Press Play - Eric Devine

Jun 03, 2014 Maggie rated it 4 of 5 stars

I received an advance review copy from NetGalley.

This is a powerful book on several levels. First, the characters are real and many readers are going to identify with at least some aspect of at least one of the varied cliques. Second, the action moves along and draws the reader in which makes this a good book for reluctant readers. And third, the content touches on so many school related social situations which makes this an easy book to recommend to teachers for choice reads. Teachers will need to be aware that the realistic characters also use realistic language.

I believe one of the strengths of this book is how the author chooses to address obesity. Greg Dunsmore, a.k.a. Dun the Ton, has struggled with his weight since middle school. Now, as a junior in high school, he is ready to do something about it. But, Greg's motivation goes beyond his health, he wants to document his weight loss and create a film that will help him achieve his ultimate goal, getting into a film school. Greg is not alone in this journey. He has a friend, Quinn, who is behind him in his efforts and goes beyond just offering words of support. Quinn uses his knowledge of exercise and diet to be Greg's personal trainer. I found this to be powerful. Quinn would text Greg what his best/healthiest school lunch choice was for that day. Quinn also designed the daily workouts for Greg and motivated him to succeed. It is this combination, exercise, diet, personal trainer support that helps Greg see his weight loss as something achievable.

In addition to the weight loss theme, there is bullying, hazing, abuse of authority and power as well as friendship and acceptance. All together, there is something in this book for each reader.