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Review – The Comeback Season

October 5, 2008

Once again the Chicago Cubs have broken hearts and seemingly handed a winning season away to the wind.  Oh, the disappointment; oh, the hurt; oh, the pain.  For what all true fans know is more than just a game.

So very much like the game of life as related by Jennifer E. Smith in her first novel, The Comeback Season.

The Comeback Season author Jennifer E. Smith is interviewed on The First Book.

The Comeback Season author Jennifer E. Smith is interviewed on The First Book.

The story of Ryan and Nick as they struggle to learn about life and loss is forever aligned when they both skip school to catch the Cubbies game.  Not just any game but the magical opening day in April at Wrigley Field.  Their trials, much like those of the historical Cubs baseball story, hold tight to bargains, curses, and hope.

But what if the one you loved wasn’t around to disappoint you any more?  What if Ryan didn’t have the bargains to blame?  What if Nick didn’t believe in some curses?  What if we, what if they, had no hope, no reason to remember, no way to hold on?

As the current Cubs hopeful season ends on a strike three and they’re out, The Comeback Season proves to us that the game of life is all about how you play it.  There is always next year, hopefully.

Ryan and Nick get my most valuable player award for knowing that there may not always be a “next year”.  They would rather cherish the deja vu than to risk never loving the magic that comes from both baseball and life.

They hope; they learn; they love for their Cubs and themselves. For just a game.  The game of life they play most beautifully.

The Comeback Season, published in 2008 by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, has been nominated as a YALSA 2009 Best Book for Young Adults.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. alexis cook permalink
    October 7, 2009 7:06 pm

    This was a fabulous book! It was by far the best book i’ve ever read! It is a heart-breaking story. There are many ups and downs! It goes from good to bad to good in a hearbeat! I just wish it didn’t end with Ryan’s mom having the baby and then nothing else good happening. In the end, Nick wasn’t really around to say anything, the bood just ended in what he would have said.

  2. Rocio A. permalink
    December 29, 2009 11:15 pm

    Does Nick Die

    • Bree permalink
      May 1, 2013 8:16 pm

      I honestly have no idea. I think Smith made it ambiguous on purpose, so the reader could decide if they really believe in hope or not.

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