Playing by the Book

Playing by the Book The IPPY Award winning novel about a boy preacher struggling to reconcile his faith and sexuality When seventeen year old high school newspaper editor Jake Powell fresh from Alabama lands in N

  • Title: Playing by the Book
  • Author: S. Chris Shirley
  • ISBN: 9781626010710
  • Page: 294
  • Format: Paperback
  • The 2015 IPPY Award winning novel about a boy preacher, struggling to reconcile his faith and sexuality When seventeen year old high school newspaper editor Jake Powell, fresh from Alabama, lands in New York City to attend Columbia University s prestigious summer journalism program, it s a dream come true But his father, a fundamentalist Christian preacher, smells troublThe 2015 IPPY Award winning novel about a boy preacher, struggling to reconcile his faith and sexuality When seventeen year old high school newspaper editor Jake Powell, fresh from Alabama, lands in New York City to attend Columbia University s prestigious summer journalism program, it s a dream come true But his father, a fundamentalist Christian preacher, smells trouble And his father is rarely wrong.Jake navigates new and unfamiliar ways up North Starting with his feelings for a handsome Jewish classmate named Sam What Jake could keep hidden back home is now pushed to the surface in the Big Apple.Standing by his side are a gorgeous brunette with a Park Avenue attitude and the designer bags to match, a high school friend who has watched Jake grow up and isn t sure she s ready to let him go, and an outrageously flamboyant aunt whose determined to help Jake finds the courage to accept love and avoid the pain that she has experienced Provocative and moving, Playing by The Book is a feel good novel about the pain and joy we encounter in the search for our own truth In Playing by the Book, S Chris Shirley tells a story I loved curling up with, featuring one of the most endearing teen protagonists I ve read in years Alex Sanchez, author of The God Box and Boyfriends with Girlfriends There s so much to admire in Chris Shirley s debut novel, but the most remarkable thing may be its voice Jake is both earnest and skeptical, curious and guarded, and he tells his story with an endearing humility that somehow avoids the sarcasm that has become the norm Playing by the Book reminds us of how rewarding it can be to climb into someone else s head Patrick Ryan, author of Send Me and Saints of Augustine

    • Playing by the Book >> S. Chris Shirley
      294 S. Chris Shirley
    • thumbnail Title: Playing by the Book >> S. Chris Shirley
      Posted by:S. Chris Shirley
      Published :2019-05-17T07:30:27+00:00

    About " S. Chris Shirley "

  • S. Chris Shirley

    S Chris Shirley is the author of the award winning novel, PLAYING BY THE BOOK He graduated from Auburn University where he served as photo editor of The Auburn Plainsman He later received a graduate degree from Columbia University and studied filmmaking at New York University He was born and raised in Greenville, Alabama and now resides in Manhattan PLAYING BY THE BOOK is his first novel.

  • 668 Comments

  • !@#$@#$!#$%!*#$!1!I really hate to do this to a book, when it seems like the author had good intentions with what he was doing. Coming of age tale : checkPoignant moments of self-reflection : checkPersonal discovery of one's self : checkSo what exactly is the problem, you ask? Here's the deal - every so often, I come across a YA book where I feel like the entire thing is written like it's supposed to appeal to YA readers, but is so out of touch with YA lit culture that it misses the mark. This i [...]


  • really enjoyed it . it began as a 3.5 and came to be a 4.5 in the end ^_^ My thoughts‘’I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me”” excerpt 2nd cor. 12: 7-10As the saying goes , “’every family has its cross to bear’’. As does the Powell family. One of the crosses looms above Jake Powell. The pk; preacher kid. He has a drive for Journalism but his career choice is already determined, to be a preacher. Playing by the book is about Jake accepting himself an [...]


  • What a pleasure to read a coming-out story that's smart, sweet, funny and, most importantly, real! It's great to know that young people today have access to books like this that can serve as inspiration to face their fears, knowing that they're not alone. I'm eagerly looking forward to Mr. Shirley's next novel.


  • I loved this book. The author wrestles with complicated subjects that have certainly been examined before in YA fiction; coming out, the role of religion, and family dynamics. But Shirley explores these issues in a new and compelling way through his narrative and his marvelous characters. The book is real, fresh, funny, and forceful. A great debut from a new talent.


  • I loved this book. I feel like this book will help a lot of young adults get through tough times. I recommend it to anyone who struggles with identity.



  • Playing By The Book is a coming-of-age story that provides an insightful look into the struggles experienced by Jake, a teenager from Alabama who wants to attend a summer workshop at Columbia University's Journalism School despite the concerns of his father, the local Preacher. During this experience Jake gains exposure to a diverse group of teens with different beliefs and value systems than what he has been exposed to as a “preachers kid”. The story is focused around Jake's personal transf [...]


  • This is a wonderful book, a smooth, fast, fun read. And it's amazing that it's a first novel. It tells the story of Jake, a level-headed, well-meaning kid from the south about to land in New York CIty for Columbia University's journalism program. Jake is as hungry for experience as he is eager to do well. And while he's been raised in a strict, religious household, he's about to discover that not everything he stumbles upon -- or desires -- fits into how he's been taught to think and live. Shirl [...]


