Review: Press Play

Oct •  20 •  2014

I received this book for free from FTC: Exchange for honest opinion, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: Press PlayPress Play by Eric Devine
Series: Stand Alone
Published by Running Press Kids on October 28th 2014
Genres: Young Adult-Contemporary
Source: FTC: Exchange for honest opinion, Publisher

Greg Dunsmore, a.k.a. Dun the Ton, is focused on one thing: making a documentary that will guarantee his admission into the film school of his choice. Every day, Greg films his intense weight-loss focused workouts as well as the nonstop bullying that comes from his classmates. But when he captures footage of violent, extreme hazing by his high school’s championship-winning lacrosse team in the presence of his principal, Greg’s field of view is in for a readjustment.
Greg knows there is a story to be told, but it is not clear exactly what. And his attempts to find out the truth only create more obstacles, not to mention physical harm upon himself. Yet if Greg wants to make his exposé his ticket out of town rather than a veritable death sentence, he will have to learn to play the game and find a team to help him.
Combine the underbelly of Friday Night Lights with the unflinching honesty of Walter Dean Myers, and you will find yourself with Eric Devine’s novel of debatable truths, consequences, and realities.

One thing that I enjoy about Eric Devine’s stories is that they are raw and real. He never down plays the story but really tells it how it is. Because folks, we live in a real world with cruel people. I’ve seen it many times on tv. Kids being hazed in the most ugly, crazy, and de-humanzing way. Kids being bullied and pressured to fit in. This story captures what teens go through today.

Plot: This is about a young boy who loves to video tape. He tries to captures what goes on in his high school halls ways and has stumbled upon some harsh hazing. He decided to investigate further going onto much trouble he never seen before. He also battles with his weight (which kids constantly make fun of him) and him just learning to survive. Really this story is gritty. At times I cringed but could not look away. This kids are so harsh and so mean. I’m not going to lie and say that this story angered me a lot. The plot is good. It captures the reader right away.

Hazing/bullying: This is the part that angered me the most. No matter who Greg went too, EVEN TEACHERS, no one would help him. They never believed him. How could they sit there and brushed him as nothing. This kid has evidence yet the schools used it against him saying it was against school polices. UGH! The nerve of these people. These kids suffered yet no one did anything to protect or save the kids.

Ending: At least the ending gave some redemption for what these kids went through but only because the kids took matters into their own hands. No adults wanted to stand up for them until they did it for themselves. And you know what? That’s what happens in today schools. No one wants to take responsibility and its the kids that suffer in the end.

I really enjoyed this story. It certainly stirred up many emotions and got me thinking. You want a good look at what goes on with teens today, read this book. Press Play is a gritty yet realistic story that is gripping.

I give it 4 BITES!


Happy Reading!


  1. Jenny
    Oct 20, 2014

    Wow. This sounds like a brutal story Savy! I know the hazing/bullying aspect is going to be really hard to read, particularly since no adult gives him the benefit of the doubt and attempts to help. Grrrrr. Thanks for putting it on my radar!

  2. Oooh it sounds amazing! I LOVE realistic books that aren’t all chummy and cheesy and this sounds like one good read! I’ll definitely check it out! Great review 🙂
    Book Maniac Reviews

  3. Giselle
    Oct 20, 2014

    Aww bullying stories make me so sad bc that shit really happens IRl. I have been eyeing this book for a while it sounds like it’s def worth the read! 🙂

  4. Kate @ Ex Libris
    Oct 20, 2014

    This sounds like a book with a lot of relevance right now!

  5. This is the kind of story I like in the way the kids stand up for themselves. It’s the kind I hate because the parents are ineffectual and some of it can be taken from real life. 🙁 Not sure if it is for me but I loved the review!

  6. Candace
    Oct 21, 2014

    Wow, this would be one crazy emotional ride! I like books like this because I get so emotionally invested. But they aren’t always easy to read!

  7. Christine
    Oct 22, 2014

    It sounds like such a hard decision that I’m sure a lot of teenagers have to go through: rat out someone who is doing something bad or ignore it because they are the star player/team/etc. The teachers not believing Greg is so FRUSTRATING. This is why we have these issues. If someone reports something like this, they should treat it as real.