Press Play is an incredible and intense read!

WOW. That is the first word that comes to mind after reading Eric Devine's latest YA novel- Press Play.

Press Play by Eric Devine
Running Press // October 28, 2014
paperback, 368 pgs
ISBN: 978-0762455126
source: ARC from the publisher

About the book:
Pound by sweaty pound, Greg Dunsmore’s plan is working. Greg is steadily losing weight while gaining the material he needs to make the documentary that will get him into film school and away from the constant jeers of “Dun the Tun.”
But when Greg captures footage of brutal and bloody hazing by his town’s championship-winning lacrosse team, he knows he has evidence that could damage as much as it could save. And if the harm is to himself and his future, is revealing the truth worth the cost?

My thoughts:
It's been awhile since I read a book in a mere 24 hours. Press Play is one of those incredible page-turning stories that you just have to finish as quickly as possible. I had the luxury of camping over the long weekend and was able to spend a fair amount of time reading - I brought Press Play with me, knowing that I like Eric Devine and because this just sounded like a really good read.
I am SO glad I did.
I finished this book within 24 hours and it was one of those novels where when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it.
The 4 main characters were superbly developed - even though I can't say that I connected directly with their struggles, I can say that I understood them. They were so real. I could absolutely feel the anger and pain that flowed from Greg, the humiliation Ollie felt, the anger and deeply hidden secrets of Ella, and the fear within Quinn. Each member of this quartet was exposed to the reader, allowing us to really understand them and their experiences.
The story isn't your typical high school YA novel. It isn't filled with romance or vampires or your typical drama. Press Play is filled with emotion. It is a tale about the hazards of sports, cliques, unhealthy lifestyles, lying, and hazing. It is also about the truth... how it can set you free, save your ass, and keep you sane.
The overall idea of Greg catching video of how cruel the lax bros are (and many of the cliques in general) is heartbreaking. It is terrible because it is true. I cannot imagine being in high school now - I was lucky that in school I was a social butterfly and got along with pretty much every clique. My only bad experience was that I was damn good at sports and had a gaggle of older girls (that I beat in a gym class game) try to heckle me. I kept my head down, ignored them, still kicked ass in gym, and carried on - they eventually got bored. However, I do know a lot of people who had terrible high school experiences. Now, with the addition of social media, I cannot even imagine how quickly bullying can escalate. Press Play gives us a glimpse into how dangerous High School really can be.

Press Play has a great message and I am really impressed with it, I would recommend it, especially for older high school students. They could certainly learn a lot from this book.

Before you run off to grab this - check out the awesome book trailer!

About the author:
Eric Devine is a writer, high-school English teacher, and educational consultant. He is the author of the young adult novels Dare Me, Tap Out, which is a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, and This Side of Normal. He lives in Waterford, NY, with his family. He can be found online at ericdevine.org and via Twitter @eric_devine.

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Book image, author information, and synopsis from Amazon.com
Book trailer from Eric's webpage

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