Reviews

The Passing Playbook, by Isaac Fitzsimons

ezraloacire's review

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emotional hopeful inspiring lighthearted medium-paced

4.25

trudi's review against another edition

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hopeful inspiring 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? No

4.0

angus_reed's review against another edition

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

5.0

daydreamernightreader's review

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4.0

4.5 stars for this one!!

nebelblumen's review against another edition

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

4.5

clionicg's review against another edition

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

4.75

gemma_the_edgy_librarian's review against another edition

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5.0

LOTS OF LOVE FOR THIS MASTERPIECE!

For once, I really don't have anything negative to say.
I started this book for a work project, I finished it for myself because I was absolutely in love.

Feelgood, heart-warming, uplifting YA the likeness of which I haven't read in years. I cannot say it is drama-free. It contains a moderate level of teenage drama that comes to a logical and happy conclusion, and I am so glad it did!!

I started this book because I was told it was about school bullying, but I did not get a single ounce of it. NONE! I am a bit disappointed because now I have to look for another book for my project, but I'm actually so glad to have found a book where the transgender protagonist is fully supported both at home and at school. I know the reality is different for many transgender kids, but I was relieved to read about nice, understanding and inclusive characters for once. We surely need even this kind of examples in our daily lives.

The slow-burn romance is absolutely heart-melting and adorable! It was just OOOWs and AAAAAWs all the way for me. I am a bit disappointed about its bittersweet open ending, but I guess it is how high-school romances should be, open and full of possibilities.

Kudos to the author for an amazing job with pronouns throughout the novel. The protagonist is never misgendered, not even in the flashbacks about his life pre-transition. The author has shaped the scenes and the dialogues so that wrong pronouns and dead names are not needed. I truly appreciated that!

As much as I loved Spencer's coming-out journey throughout the book...
Spoiler I was a bit disappointed by Justice's journey. He takes indeed big steps at the end of the book. He helps with the petition, he decides to be openly gay in his new school. Still... I don't know. It feels like Justice's coming out was dictated by circumstances rather than his own act of courage. But I guess it's ok. Everyone comes out at their own time and pace.


Last but not least, I so much love the spirit of Spencer's football team, and all the examples of positive masculinity it brings. There's not a single toxic male figure in the team, and I just love that for him, and for the readers as well. It is so nice to enjoy a YA queer novel with a sport theme without worrying about toxic representation!

princely_deeds's review against another edition

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lighthearted relaxing fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? N/A

4.5

grapehead's review against another edition

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hopeful inspiring

3.25

Spencer is a stealth trans guy who recently moves to a new school and joins the soccer team. Initially, things go well, but Spencer ends up benched because of local laws and the F on his birth certificate. He struggles between staying closeted or standing up and fighting to be allowed to play.

The story is easy to digest and has a good message. I especially appreciated its approach on coming out, with emphasis on how personal of a decision it is and stating that not coming out is a completely valid option.

The team dynamic was great. I loved how encouraging and supportive they all were of each other. Justin did annoy me in the beginning and I struggled to understand Spencer's crush on him at that time. I did warm up to Justin a little more by the end and thought the romance was fine.

For my own preferences, I found this book to be enjoyable enough but not the type of thing I should keep picking up. For those that really enjoy YA contemporary and sports in books, this book hits the right notes and is sure to please.  

w31rdk1ds's review against another edition

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted relaxing 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? It's complicated

4.0