Reviews tagging Drug abuse

The Passing Playbook, by Isaac Fitzsimons

21 reviews

lydv33's review against another edition

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.5


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georgie_drake's review against another edition

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funny hopeful informative inspiring fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0


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mattheo's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful inspiring
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.25


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seawarrior's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful inspiring lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

This was such a rewarding book to read. I loved following Spencer's story and his goals, and moving forward with him from feelings of fear to those of courage. This book is tied together with moments of bravery and of love, reminding us that both are intertwined. 

It's always a struggle for me to read books that have plots containing LGBTphobia, since they can unleash flashbacks. However, this story handled those topics with sensitivity and displayed to the reader that even in seemingly hopeless circumstances, there will always be someone willing to support you and to fight for you. I felt some of my own fears fade away as Spencer learned this for himself. 

My only issue with this book was the way Theo was written. As an autistic reader, it definitely gets tiring to see autistic characters presented more like problems than people. However, as the book went on I started to feel that Theo was given enough quirks and expression to resemble a full personality. Spencer and his family clearly love Theo and are very patient and understanding towards him, which I appreciated. Yet I would understand if other autistic readers leave the novel still feeling upset by the way he's portrayed.  

Overall I thought this was a really enjoyable book. The romance and friendships were sweet and exciting, and I loved how Spencer's parents were presented as imperfect people who loved their children enough to do better by them. I was also grateful that the subject of religiously bigoted families was approached with sensitivity for the vulnerable LGBT+ youth who are raised by them. I would definitely recommend this book to other readers. Even if stories about sports teams and romance aren't really your thing, you're likely to find something that pulls you into this book and makes you love it too. 

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yarnbug's review

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emotional hopeful inspiring medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

I love sports fiction because there's a built in support system. Yes, sometimes you have to earn that support but they have to earn yours too. That's clear to see in this book. 

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imstephtacular's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful inspiring reflective tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

4.75


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lauren07's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful lighthearted reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75


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melsuke's review

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emotional hopeful inspiring fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0


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xoodlebooks's review against another edition

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hopeful lighthearted relaxing medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

5.0


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oceansofnovels's review against another edition

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medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

4.5

There are so many little things in this book that I absolutely love. Our main character, Spencer, is a trans guy. After being bullied for being trans at his old school, he moves to a new school where he goes stealth (doesn't disclose his trans identity). 

Spencer is such a great character, and on his first day at the QSA (Queer Straight Alliance) he uses his passing privilege to stand guard outside the men's bathroom so that another trans student, Riley, can use the bathroom without having to worry about any cis guys coming in. 

Theo, Spencer's younger brother, is autistic. I adore the relationship between them, Spencer genuinely cares about his little brother and that's such a great thing to see, especially when I've read so many books where the autistic sibling is treated like a burden. Theo is definitely not a burden, and despite the age difference, Spencer seems to really enjoy spending time with Theo. 

I had mixed feelings about Spencer's parents throughout the story, at times they seemed so wonderful and supportive, but at other times it was almost like they didn't really see Spencer as a boy. Luckily, by the end of the book, it is extremely clear how much they love and support both of their sons, and it's lovely to see. 

The relationship between Spencer and Justice was built really well, it started out a little bit rocky but became something beautiful. It wouldn't be a high school romance without some kind of drama, but it all ends well. The love interest comes from a very religious family who are homophobic, transphobic, etc. and this definitely has an impact on the relationship. I felt really bad for Justice, especially with some of the stuff he had to listen to from his family and people at his church - and that was before they even knew he was gay. 

There are some great friendships throughout this book, Spencer has a best friend named Aiden who he met at a trans camp. Aiden is a pretty cool guy who helps Spencer through some stuff. He's also in a band called The Testostertones, which is the coolest band name ever in my opinion. There's also Riley, who Spencer meets at his school's QSA. Riley is a sweet kid and Spencer repeatedly sticks up for them and quickly befriends them. Spencer's football teammates quickly accept him on to the team and acknowledge how valuable he is as a player. Their friendships build throughout the book and it is incredible to see Spencer bonding with the team, especially as this is something he's wanted for a long time. 

Football is really important to Spencer. He's been playing for most of his life, and now he's finally playing on the boy's team at his school, as he should be. That is, until he's benched because the law says he can't play on a boy's team while there's an F on his birth certificate. As he's not out as trans at his new school, Spencer has a big decision to make - come out and risk losing his friends, or stay benched and miss out on the chance to do what he loves. 

Overall, this book is incredibly heartwarming and the social commentary is spot on. There are some extremely powerful and moving scenes throughout and I can say with certainty that I love this book and will happily read whatever Isaac Fitzsimons writes next. 

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