PRESS PLAY by Eric Devine


Age Range: 12 - 16
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An intense cult surrounding an all-state high school lacrosse team is slowly exposed by the school’s largest student.

Under the guidance of his best friend, Quinn, Greg “Dun the Ton” Dunsmore has been slowly chipping away at his 352-pound body with intense workouts in the school’s weight room. One day, Greg and Quinn mistakenly discover the lacrosse team’s hazing rituals, led by team captain Alva and head coach/school principal Mr. Callaghan. Greg, a budding film student, slowly captures various hazing incidents on film and, with the help of fellow fattie Ollie and fellow filmie Ella, creates a documentary with the purpose of taking the lacrosse team down. The book is structured like a conspiracy thriller, but the problem here is a bit obvious: Readers know from the outset that Callaghan is the head of the snake. Coupling this knowledge with repetitive scenes of Greg capturing footage and deciding it isn’t enough evidence, which leads to capturing more footage, makes for a real drag. Like Greg, this book could stand to lose some excess weight. There’s simply not enough story here. Making matters worse, the filmmaking teens are presented as types rather than actual characters, with their bullies so cartoonishly drawn that their problems have the level of complexity of an after-school special.

Too long, too simple. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 28th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-7624-5512-6
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Running Press Teens
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2014


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