ARC Review: Out of Left Field by Kris Hui Lee
Out of Left Field
Author: Kris Hui Lee
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Sports, Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 320 pages
There’s no playing it safe in love or baseball in this sparkling debut, perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Kasie West. Marnie has never had a hard time fitting in with the guys. It would take a lot more than their goofy antics to keep her from joining them at the neighborhood sandlot to do what she loves best: play ball. An added perk of hanging out at the sandlot? Spending time with Cody Kinski, their high school’s star pitcher and Marnie’s best friend. Sure, he can be stubborn and annoying. He also knows how to make her laugh and respects her skills on the mound. And when he gets nailed in the arm by a bone-fracturing pitch, Marnie becomes the team’s best chance at making it to the playoffs. Except no one told the guys they’re supposed to be on her side. With her own team against her, Marnie begins questioning her abilities. And when fate throws her a curveball, can she play without losing the game, Cody, and her belief in herself?
I received a free copy for an honest review. This book was actually really good! I can't be happier about the fact that I actually enjoyed this, because this book despite not having my typical first choice-romance-trope of hate-love relationship, I was surprised by how much I was invested (and ship) Marnie and Cody (damn Cody's hot). The storyline was also really fun, and as a baseball player, I really appreciate the descriptive and extremely real description and wiring regarding baseball as a sport, as well as how I didn't get the vibe that the "sports" story-line is just a side story to set up only the romance, and have a really good place of honor in this book as well. I really like Marnie as a character. Despite still being very iron-wield and strong, she was not overly strong (to the point of just being annoying) like I see a lot fo yA books. She's not over the top, she's a respectable character that does know how to hold back her anger, therefore making her a lot more toleratable. The romance between her and Cody also has some really good chemistry. The author was also very smart to not do the annoying "miscommunication" BS that usually happens in cheaply-written contemporary books in order to make extremely unnecessary drama. The reasons why Cody and Marnie didn't get together until the end of fight ebook was very understandable and reasonable, so this added on to why I liked Marnie so much. However, the story does have a few very recognizable cliche trope scenes (but thankfully was not so bad it ruined my entire reading experience), and the story ended...kind of lazily. The story was generally really fun to read, but the quality wise I feel like it is kind of water down. There are also a lot of unfinished arcs regarding character and story-line that does not feel appropriate to be left open like that, so I'm going to for now assume there is going to be a sequel (because otherwise, that would just be...why would you do that. Like, why. That would truly be extremely lazy). The character development was also one of the weakest factors of this story. Especially where the synopsis indicates that Marnie would have to grow a lot to step up to the challenge, but ultimately the book ended literally with me feeling "wait, what?", instead of a true sense of closure. She still blamed herself at the end of the book, so maybe instead of ending the book with a makeout session, we can re-emphasize her self-realization of her reflecting upon herself as a pitcher instead of...that. Yeah, I was expecting a lot more, that was not enough to complete the character arc well. Nevertheless, this book may not be a masterpiece, it still is very enjoyable especially when you're just looking for an easygoing entertaining read. My Rating: 4.5/5
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kris is a contemporary YA author who found success through the online writing contest Pitch Wars in 2015, where her submitted manuscript eventually became her debut novel OUT OF LEFT FIELD. She is also a graphic designer and pianist.