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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-winningGreg 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....

Title : Press Play
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780762455126
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Press Play Reviews

  • A.G. Howard
    2019-02-26 19:32

    Wow. This book is intense. I'm not a huge reader of contemporary but once I started this, I couldn't put it down. It's gritty and dark -- with vicious bullying displayed front and center in several graphic yet authentic scenes. The best thing about this book was how Mr. Devine made you care about the characters too much to close your eyes to the violence. You had to keep them open and see the story through, just like our protagonists. If more people would do that in real life, maybe books like this would be considered fantasy, instead of reality fiction. Should be required reading at every high school.

  • Alicia
    2019-03-02 13:33

    There are quite a few unique elements of this story that make it complex and evocative, more than an average YA novel. And, even for some YA literature that tends to be sensationalistic, this one doesn't feel that way, it's feels compelling. While I still think there's quite a bit of cursing to get used to (and I'm not prude about it), it's certainly fashionable in this machismo environment rich with 'tradition' and 'history' of a lacrosse team that are gods in their school. Sadly, it's supported by the administration, but it's not necessarily about the fact that they get away with anything, it's about the hazing they do within their group that is notable. They maim, torture, and abuse their teammates. Yet, the focus of the story is on the mental and physical transformation of Greg, an overweight high school kid who has a passion for film and an aversion to the emotional abuse he's suffered by classmates. He has decided to get fit and record it documentary-style. There is support from his friend, who gives him tips and spots him when working out. It's a very healthy description of what should/could happen but not preachy. There are family problems between Greg and his friends that make the story realistic and even situations that are painfully truthful (the fact that Greg's mom feeds him as her only way to show love and who can't cope with the fact that he wants to trim down and therefore does not eat everything baked, cooked and/or given to him feels like an affront to her). And then there's Ella, a possible girlfriend prospect with her own bullying baggage, who teams up with Greg and his group to blow the lid off the 'lax bros' and show everyone what's really been going on. The book feels smart and has a sensitivity about it. Highly recommended.

  • La La
    2019-02-28 17:59

    Well, I would like to know where my original mini-review and rating went for this book. It is still on my Read shelf. Hmmm... strange. This book is in my top ten YA for 2014 and I was stopping here for the link to that review. I will figure this out!! Anyway, READ THIS BOOK even if Contemporary isn't your thing because it isn't mine and I LOVED this story; very real, very gritty, and thought provoking.

  • Karen Ball
    2019-03-05 13:58

    Inside the gym, Kyle and Stephen are lying facedown on the ground. An upperclassman sits on top of each one. Gilbey stands before them holding a bag with a spoon... There's something brown inside... "You are a part of this team, aren't you?... Of course you are a part of this team, because we will never let you go," Alva says. "Gilbey? The spoon?" I had to reread Press Play this week after hearing about the hazing in Sayreville, NJ, on the news. When I first read the book, it seemed like an over-the-top version of team hazing and bullying, designed to get people talking. After watching the Sayreville superintendent's press conference on his decision to completely cancel their football team's entire season, I realized that there is much more reality to this than I ever wanted to believe. Greg Dunsmore, aka "Dun the Ton", is an overweight outcast at his high school. His interests lie in video and filmmaking, and his goal is to get into a top film school when he graduates and escapes high school. To do that, he will have to create and submit a film project - and it will have to be incredibly good. His initial idea is to create a documentary of his own weight-loss journey, from his workouts with his friend Quinn as his coach to his experiences being bullied and humiliated about his weight in the hallways, and his home life where Mom's answer to any painful experience is food. He connects with fellow film student Ella, who's dealing with her own bullying issues, and fellow overweight loner Ollie. While he's creating the workout videos in the school weight room with Quinn and Ollie, they overhear the lacrosse team in the gym, and it doesn't sound like practice. Hidden beneath the bleachers, they discover the lacrosse upperclassmen verbally and physically abusing the younger players. Greg decides to film those incidents of hazing - after all, these are the same players who have been tormenting him for years. Upon his attempt to make the superintendent aware of the issues, he realizes that the principal and other adults have been in on everything, and if he's going to make it out of this, he's going to have to do something different... something that scares him to death. He's going to have to join the team for Hell Week training and convince them that he's making a positive film about the winning team that everyone loves. Getting the story told truthfully on film in a challenge, but getting the truth to the people who will actually do something about it is the real challenge. Greg doesn't make the right decisions at every turn, which makes this even more realistic. This is well-written, gripping, and I recommend this for 8th grade and up.I really want my EMS graduates in high school to read this. But I also want my 8th graders to read this. There is a lot of swearing, and the bullying scenes should literally make your blood run cold. The reason I want my 8th graders to read this is that I want them to think carefully about what kind of person they want to be when they get to the high school. What do you want yourself to do when the lights go out and you hear the wolf howl signal? Will you step up and say something, and will you keep saying something until someone listens? Will you hide in the back and say nothing while you watch? Or will you be laughing and egging someone on? What kind of character does it take to do the right thing in the face of certain ostracism, and possible violence? My point of view in recommending books like Press Play to my students is that if they take a walk in these shoes, through these fictional events, then they have the chance to consider what they would WANT themselves to do if they are ever confronted with a situation like this. We don't throw our soldiers into battle without training, nor do we allow doctors to operate without training. Giving students books like this one arms them with scenarios and possible choices to think through when they are not facing them under pressure. That may possibly be the best training we can give them.

