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*BLOG TOUR – Review & Guest Post* Pitch by Will Parkinson

August 8, 2013

17702165

Summary:

The day Jackson Kern walks into Taylor Andrews’s classroom is a momentous day in Taylor’s life. He’s had crushes before, sure, but as time goes on, this is starting to look a whole lot more serious. Still, Jackson doesn’t return Taylor’s feelings.

Taylor has his own admirers, though. Kevin Richards is used to getting what he wants, and what he wants right now is Taylor, so when Taylor rejects him, Kevin retaliates. At first Taylor’s entourage rallies around him, but then Kevin takes his deception one step further and Taylor sees his support dwindle, teaching him the valuable lesson about who he can truly consider a friend.

My Review:

 Don’t let others choose the kind of person you’re going to be.

That line right there is the theme of this book. From the moment we meet Taylor Andrews we know that he has a crush on the new boy who has walked into school. This crush turns quickly to infatuation as he sees Jackson Kern on the pitchers mound at baseball tryouts blowing the mind of the coach and everyone watching his ability. We see Taylor as he struggles with his unrequited feelings for Jackson; only telling his best friend Benny about his secret desires and his “what ifs.” You can’t help but fall for Taylor and his insecurities that endear him to the reader and Benny? Everyone, young or old deserves to have a best friend like that. Someone to not only stand up for you but to you when you need it.; the honesty and devotion Benny has for his friend is quite possibly the best part about this book. He is a fantastic character and I would love to see more of him.

What I enjoyed about Pitch was THE STORY. It was good. It took me back to being young in high school and having a crush on the one I thought I could never have; the feeling of not being good enough but just wanting to be near that person because I was drawn to them. That is Taylor with Jackson. I felt the story as pure and honest; seeing high school through the eyes of a young man dealing with being different than his pears and the fear that comes along with Taylor wanting to simply be who he is.  I can only assume what it would be like today, to be a young gay man in high school wanting to simply be who he is but having that fear, the fear that the person he tells could be homophobic and violent. Unfortunately, with the purity in this book comes the ugly side as well.

There was so much that happens in this book. While I enjoyed the story, I feel as if it was written in a race like pace. I would have loved to see more of Jackson and Taylor together, as well as more of Jackson before “the talk.” I am a fan of insta love in books but there was just something missing that couldn’t let me settle in with them as fast as I needed to.  I would have enjoyed a bit more of Benny and his relationship. I got that it was happening and figured it out, I just wanted to SEE it on the page.  I did not get the need for the angst with Kevin nor did I find it necessary. Had there been more to the story that prompted it I would have, could have gotten behind it. There was a lack of evolution in the relationships and character development that had they been there would have taken this book to a five star for me. The story, as I said was good, a few tweaks that this reader would have loved to see, were missing where I needed them to fully connect. The writing was great, it was an easy read. I just wanted more in ways that I did not get. I can’t say exactly what they are with out spoiling it but I will say that bit at the end, the reveal we get broke my heart. I saw it coming; I just did not want it that way.

My final thoughts… Pitch is a story that did make me think, made me wonder about the young men I see as I pick up my own teenage son from High School. Are these boys being true to themselves whether it be their sexual orientation, music they listen to, clothes they wear, art that they like etc. Do they have the support from family, friends or the inner strength to be their authentic selves even if it meant not being part of the “in crowd?”  I do believe that Pitch would be a wonderful story for the age group of which it was written and I look forward to future works of Mr. Parkinson.

Star RatingStar RatingStar Rating

The author is hosting a giveaway! Grand prize: Signed copy of Pitch and a $25 gift card to the winner’s choice of online book reseller.

>>>>>>ENTER HERE<<<<<<

GUEST POST:

I had the pleasure of asking Will Parkinson, “What drew you to write m/m YA and what are the biggest obstacles you feel are out there with the genre?”

I enjoy the young adult view on life. We live in interesting times, where kids are more open about who they are and more accepted for being ‘different’. Getting into this mindset is a challenge for me because when I was younger the only gay people were shunned and ridiculed.

When I wrote Pitch, one of the characters is forced out of the closet and fears going back to school. He finds that school isn’t as awful as he feared it would be. Some people act like jerks, but by and large, people really just don’t care.

I never believed in my life we’d see legalized gay marriage. We would never see kids forming Gay-Straight Alliances. Those books featuring gay characters would never become socially acceptable. The kids of today are challenging that way of thinking and showing that they are the true leaders and that everyone else better step aside, because they won’t brook anyone telling them what they should think or feel. In that, I’m very proud of the young people who will soon take control and, hopefully, make sweeping changes in the lives of others who have been disenfranchised, because of whatever reason.

I think the most prevalent obstacle is getting our books out to the people who need to see them. There is still a lot of prejudice in America today. When I was working with Kris Jacen to get the word out on Lost and Found, I heard the story of a young man whose parents put him out on the highway because they found a gay romance novel on his Kindle. He is the kind of person who needed the books to show him he wasn’t alone, he does matter, and regardless of what happens in the future, he is important.

About the Author:

WILL PARKINSON believes that no matter what obstacles are thrown in the path of young love, it will always find a way to win in the end. He wants his characters to have their happily ever after, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to come easily.
None of this would have happened if he had followed the advice he was given many years ago. “What are you wasting your time on that for? It’s never going to amount to anything.” He believed it for the longest time, abandoning characters he’d created in his childhood.
He picked up his very first m/m story by a writer named Eden Winters, who was an absolute joy when they corresponded. She asked him if he wrote and he told her the story. Eden explained to Will that the voices in his head would never go away and how he needed to let them out. With that thought in mind, Will put e-pen to e-paper once more. It was truly a liberating experience and one he has no intention of giving up again.

Follow the tour!

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Pitch

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Trix permalink
    August 8, 2013 9:28 am

    Thank you so much for the review!

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