A review by seawarrior
The Passing Playbook, by Isaac Fitzsimons

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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