  • Maggie
    2019-03-12 14:38

    I received an advance review copy from NetGalley.This is a powerful book on several levels. First, the characters are real and many readers are going to identify with at least some aspect of at least one of the varied cliques. Second, the action moves along and draws the reader in which makes this a good book for reluctant readers. And third, the content touches on so many school related social situations which makes this an easy book to recommend to teachers for choice reads. Teachers will need to be aware that the realistic characters also use realistic language. I believe one of the strengths of this book is how the author chooses to address obesity. Greg Dunsmore, a.k.a. Dun the Ton, has struggled with his weight since middle school. Now, as a junior in high school, he is ready to do something about it. But, Greg's motivation goes beyond his health, he wants to document his weight loss and create a film that will help him achieve his ultimate goal, getting into a film school. Greg is not alone in this journey. He has a friend, Quinn, who is behind him in his efforts and goes beyond just offering words of support. Quinn uses his knowledge of exercise and diet to be Greg's personal trainer. I found this to be powerful. Quinn would text Greg what his best/healthiest school lunch choice was for that day. Quinn also designed the daily workouts for Greg and motivated him to succeed. It is this combination, exercise, diet, personal trainer support that helps Greg see his weight loss as something achievable. In addition to the weight loss theme, there is bullying, hazing, abuse of authority and power as well as friendship and acceptance. All together, there is something in this book for each reader.

  • Britney
    2019-02-23 17:42

    I don't usually read Eric Devine books cause they are not the types of books I like to read but this one way actually really good and interesting. -Greg also known as Don the Ton is a bigger sized teen trying to lose weight. his best friend Quinn is helping him and also the way Greg learns a dark secret quinn has. So quinn is helping him record his weight lose for a movie project too.And the theme of his project quickly changes after see what the lacrosse team was doing to new members if they tried out for the team.And what made them go to the gym was chanting.And they filmed all the stuff they saw.But they pretty much can't show the film to anyone because the whole town relies on the team and the coach is the principal and frankly doesn't like Greg. And he can't go to the wrong person because they will make his future disappear if he does. So Greg and quinn team up with a pretty girl named Ella and another kid named Ollie who teams up to lose weight too. For springbreak Greg and Ollie go with the lacrosse team so the train and act like they are there to lose weight.But something happened and Ollie refused to come back so Greg had to go back by himself the next day.He ends up in the hospital he could have died but coach Mallory stopped them before the could do anything else to Greg.Mallory is nice unlike Philmont. But Greg has all the evidence to expose the lacrosse team. And quinn finally tells his father that deep dark secret. And Greg does fantastic on losing weight

  • Hannah
    2019-02-21 18:44

    Press Play by Eric Devine is about a guy named Greg (aka Dun the Tun) who needs a documentary for a school project, and decides to make a documentary of himself losing weight because he is majorly overweight. This novel shows you that no matter what obstacles get in your way, if you try hard enough, and put enough effort into something you can achieve your goal.I really liked this book because it was aimed towards teenagers. It is based on a teenagers life who struggles with difficult topics such as getting bullied, and being overweight. Greg also goes through similar difficulties that teenagers go through today such as parents fighting and fights between your friends. This novel has vulgar language which teenagers are definitely used to today. There was one conflict that could probably relate to some schools, but doesn't to our school. The lacrosse team had senior captains and new younger players who wanted to join the team. While Greg was recording his documentary in the weight room, he heard people yelling and loud noises coming from the gym, which was the players that were on the team the previous year playing the pain game. This game was exactly how it sounds, painful and even if someone missed a practice they would punish them. I could imagine another school having this sort of team and i feel really bad if this kind of behavior does exist because it is cruel. In all honestly, I really liked this book, and the author, I like his writing style. This book persuaded me to read Dare Me, and I also purchased his latest book, Look Past.

