PLAYING THE FIELD by Phil Bildner

PLAYING THE FIELD

Age Range: 14 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Implausible characterizations and motivations run through this high-school senior’s first-person narration of a feud, a crush and making the boys’ baseball team. Darcy, a stellar pitcher-hitter-shortstop, has spent three glum years relegated to the (losing) girls’ softball team. The school principal—who’s dating Darcy’s mother, to Darcy’s horror—hears some information from his son (on whom Darcy and ex-best friend Josh both have mad crushes): Supposedly Darcy’s a lesbian. This is false but inexplicably convinces the principal to allow Darcy onto the baseball team. A vendetta between Josh and Darcy involves their crush object and the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance. Darcy’s consistent cockiness and perfect play—“I fielded each one effortlessly (as usual)”—make her goal achievements hard to care about. Bildner relies on commentary like, “My mouth literally dropped” and “I visibly gasped” to force a sense of urgency. Too improbable for realism, not sharp enough for farce and simply unconvincing. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-4169-0284-8
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2006




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