Ryan’s passion is her Texas family’s minor league baseball team in this satisfyingly utterly predictable saga of girl-meets-boy (whom she should not fall for but does).
Ryan is focused on running the Buckley Beavers, which used to be a mom-and-pop organization. But since Mom and Dad divorced, she’s shouldering extra responsibilities, including picking up Sawyer Campbell, the No. 1 draft pick, at the airport. He arrives just in time to puke all over Ryan; the meet-cute requirement is met, and all ensuing expectations of the genre follow, including the embarrassing almost-naked moment and being forced to spend time together by clueless adults. Little baseball is in evidence, and the business side of sports is the mechanism for the developing romance as mascots, on-field promotions, chasing of sponsors, advertising, and special events run rampant. Ryan fights for the survival of the team while her mother threatens to sell out her share to heartless corporations. Both Ryan and Sawyer know that a relationship is a bad idea—not to mention against the rules—but the kiss at the end is foretold from the beginning. Ryan and Sawyer are white, and Ryan’s wealthy best friend, Mia, is Latinx. Sawyer’s twin brother has cerebral palsy and seems to stand in as a symbol signaling Sawyer’s goodness rather than being a well-rounded character.
For die-hard fans of the genre. (Romance. 14-18)