Pitch

Pitch - Will Parkinson 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.