Rating: 4.75 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
The second Jackson Kern walked into his homeroom, Taylor Andrews knew he was a goner. Sure he’d had crushes on straight guys before, but there was something about Jackson that drew Taylor in, made him want to be closer to the baseball star. But soon after Jackson’s arrival, his new girlfriend made it clear to Taylor she and Jackson thought his infatuation with Jackson was disgusting and pathetic, and warned him to stay far away from her man.
Taylor couldn’t seem to reconcile the boy that seemed to want to make his school and community a better place and the boy full of hate and vile words. Determined to have Jackson as a friend, Taylor volunteers on several committees with him in order to show Jackson that he wants to be part of the success that Jackson was creating in their community. But no matter how he tries, the canyon separating Taylor and Jackson seems to only get bigger.
Everything changes when Taylor meets Kevin Richards at the Halloween dance. Kevin seems like what Taylor needs to get over Jackson, but letting his guard down turns out to be his worst mistake. Not only is Kevin violent, but he’s obsessive. When Taylor shows up at school bruised and battered, Jackson’s protective instincts kick in. After Taylor and Jackson find their way together, secrets, lies, and jealousies threaten to tear them apart. But nothing risks the new bond between Taylor and Jackson like the threats from Kevin that may tear apart everything Taylor holds dear.
When I think of what I look for in a young adult book, a few things come to mind. First, there has to be that puppy-love, love-at-first-sight feeling. Second, there has to be drama, because young adults are nothing if not dramatic. And finally, I want the story to keep me interested, not only adult-Crissy, by young-at-heart-Crissy. And I’m happy to say, that Pitch by Will Parkinson is all of the above.
The best part of this story is the characters. Taylor is an angst-filled teenage boy who finds himself infatuated by the new kid in school. Taylor is a great lead character. He’s emotional, yet strong. He’s head-over-heels for the boy he doesn’t really know, yet he has a good head on his shoulders. His growth and progression throughout this story is sweet and encouraging. Then there is Jackson, who is misunderstood throughout most of the book. But he’s got to be the sweetest, most forgiving guy on earth.
Most of all, I love Benny. He’s my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Taylor and Jackson, but Benny…well, you’ll understand when you read the book. Benny is Taylor’s best friend. He’s beyond supportive and completely accepting. He’s protective of Taylor and absolutely precious. He is everything you think about when it comes to a best friend. And the ending, the lead in to Benny’s own story, is perfect. I can hardly wait to read it.
As you probably already know, young adult is not usually my chosen genre, but this story had me interested early on. It’s well written, entertaining, and engrossing. I love the teenage angst that is prevalent in this tale. The story is sweet, funny, emotional, and sad at times. Parkinson puts forth some tough subjects that the younger generation has to deal with and shows us what it looks like from the other side. He not only shows us the hardships those that are bullied or abused take on, but he brings to light the effects on the victim’s loved ones. He also presents the aftermath, the it-gets-better. It’s truly a beautiful story all around.
So, as you can tell, even with my sometimes-aversion to young adult, I absolutely loved this book. The characters are wonderful and the teenage angst is spot-on. This is the first Will Parkinson original that I’ve had the pleasure of reading, and now I’m looking forward to what comes in the future. I especially cannot wait for dear, sweet Benny’s story. I highly recommend Pitch by Will Parkinson.