Saturday, September 27, 2014

Playing by Heart by Anne Mateer

20665063// Playing by Heart //
By Anne Mateer
{Review by Bethany}

Publisher: Bethany House
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
Publication Date: September 16th, 2014
Number of Pages: 300
ISBN: 0764210653
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

// Book Synopsis //
Taken from GoodReads
"Lula Bowman has finally achieved her dream: a teaching position and a scholarship to continue her college education in mathematics. But when she receives a shocking telephone call from her sister, Jewel, everything she's worked for begins to crumble.

After the sudden death of Jewel's husband, Jewel needs Lula's help. With a heavy heart, Lula returns to her Oklahoma hometown to do right by her sister. But the only teaching job available in Dunn is combination music instructor/basketball coach. Neither subject belongs anywhere near the halls of academia, according to Lula!

Lula commits to covering the job for the rest of the school year, determined to do well and prove herself to the town. Reluctantly, she turns to the boys' coach, Chet, to learn the game of basketball. Chet is handsome and single, but Lula has no plans to fall for a local boy. She's returning to college as soon as she gets Jewel back on her feet. 

However, the more time she spends in Dunn, the more Lula realizes God is working on her heart--and her future is beginning to look a lot different than she'd expected."     

// Bethany's Book Review //

I've read all of Anne Mateer's books, except for At Every Turn, and really enjoyed them. I was excited when I found out that she had a new book that was to be released soon, and eagerly took the opportunity to review it. Sadly thought, this book just wasn't for me.

One of the things that made me such a fan of Mateer's previous novels was her simple stories that had a very Janette Oke feel, with close knit families and endearing characters. This book was no exception, and had a very sweet but simple story. I was rather surprised when my high expectations for this novel were not met, and in fact got to the point to where I really didn't like the novel at all. I think the reason this novel wasn't for me was due to the simple storyline, which I personally felt was shallow and lacked depth. I found the storyline to be rather simple and often felt that the story was slow.

I didn't really have a good idea of the book's storyline prior to requesting it, since I was so sure I'd love it and didn't bother to really look into what it was about. Once I started reading it I realised it involved quite a bit of basketball, and being that this particular sport doesn't interest me, I think it just added to the fact that I was quickly looking interest in the story. I read the first half of the novel, but after that I lost interest rather quickly and just skimmed over the rest of the novel. If I wouldn't have been required to finish this novel to review it, I probably wouldn't have completed it on my own.

While I've really loved this author's other novels, this novel sadly wasn't a good match for me. However I don't want to discourage you from giving it a go yourself! Since everyone has different taste, I know there are many people out there who would love this book, sadly though I wasn't one of them. So please don't let my experience with this novel keep you from reading it yourself!

DISCLAIMER: I received a complementary copy of Playing by Heart for the purpose of this review. I was not paid to write this review, and all thoughts expressed are my own, completely honest and unbiased. 

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