once I looked it up and saw it was about the Cubs I knew I had to have it.
Second, this book made me really want to get in the car and just drive to Chicago again. I went there in high school and saw a few cubs games at Wrigley and it was awesome. I loved reading about everything Ryan and Nick loved about the Cubs and Wrigley. I loved that Ryan keeps score because I've never met another person who likes to do that. My da
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gave-4-5-stars
**This is a Window Seat Blog review: http://readinginthewindowseat.blogspo... **

I love books like these, with bittersweet plot lines and a reality that isn't sugarcoated. However, this is definitely not what I was expecting when I picked up this book. Honestly, that's why I could only give it four instead of five stars. I was expecting a fun, romantic read with, yes, a bit of lesson, but nothing so extreme and frankly sad as all this. I think had I been in the mood to read a book like this with
Jul 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ryan is accustomed to loss. Her father passed away five years ago, she doesn’t relate to her best friends anymore, and she is a Cubs fan. The anniversary of her father’s death happens to land on opening day, so Ryan skips school to go to the game. This is where she meets Nick. Another Cubs fan and also a new kid from her school. Thus, starting their friendship.

Nick’s friendship and the Cubs good fortune transform Ryan into the person she was before she let herself be dulled with grief. Nick relu
Jul 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I was expecting this book to be well-written (which it most definitely was) and to be off-putting since it involved baseball (which it was not) but I wasn't expecting it to be -this- sad. I'm still not quite sure what the heck happened at the end, but if it's what I think happened, then I am a sad, sad little girl and I need a moment to cry in silence. Jennifer Smith has written a really beautiful story. The ending was a little rushed, compared to the calm pacing of the rest of the novel, but ...more
Aliam Sunshine
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-have
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephanie A.
Given my total lack of anything resembling interest in baseball, I was surprisingly moved by the story. (view spoiler) ...more
Jan 22, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
it might be more like 2.5 stars. I don't know, I was not much into the sports talk and I didn't connect with her pain over losing her father, the romance was sweet but not my kind... I loved to pieces 2 other books from this author and I've been waiting to read this book for so, so long. It's just that it wasn't my kind of book.

I'm sure I'll have better luck with my next one.
Nov 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
Oh wow, this book was so good! I may not be much of a baseball girl (as I didn't grow up in a country where it was a popular sport), but I loved this story. Jen's writing style is so different from others, and I really like that a lot! ...more
Dec 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
I was thrown off by how technical Jennifer E. Smith got about baseball.
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I bought this book ages ago and it's been languishing on my shelves ever since. But finally, it started to sound interesting again.

Being a Midwesterner myself (though not a Cubs fan), I am very familiar with Cubbies culture, being a fan of a team with a yearly losing record, and life in the Midwest. It was nice to see so many things in it that I could relate to.

For probably 4/5 of the story, I was totally with it. It started a little slow getting to know Ryan and Nick (the third person narrator
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I've probably started every review of a book by Jennifer E Smith with "I really love Jennifer E Smith!" hahaha. She just writes such wonderful characters and relationships!! I've officially now read all of her novels and I've given each either 4 or 5 stars. Safe to say she's one of my favorite authors. I loved The Comeback Season, which appears to be Smith's first novel. I thought it was a wonderful story that addressed so many real world issues -tragedy and loss, young (but mature) love ...more
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eve beinguniquebooks
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ryan meets Nick at a baseball game on the fifth anniversary of her father's death. On the same day her mum and Kevin her step dad announced they are pregnant much to the joy of her little sister. Meanwhile, Nick and Ryan work together on a maths project whilst they hang out so much they don't go to the school dance together but Ryan does get a shock when Nick reveals he has and has had osteosarcoma tumors which is why he keeps having his arm break.

After getting over the shock, a silly mind bet a
Kevin Feldt
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Where has this book been my whole life? I stumbled upon the sport romance genre a couple of years ago but the few books I read were all romance and little sports. But this book took a deep dive into the psych of the hopeless baseball fan. The fan who never gives up hope, the fan who is always waiting for next year, the fan who can take the ridicule of supporting a losing team. Why? Because losing teaches us so much about life.