  • Hunter
    2019-02-21 16:53

    Press Play by Eric Devine is an emotional roller coaster of a book and has a very compelling message. The protagonist, or Greg Dunsmore, is a little over thought in a way by how much happens to him in the book. He goes through a series of challenges, like weight issues, and extreme bulling, some creating very deep emotional feelings inside of me from what he deals with. The book was rather good although it could remove some sections as it attempts to drag on the plot in a way that does not create suspense but a boredom in the reader. It also became a little unrealistic, the main character was bullied very much and having to have other problems like his weight and filming of a hazing process by a lacrosse team on his school. Overall the book is a good read but I would not recommend it to anyone but only to those who look for a more emotional book.

  • Liezl Ruiz
    2019-03-01 16:42

    So I discovered netgalley. After reading 4 fantasy books, I was burned out with all the world-building... and I still have 7 books on my ARC pile. It was hard choosing what book to read next that I decided to read a chapter for each copy before proceeding to finish one. Press Play was the third book I skimmed. Well, supposedly because I was not able to put it down before I'm done with it. I had no idea this book was middle grade. For my first impression, the cover was quite intriguing: a group of guys (couldn't tell their age then) with blurred faces in a line facing far off the distance with silhouette of others behind them. And then the title, Press Play. The cover and the title offer a wise marketing strategy for those who are into mystery and disturbingly provocative reads. The story revolves around Gregory Francis Dunsmore's struggle in being an obese on his way to trim down. He is trained by his close-but-not-that-really-close friend Quinn whose father is a fitness gym owner. Greg is just really fat, the school's favorite laughingstock and it is a question to him why his handsome friend would hang out with him and even do his training. One day in Greg's workout at the gym, they were roused by this weird noise of suffering at the adjoining room. Through some secret passage, they were able to discover that something bad happens during training of the members of the lacrosse team. The Warriors upperclass players beat up the lowerclass ones. I'm not really much into school issues like bullying and hazing. For one, bullying isn't that rampant in my country. Caucasians (yes, I get to be racist now) just take bullying into such an extreme level. Hazing on the other hand mostly happens either to fraternity initiation in the top universities or skirmishes of gangs (or fraternities) of lowlife wannabes (out-of-school-youth). In short, to me hazing in my country happens to either the intelligent & rich kids (or just intelligent) or poor dumb ones. Yes, now I get to be judgmental. "Our allegiance is to the Warriors, our bodies weapons, ready for sacrifice. We will dominate at whatever cost to our opponent or to ourselves."Press Play has a totally different take. Instead of a school fraternity, you get a lacrosse team. A sports team. Shit like that isn't supposed to happen in sports. Alva (the captain) and Gilbey (the vice) are these sick bastards. Not only do they do extreme things during training with their subordinates but they also beat others outside who get to be in their way. After days of sneaking into the lacrosse team's training, shit hits the fan upon the discovery that their very own principal, Callaghan is involved in this sickly training, shaping the members to become the evil that they are. And whatever Greg will do will have a huge impact not just in the school but the whole town which gets its money from the Warrior's State success. "Put away your fear of being hurt and replace it with your desire to inflict pain. Then, and only then, will you ever succeed."I really hate that part. Hazing is not supposed to be like that. You don't inflict pain to others just because you're a sick psycho enjoying others' suffering. You're supposed to inflict pain to make them learn and to toughen them up. It fell into Greg 'Dun the Ton' to protect the future members of the lacrosse team and to expose those who are really responsible for what really goes on behind the success of the town. With the help of his friend 'Quinn the Queer' and newly acquired friends, 'double-stuffed' Ollie and 'slutty' Ella, he's going to make the best documentary that will make you press the play button in your gadget all over again. While the story tends to be repetitive as what you can expect from a day-to-day school life, I find Eric Devine's narration really engaging. He keeps me wanting to know more. Press Play to me is a light and easy read. I could say it will cater much to its targeted audience: 14 & up.More on: Zirev

