Out of Play by Jolene Perry, Nyrae Dawn

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Rock star drummer Bishop Riley doesn't have a drug problem. Celebrities—especially ones suffering from anxiety—just need a little help taking the edge off sometimes. After downing a few too many pills, Bishop wakes up in the hospital facing an intervention. If he wants to stay in the band, he’ll have to detox while under house arrest in Seldon, Alaska. 

Hockey player Penny Jones can't imagine a life outside of Seldon. Though she has tons of scholarship offers to all the best schools, the last thing she wants is to leave. Who'll take care of her absentminded gramps? Not her mother, who can’t even be bothered to come home from work, let alone deal with their new tenants next door. 

Penny’s not interested in dealing with Bishop’s crappy attitude, and Bishop’s too busy sneaking pills to care. Until he starts hanging out with Gramps and begins to see what he’s been missing. If Bishop wants a chance with the fiery girl next door, he’ll have to admit he has a problem and kick it. Too bad addiction is hard to kick…and Bishop’s about to run out of time.

Penny and Bishop (two 18- year-olds) are both lost and struggling with their own daily inner demons. Bishop, a young drummer for the famous band Burn, turns to popping pills when he can't handle all that comes with the fame.  After overdosing his mother and band manager decides it's time for him to take an impromptu vacation that leads him straight to Penny's back door in Alaska. Penny's only dream is to make the all guys hockey team at the local college, even if nobody else understands why. She struggles with trying to live her life the way she wants, while avoiding what everyone else thinks she should do. She isn't ready to deal with all those college scholarships coming in from prestigious women's hockey teams, especially while her grandfather 's Alzheimer's seems to be taking a turn for the worse . Cue our broken, pill addicted, hero. Penny isn't exactly sure what to make of Bishop when she meets the boy who has rented out all of the cabins her mother manages for an undefined time.  She knows he is hiding something, but is still finds herself drawn to him. Bishop feels he has no need to be in Alaska and is majorly pissed that he has been sent to "time out." He can't understand why everyone has turned against him, especially since he doesn't have an addiction. It's purely recreational. The last thing he expects to find in Alaska is a girl who makes him second guess his behavior. 

Their relationship was the perfect build. It was a slow cautious beginning that progressed into a fun flirty friendship and in the end their love was realistic and believable. The chemistry wasn't hot and spicy, in fact there was no sex in this book what's so ever (and I was perfectly ok with that because the focus was more on the plot and character development), but it was still captivating and engaging enough to hold your attention once they really started to interact with each other. I think this may be part of the reason I found the first half to be a bit slow. Out of Play is very much young adult and I had just come off some books that were very much adult like (erotica), so I think the very drastic change in genre's may have affected my initial thoughts. 

I really loved Bishop and Penny; they were like night and day, but yet in the same sense they resembled two peas in a pod. Penny is adventurous, she is sassy, and she kicks ass as a heroine. I loved her take charge; tell it how it is attitude. Penny doesn't hide, and she isn't afraid of responsibility. She's used to being “one of the guys."  On the other hand, Bishop is flawed; he is a danger to his self and others. The disease he is fighting has taken over and he lives in a daily dose of denial. For Bishop it's all about finding a means to escape the fear, panic, and stress caused by his rock star stature.  He can stop popping pills any time he wants; he is most definitely not an "addict." I found them both to be stubborn as all get out, and the walls they built around themselves stood wicked tall, not allowing room for anyone else to move in. Due to this their personalities were intense and quite often fun. I really enjoyed the sweet flirty moments between them; there was a lot of playful teasing that showed through the denial. Neither Bishop nor Penny wanted to admit to the attraction or friendship growing between them. I also adored the fact that their relationship wasn't just fun and games, it also held a serious emotional vibe to it, and as their feelings began to deepen and developed it was easy to see they fit perfectly together. 

My favorite part about this story was the lack of sex. The authors focused on the characters and the real life issues they faced in their daily lives while still allowing them to explore and experience the trials and trivia of falling in love at their age. It wasn't all about the kink or the descriptive sex scenes. Out of Play focused on drug abuse, love, redemption, recovery, self-discovery, and forgiveness. The message is heavy and by no means skimmed over.  

Out of Play was one of those books that caught me off guard and took me by complete surprise.  I wasn't expecting the raw emotion I ended up feeling when I finally realized, hey, I am totally invested in this couple. To be honest, the first half of the book moved very slowly in my opinion and I found a couple of times I drifted off to something else that caught my attention. However, I hung in there and I am wicked glad I did. Out of Play ended up squeaking out tears and a 4 star review.

Thanks to Jolene Perry and Nyrae Dawn, Entangled Publishing LLC, and Netgalley for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review.  

I am so tired of getting shit from everyone. Tired of feeling on edge all the time, like my own heart wants to eat me alive. I just want it all to go away. 

Bishop, the drummer for a the hugely popular band, Burn is making bad choices. Pills land him the hospital and then his manager and Mother shop him off to Alaska to get clean.

Alaskan native, Penny is the only female hockey player on her team. She is trying to figure out where to go to College and what she really wants for her future. All the guys like her. She thinks she is in love with one of them. But then Bishop rocks her safe little world. 

Bishop is so lost, but does not even realize to what extent. Anxiety, crowds, and stress send him over the edge. He uses poor coping mechanisms to cover up his issues, but that only causes more problems. He lacks control and has no real anchors in his life. He fights his forced sabbatical tooth and nail. But in the quiet of Alaska, he has no choice but to try to face his problems. And then he meets Penny. And the more he is around her, the more he starts to want to do better and be better. And her Gramps and his counselor Gary are also strong male influences that he really needed in his life even if it took him awhile to figure it out. 

"It's hard when so many people expect so much."
"That's definitely something I can relate to."

Penny finds that he is the only guy that really sees her and gets her. She has her own issues due to tragedies of her past and is terrified of being left. So trust is not easy for her. Together they begin to fill a void and develop a deeper understanding for what the other needs. It is an unlikely alliance and not one that is always supported by those around them. But it becomes emotional and significant. 

Her eyes are so blue, this wild shade that doesn't seem real, and it's like they can see through me, into me, And I want to see into her. To know what's inside her, but I don't. All I do know is I need to take away the pained look in them. 

... when I'm with her I feel like only the good parts of me show. 

Their lives are complicated. There are secrets and lies that threaten to come to the surface and could unravel it all. And when their world comes crashing down, will they be able to cope together or shatter apart?

This is the the story of two young people trying to find their own way. One is trying a forge her own path for her future. And one is trying to deal with his past, get healthy, and become the person he wants to be. It seemed more like a lighter YA novel at first, but became progressively more emotional and dramatic. I really came to like the characters with their strengths and their flaws. Before I knew it, I realized I was invested in them and I was hoping they could merge their divergent lives and ind happiness. It was painful, raw, and heartbreaking at times, but also had moments of sweetness. It is a story of the power of acceptance, forgiveness, and recovery. 

Thanks to Jolene Perry and Nyrae Dawn, Entangled Publishing LLC, and Netgalley for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review.  

I am a compulsive reader and writer who loves YA fiction. 
I love nothing more than writing about young adults. There is something so fresh and fun about it. You can pretty much always find me with a book in my hand or open document in front of me. 
I live in Southern California with my husband and two children.

Jolene Perry: 

I wear juvenile T-shirts, worn-out chucks, and eat too much chocolate. I write. A lot. I make up words, drink Shirley Temples, and suffocate a little without my iPod.

You can also find me under Jolene B Perry...


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