Thursday, November 21, 2013

Book Review: Keeping Score by Jami Deise

Keeping Score
By Jamie Deise
Publisher: Jamie Deise
Published: July 26, 2013
ISBN: 1491201819

Amazon Synopsis:

When her 9-year-old son wanted to play summer travel baseball, Shannon had no idea the toughest competition was off the field…. 

When her son Sam asks to try out for a travel baseball team, divorced mom Shannon Stevens thinks it’ll be a fun and active way to spend the summer. Boy, is she wrong! From the very first practice, Shannon and Sam get sucked into a mad world of rigged try-outs, professional coaches, and personal hitting instructors. But it’s the crazy, competitive parents who really make Shannon’s life miserable. Their sons are all the second coming of Babe Ruth, and Sam isn’t fit to fetch their foul balls. 
Even worse, Shannon’s best friend Jennifer catches the baseball fever. She schemes 

behind the scenes to get her son Matthew on the town’s best baseball team, the Saints. As for Sam? Sorry, there’s no room for him! Sam winds up on the worst team in town, and every week they find new and humiliating ways to lose to the Saints. 

And the action off the field is just as hot. Shannon finds herself falling for the Saints’ coach, Kevin. But how can she date a man who didn’t think her son was good enough for his team … especially when the whole baseball world is gossiping about them? Even Shannon’s ex-husband David gets pulled into the mess when a randy baseball mom goes after him. As Sam works to make friends, win games and become a better baseball player, Shannon struggles not to become one of those crazy baseball parents herself. In this world, it’s not about whether you win, lose, or how you play the game… it’s all about KEEPING SCORE.

Book Links

My Thoughts:

Don’t let the cover fool you. This isn’t really a book for you to pick up for your children to read. Yes, it is about a mother and her nine-year-old son’s baseball team, but it’s really more about sports and teams from the parents point of view.

This was an entertaining read from the Shannon’s point of view. Sam is her nine-year-old son who wants to play summer travel baseball. It sounds pretty simple until she finds out that it means eight weekends of tournaments plus two evenings of practices and all the nasty gossiping and competitiveness among the parents.

I think Jami does a good job capturing the competitiveness and gossiping that sometimes goes on in competitive team sports. Hopefully most of us aren’t as mean or crazy as some of these baseball parents are. I think that many people will be able to relate to the struggle that Shannon and the other parents went through with hiring special coaches to coach their children in special techniques like hitting and pitching, having coaches who seem to have it “in” for their child etc.

I’ve always thought baseball was a bit of a boring game to watch, but Ms. Deise made the game sound quite exciting. I almost wanted to be there to watch!

I also appreciated some of the humorous insights that Ms. Deise brought to her story. In particular I enjoyed the part where Shannon tried to help Sam with his pitching and she was all dressed up in the catcher’s equipment, making it completely impossible for her to see the ball coming at her let alone catch it.

And of course, this wouldn’t be a “mom-lit” (as Jami puts it) novel, if there weren’t a romance element to it. Ms. Deise does a splendid job of injecting humour into Shannon’s relationships with wild and crazy happenings with her ex-husband, her co-worker Ron, the Saint’s coach Kevin, and a few others.

This novel was a fun book to read. There was a little bit of swearing in it but no explicit romantic scenes. I gave it three stars.

Thank you to the author Jami Deise for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

A lifelong resident of Maryland, Jami Deise recently moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, along with her husband Tom, son Alex, and dog Lady. A baseball mom for over 10 years, “Keeping Score” is her first novel. Jami is an associate reviewer at

Contact the Author:
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