  • Lynanne Carroll
    2019-03-02 17:57

    Truth, at whatever cost.Because this is apparently my thing when it comes to book reviews, my one word to describe Press Play is *hardcore*.Press Play is also gripping, provocative, and authentic, and there's loads to digest during and after reading it.The depiction of bullying might be considered dramatic by some, but I felt it was as accurate as it was chilling. As such, some of the content is difficult to swallow...but really, that's part of the point. Abuse--whether in comes in the form of hazing, bullying, cyber-bullying, and/or neglect--is a terrible, terrible thing that shouldn't happen. It shouldn't be excused or permitted. Yet it does happen, and it is excused or permitted in many contexts--particularly in schools. Sometimes, we choose to stand on the sidelines and do nothing even though we know someone is suffering from some form of abuse--whether it's because we're afraid of the abusers, or afraid of the perceptions our peers will have about us. We all have our reasons. Press Play delves into those reasons and presents a solid case for doing what's right no matter the consequences, showcasing virtues like compassion, courage, determination, and honor. Devine really engages us and challenges us to consider our choices and perspectives. The style, setting, and characters have an authenticity about them that's difficult to come by. I'll admit the swearing was a bit much, but it did capture the high school setting well. Still, I was overwhelmed at times. But I loved how each character--no matter how "together" they seemed--struggled with something on a soul-deep level...and they all tried to hide it. Press Play offers comfort and hope to all of us because we all keep secrets, and we all struggle.And that plot! Whoa. It was riveting. I had so much fun reading this book! The cliff-hanger chapter endings were tough to resist. (Not-spoiler: I couldn't resist!)The villain(s) and/or antagonists were fantastically well developed, and all the character arcs--especially Greg's--were phenomenal. One of my favorite parts about Greg's arc: his changing perspective and reaction to Alva when he begins to see Alva as more than just a bully...but also as a human being. Finally, I loved how the title connected back to and emphasized the theme(s). Killer ending with resolution across the board=where's the next book by Eric Devine?! :)

  • Henna
    2019-03-09 13:47

    Press Play is honest. That's the theme of the book and Devine's style: being so honest it hurts. Devine isn't afraid of saying things like they are or avoiding any subjects, and yes, at times it hurt. The shameless honesty hurt but it made the whole reading experience even better because it got me thinking. There was parts of the story when you just had to stop reading, think about what happened and what was said before continuing. Honesty is the thing in this book but it's not the only thing that made me love the story and it's characters.There was solid plot but it was written so sneaky way that there was times when I wondered: where is this going? Is this relevant? And then, something happened and I understood the whole point. What makes a good contemporary story is a plot like this one had: there's a solid plot but it's not clear and obvious. The story flows like a real life: there was normal things, little things and then there was the whole picture. Also, I praise Devine not forcing any romance on the story. Devine let the story live it's own life and all romantic feelings were these little gestures and it was perfect that way.Press Play had strong characters with flaws. Even when Greg or his friends didn't seem strong, they were. And oh, the character developement! Greg had such an amazing character developement, as did Quinn, Ollie and even Ella. There was also so many intriguing supporting characters, even the "bad guys" were well developed and I loved how Devine made it like real life: no one's simply bad without reasons, no one acts like they do without something being there in the past (or present). Press Play had complex subject but Devine handed it perfectly.I highly recommend Press Play for everyone. It's one of those books you just should read like S.E. Hinton's Outsiders. It's stunning story about growing up, accepting who you are, about honesty, how life's not easy and probably never will be but you have to keep trying - and friend's makes things a little bit better.Press Play is intriguing, captivating and brutally honest.(A copy of this ebook was provided in return for an honest review.)