"..But there is an art to losing. It's just as important to know how
I didn't know what to expect from this book. The story wasn't bad but it wasn't that amazing either. I really loved The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. That was the first book I had ever read by Jennifer E. Smith and is definitely on of my favorite books in general. The Comeback Season wasn't quite up to the same standards as The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. While I loved the baseball aspect and the relationship between the two main characters, I still found th ...more
Bree T
Dec 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Ryan Walsh is fifteen and in her freshman year of high school. She’s cutting class to go to Opening Day at Wrigley Field, the start of yet another baseball season for the long-maligned team the Chicago Cubs. Baseball is a huge part of Ryan’s life, her father was a massive Cubs fan and had season tickets, taking her to many games, spending hours explaining the sad and disappointing history of them and what it is to be a Cubs fan. He died five years ago when Ryan was 10 and now baseball is the one ...more
Jan 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So this book was just okay. Overall it was kind of boring. I felt a bit overwhelmed with the amount of baseball lingo, etc that I didn’t care about - I know a lot about baseball but it’s not something I really enjoy watching like the characters do.

I feel like Smith’s writing is a very slow-paced style and in this book, it felt slower than usual. Some of the ideas were good but the execution was poor. If you’re looking for a book that you want to devour in one sitting because it’s so good, look e
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book is definitely my least favorite of Jennifer's. It didn't keep my attention well, and for such a short book, it seemed to drag on forever. I felt like there was very little character development, and other than Ryan, we really don't get to see too much of any other character, everyone else pretty much was unnecessary. I'm also not very satisfied with the ending, it left too many loose strings. I'm a big fan of Jennifer's newer works, so I would stick with those and skip this book. ...more
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I didn't know much about this book at all coming into it besides it was about baseball and it was a romance book. I was blown away by this book. I didn't expect it to be a sad book. The book was so heartbreaking but in the best way. My only problem with the book was it took me a little bit to get into this book so i had to go back and start at the beginning again but once I was invested I was hooked. ...more
Paola Aliedo
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
This book was a debut from Jennifer E. Smith and I was glad to finally had a copy.

I'm into sports and I actually enjoyed the story.

Ryan truly portrayed the teenagers nowadays. I love how passionate she is about baseball.

I was surprised at the 'secret' of Nick. I love how his optimism worked well with Ryan.

I was quite disappointed with the ending but Jennifer E. Smith worked her magic in this story.
Victoria Hawks
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this story. I actually loved that the romantic aspect wasn't the focal point in the book. It was really a story about finding yourself after a tragedy. The romantic aspects were nice because they weren't in your face all the time. I rather enjoyed the baseball references and explanations. Over all a sweet read.
It might not be too much scene between the main characters. It was more to revelation for female characters to move on from the past. And the ending made me felt sad, no, not sad 'sad, more like melancholy feeling. How it hard to move on, accept the absence of the loved one. It was good for someone who maybe didn't mind much about baseball. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Great 1 6 Aug 08, 2012 10:04AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die
  • Time Between Us (Time Between Us, #1)
  • Bittersweet
  • Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1)
  • Through to You
  • When It Happens
  • Hope Was Here
  • The Moon and More
  • Second Chance Summer
  • In Honor
  • Sent (The Missing, #2)
  • Four Days of You and Me
  • Moonglass
  • Redeemed (The Missing, #8)
  • Risked (The Missing, #6)
  • Torn (The Missing, #4)
  • Sabotaged (The Missing, #3)
  • Caught (The Missing, #5)
See similar books…
Jennifer E. Smith is the author of eight books for young adults, including WINDFALL and THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT. She earned her master's degree in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and her writing has been translated into 33 languages. ...more

Related Articles

Gothic romance, dueling family restaurants, West African magic, and much, much more! It sure looks like 2021 is shaping up to be a year of...
129 likes · 12 comments
“She understands now what she, in all her worry, had forgotten. That even as she hesitates and wavers, even as she thinks too much and moves too cautiously, she doesn't always have to get it right. It's okay to look back, even as you move forward.” 96 likes
“Emily tucks her knees up beneath her and leans forward on the table. 'Do you like Ryan?' she asks Nick, and Mom's eyes go wide. Kevin chokes a little on his water. Mortified, Ryan looks away, holding her breath.
Nick turns to Emily, and with mock seriousness, leans down to consult with her. 'Do you like Ryan?'
Emily considers this a moment, tapping a finger against her lips in thought. 'I guess most of the time,' she says finally. 'I guess she's okay.'
'Then I think so too' he says, turning back to the rest of the table. He winks at Ryan. 'We've decided you're okay.'
She breathes out. 'I can live with that.”
More quotes…