  • audrey
    2019-03-21 19:46

    Greg Dunsmore wants to escape the small town whose main source of pride and revenue is the high school's sports team that has made his life hell. Now in his junior year, Greg focuses on putting together a portfolio that will ensure he gets accepted to film school. While documenting his weight loss story he inadvertently captures the violent hazing and abuse the lacrosse team endures during practice but what shocks Greg even more is everyone who's involved.Press Play is a young adult story that delves into hazing and bullying with a dark intensity and unflinching honesty. It presents an interesting social commentary on high school life, family dynamics and society. I liked that it had a deeper message about honesty, integrity, courage and change.The narration is engaging with a cadence and distinct voice that makes the main character feel genuine and relatable. The characterization was great and I enjoyed reading the interactions between the characters as their relationships strengthened. I liked that each of the characters had their own issues and that they supported one another as they worked through them.The story explored the different variations of bullying and their effects. It was interesting that it also showed how these issues aren't isolated to just high school but can also bleed into adulthood. The story presented a variety of moral dilemmas and I liked that the main character struggled with them before choosing a course of action.I enjoyed reading about the interests the main character had. It helped offset the intensity and was fun to read. I liked that technology factored into the story while also showcasing the culture and effort put into filmmaking. The main character's weight loss story felt authentic and honest. I was surprised at the depth it held and how it further strengthened the impact of the story. [Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Running Press Kids, through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

  • Savannah (Books With Bite)
    2019-02-23 14:51

    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.

  • Rachel Valentine
    2019-02-26 14:33

    More of my reviews can be read on my blog Reviews For The Living And The Undead . Feel free to follow me. I love when people follow my blog. Netgalley gave me this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!Press Play by Eric Devine Don's high school has been close to hell. Ever since he made a video when he was younger that depicted many of his classmates in ways they didn't like, people have been doing whatever they could to make his life miserable and is hasn't helped that he is overweight. Greg is determined to make a video of himself losing weight in hopes he will be able to get in a good film school and escape, but then he realizes that some people on the sports team are being violently hazed. This is a very powerful book. My high school experience was nothing like Greg's and I'm sure that most people's weren't, but I'm also sure that there are people even today that are going through the kind of things that he did. Greg is a very strong character even if he is far from perfect. Despite how his classmates treat his he is determined to lose weight and try to make his life better. The plot was also very strong. I found myself wondering what Greg would be able to do to both help himself and his friends but also help the people who were going through everything. I liked how all of his friends had problems of their own and their lives didn't revolve around Greg's. Sometimes in fiction, it seems like the friends' only purpose is to go along with what the main character is doing. That is not the case in this book.I do wish that some of the other characters have been more developed. Sure they might be bullies now, but there had to be something that caused them to be that way. Overall, I would give this book four out of five.

  • Kira
    2019-03-01 18:35

    If you PRESS PLAY is your first novel by Eric Devine you are in for a wonderful surprise. One of the first things that really stands out about PRESS PLAY is the voice. The raw honesty and sarcasm will without a doubt draw readers in as Greg Dunsmore begins his weight loss journey only to discover that losing the wright will be only a small obstacle compared to the choice he has to make when he captures on his phone the cruel hazing implemented by his school’s lacrosse team. For me as a reader the biggest draw to this novel is the fact that Devine does not shy away from the though subjects and he does it a way that is both brutal and honest. I found myself unable to put this book down because each chapter was better than the previous. Just when I thought the worst of the hazing was over something new and horrible happened. There is no sugarcoating—Devine lays it all out. The next element of PRESS PLAY that drew me in is the protagonist. Greg Dunsmore is overweight, bullied, he has issues connecting with other people. All of those issues make his character development so much stronger. Devine is not afraid to throw some very tough obstacles in his protagonist’s way. Watching Greg surmount these obstacles and grow into his own adds a crucial layer to PRESS PLAY because in the end it all comes down to Greg making the decision of whether or not to expose what he has captured on tape. I would recommend PRESS PLAY to anyone willing to take the roller-coaster ride of a journey with Greg to see if the truth really sets us free.

  • Heather McCubbin
    2019-02-25 15:43

    Read via NetGalley.This book began like a stranger waiting around a corner, then reaching out and grabbing you by the collar and never letting go! I have never read anything by Devine before and am wondering how I could've missed this talented author.The storyline was disturbing, yet he made it real. The teenagers, the teachers, the exercising, the parents, the way people/teens use social networking were presented very realistically. Very rarely do you read about a "fat kid", that is so descriptive of his own body, and it makes you connect to Greg instantly. Add his weight issue into the bullying, hazing plus the untrustworthy administration and you are suddenly immersed into Greg's world as he tries to protect students who can't protect themselves. You find yourself cheering for Ella, who is working through her own issues, as she stands up to the bullying, rude popular girl who likes to torture everyone who isn't in her circle of trust.Throughout the whole book you are right up in the face of the opposition--the students trying to keep Greg and his few friends from exposing the hazing happening with the Lacrosse team. I found myself not wanting to put this story down and finished it in one day. I wish there was an epilogue, maybe a year later, so we could see how much weight Greg lost and how the school was working through the hazing issue. That is how much I connected to Greg...I cared and liked him enough to want to know more.

  • Max Baker
    2019-03-21 15:32

    Read in advanced thanks to Netgalley. Thanks!This has been one of my most anticipated 2014 releases and after reading it, I knew I made the right choice. This book isn't afraid to turn their characters in mean, manipulative little brats who terrify the weak. I'm espically happy Devine could accurately write teenagers. As a teenager myself I can honestly say we cuss, cut down, and think about sex just as much as the characters in this book. It was incredibly refreshing.The story revolves around Greg, AKA Dun the Ton. He's very upfront and tells us exactly what he looks like, moobs and folds in all. I really liked his character, despite the fact u wanted to kick him in the groin a few times myself. His dedication to both his goals and his friends are not only admirable, but down right chivalrous. I like that in a narrator.Press Play is not only about Greg's weight loss, but him uncovering the vicious and down right abusive hazing going on during lacrosse practice. Every character, even the antagonists, whom I despise with the burning passion of a thousand suns, felt real and fleshed out. However, I did feel that some of the motivations for the antagonists were hazy (ha ha) and down right confusing at times.Regardless, Press Play is definitely one of my 2014 favorites and I look forward to reading more by Devine.

  • Amy's Book Reviews
    2019-03-08 17:43

    3.5 of 5High school junior Greg Dunsmore, called Dun the Ton by his tormentors, is trying to lose weight and document it for a film class. Unpopular and bullied, he has few friends. When Greg unknowingly captures hazing by the lacrosse upperclass boys, so severe freshmen end up in the ER. When rumors of the video surface, the bullying turns physical and school authorities are mad at Greg rather than the popular LAX team.Greg is a unique, multidimensional character, flawed, yet with a drive to do the right thing. I had trouble keeping the minor characters clear on my head, except to classify them as good or bad character because there seemed to be little distinction. Greg's first person narration had a strong, realistic teenage boy voice often laced with the crude language most guys in that age group use with each other. At times PRESS PLAY dragged with repetitive bullying scenes making the pace slower than ideal.I recommend this highly novel, as it touches on so many important topics in a realistic manner: bullying, privilege, abuse, weight/health, and dealing with situations in which the adults who are supposed to protect are part of the problem.I received a free ebook from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Kelly Akemann
    2019-03-14 17:52

    I received this book from the publisher as an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.This book touched on very touchy real situations and issues in schools today. I enjoyed the interactions between the characters and those characters themselves. They were honest and real and I could see either myself or my friends from years ago in them to certain extents. I truly appreciated how some things never change that way.The bullying and hazing issues and the kids that have to deal with it are portrayed well in my opinion. All of the issues are right up in front the whole time so you can never escape from them. (Kind of like real life!)I appreciated the struggle that they have to go through deciding whether to report what they have seen or to stay silent on the proverbial sidelines. Who doesn't remember the thought that adults would never believe a kid?I have already recommended this book to some and will continue to do so. I feel it was well written and realistic.

  • Cheryl
    2019-03-13 13:47

    This is the second book I have read by this author. I do have to agree that this author does know how to write about the tough subject matters. For this I am glad as there needs to be more authors that do not stray away from topics like bulling or peer pressure. However, while I liked that this book showed the real gritty, evil, and dangerous side of bulling; my thoughts about this book would have been better if I had been more engaged in the characters and I am talking about Greg and his friends. I hated the bullies as I should but while I understood Greg's reasons for not being forthright right away with what he witnessed with his past track record and everyone being for the lacrosse team's side; I still did not fully agree with the ways he went about getting the truth. Yet, I do hope that readers take away from this book that it is never right to bully anyone and to speak up when you have a voice.

  • Princess Godoy
    2019-03-17 19:29

    (I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review)The reason why I read this book is, the plot looks promising. It's about a boy who's doing a documentary about his weight loss but discovering truths that uncovering it may hurt him and the people that surrounds him.One good thing about this book is that it tackles many teens issues like bullying, discrimination, cliques, etc.,. The downfall is, the author is tackling so many issues that the thoughts become too scattered and you're loss on finding out what's the author really pointing out.As the story progresses, the paced goes slower and slower that it's just became a 'overly repeated torture' book that made me bored out of hell.This would've been better, but I'm still glad I read it because this book may be an eye opener for some people but it's certainly not me.

  • Rachel
    2019-03-13 15:52

    I really liked the character development in this book, I felt like we really got to know all 4 main characters well. It took a while, but we eventually learned all their back stories and why they acted the way they did. I love that it was a book about friendship more than romance, especially seeing a guy learn that he needs his friends was refreshing. It felt very genuine. My only gripe is that sometimes it felt like the book dragged a little, but it was written kind of like that - that the main characters were dragging their feet when it came to coming forward with what they knew. It got a bit frustrating at times, but I think it was written that way. The cringe-worthy parts really did make me cringe (and they stuck with me) and I think the author did a great job telling the story.I received an ARC of this book from Net Galley for review.

  • A. Rolland
    2019-02-24 16:38

    Eric Devine gets better and better. His writing is always realistically brutal, and in Press Play the bullying scenes were enough to make me simultaneously tear up and clench a fist. But Devine gripped me more than ever because of the way he forces the reader to empathize with such an imperfect character. Even under the skin, the MC isn’t perfect, but I love that Devine didn’t make Greg a saint. Greg is like the boy who cried wolf, embellishing his videos to make them more appealing. This bites him in the a** when he catches hazing in the act and knows he has something the world would want to see. It takes growth and a little bit of unexpected friendship for him to figure out how to play his cards.Press Play gives you truth, grit, and entertainment. Recommend.

  • Read InAGarden
    2019-03-17 11:31

    Greg knows there are bullies in his school because he has been bullied for his weight as long as he has been in school. But he doesn't know that some of the bullies go far beyond verbal insults until he witnesses a series of assaults by the lacrosse captains. While working on a documentary about his own weight loss, Greg also secretly records footage of the bullying and torture of the lacrosse underclassmen. At first he and his friends are unsure what to do with the footage. But once they realize how many members of the establishment are involved, they realize that they must do something to stop the systemic hazing - the question is how. A great and timely novel.

  • Forever Young Adult
    2019-03-18 18:58

    Graded By: BrianCover Story: Hazy (Get it?)Drinking Buddy: Vegamite ShakeTestosterone Level: Kick Me in the Jimmy!Talky Talk: A Boot Stomping on a Human Face, ForeverBonus Factors: Conspiracy of Silence, Mean GirlsBromance Status: That Whiney Kid Who Later Wound Up DeadRead the full book report here.

  • Moe
    2019-03-05 18:57

    Press Play is a interesting story about a group of kids uncovering their town's greatest secret. The main character, Greg, fights school bullying and obesity. His love for film and courage clash when he sees the all star lacrosse team players are getting hazed by the popular sport stars that bully him. Its up to him to reveal what his wicked town has been hiding for years. I suggest this to anyone looking for a sad but gripping tale about what the power of money can do to a town.

  • Melissa
    2019-03-11 14:42

    WOW! What a strong, honest, compelling story. Loved watching the characters grow in this story. If you are not one for curse words, this may not be for you. But if you can overlook the cussing (which just seems like it fits in the setting) you will not regret reading this story. ***WARNING*** You will not be able to put this book down, be prepared to lose yourself in the pages! I was given this book in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley.

  • Suzanne
    2019-03-15 18:44

    I loved this book. It's raw and real. If you're sensitive to language, then you'd better not read it. It's real, just like teenage boys. No candy coating here. It was the best and worst of high school. It also shows that we never truly get away from bullies. We can only learn how to stand up to them and deal with them in a positive way. Loved it.

  • Angela
    2019-03-05 15:32

    I love a good, edgy YA contemporary, and PRESS PLAY did not disappoint! My God, this book was so intense! It hooked me within the first couple of pages and wouldn't let me go until the last. FANTASTIC read!

  • Read for your future!
    2019-03-04 17:33

    Read our review here:http://readforyourfuture.blogspot.com...