  • Courtesy of NetGallery, I was able to read this book. Here is my review. I always try to do short reviews.Playing by the Book by S. Chris Shirley From Alabama, Jake was a PK -- a Preacher’s Kid. He hears about a prestigious journalism program offered at Columbia University during his junior summer year of high school. In order to convince his father, Jake makes a deal with him – if by the end of the program Jake has not won an award, he will give up journalism and become a minister for their [...]


  • Playing by the Book is a very moving book that addresses sexual orientation directly. Jake, a young seventeen guy, finds the courage to accept his sexual orientation after struggling for years in an ultra religious, conservative , small, southern town. Jake struggles with his "taught" belief system with his "real" belief system. And I cheered for Jake because I really liked him. And Jake gave me hope; in the moment when Jake had to choose between lying and telling the truth, he chose the truth. [...]


  • S. Chris Shirley’s Playing By the Book is winning, witty, touching, and full of life. Jake Powell’s journey from wide-eyed innocence to self-actualization is a pleasure to witness. What’s even more pleasurable is being in the hands of writer who knows how to tell a story, who knows how to create complex characters, and who brings honesty and love to every page of his debut.



  • Congrats to my pal Chris on the publication of his first novel! I wish this book had been around when I was in high school.


  • This past May, when I went to the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival, I got to hear S. Chris Shirley speak at panels and was intrigued to hear him interact with Juliann Rich - both had gay YA novels coming out with a theme of religion - Juliann's about a young man visiting a summer bible camp, Caught in the Crossfire, and S. Chris Shirley's Playing by the Book, which is about a young religious man who has the opportunity to visit New York for a journalism summer course that might open up a fut [...]


  • Reading “Playing by the Book” was, at times, painful. Usually, someone starts a review that way because the writing is bad. In the case of Chris Shirley, it’s just the opposite; through his setting, characters, and story, this author paints an all-too-vivid picture of a young man’s struggle to break free from his family’s expectations and become the authentic person he was meant to be. Jake Powell is just like every other red-blooded teenager. Oh, except for the fact that he’s the so [...]


  • I wasn’t sure what to expect with this novel, but with a southern religious protagonist I knew I needed to read it to see how the author handled this and I am glad I did. I was a little hesitant at first as the last two book I read from this publisher, 50 Shades of Gay and The Hunger Gays weren’t amazing, but this one was excellent. I received a copy of this book from Riverdale Avenue Books and this is my honest opinion and I received nothing in return.Playing by the Book is the story of Jak [...]


  • It is such a sweet surprise to read a coming of age story that is full of smart, funny, but most importantly REAL situations. This book could serve as inspiration for any young person looking at life and wondering what they really want. Most of us have been in this situation a time or two. Our parents want us to walk one road but we feel strongly about another road. We see this as an impossible situations and this book brings that feeling, plus many more to light. This story is about Jake, a lev [...]


  • Where to even begin. I don't know what I expected when I picked up this book. I can say I didn't expect what I got and I can also say I loved it. This is a coming of age tale about a teenage boy, Jake Powell. A small town preacher's kid (PK) with big dreams, big expectation (from others), and an even bigger secret. I have to admit that I am really struggling to write this review simply because I am not sure I can do this book justice. { I totally feel for Jake and his dislike of editorial writin [...]


  • What can I say I think I love PLAYING BY THE BOOK 'almost' as much as I love the brilliant author behind the book, S. Chris Shirley. Reading this novel opened me up to an entire new level of thinking and I'm happy about that. This is not a fluff or imaginary story, this is reality. This is a story about what young people go through. How they think, how they feel and the struggles they must deal with. This is a book that, in my opinion, everyone should read. Men, women, girls and boys. Read this [...]


  • In completing this book, I upmostly stand by my previous review. The book is collected in the proper age review. I enjoyed the novel from the beginning to end. Twists, humor, but so many true coming to age feelings along with coming to the acceptance of his life state as being gay. I surely would recommend the book to others and I can't wait to see what this new author comes up with next. Thank you for a good read.


  • A forbidden romance blooms between a city kid and a country boy in this HOT novel about moving away from home and coming into your own.


  • Read most of this and thought it was well done. Need to finish it, but had to return the review copy to Cap Choices!



  • Playing by the BookA Christian can't be gay can they?Jake Powell from Tarsus, Alabama, is the son of a preacher, who was himself the son of a preacher, and his father is sold on the idea that his son too will be a preacher. The only thing is that Jake has a passion for journalism. He's just been appointed editor of the Tarsus High School Tattler, having served on school newspapers since seventh grade. Now that he only has one more year to go at high school Jake wants to enrol in the Columbia Uni [...]


  • I've received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.The need for LGBT books in YA is getting higher and higher. YA readers have grown tired of the usual 'girl falls in love with mysteriously hot supernatural guy after talking to him once' trope and want something new. And while I did enjoy Playing by the Book I felt that it fell flat on a few occasions.The simple premise is that if 17 year old Jake can win an award at the end of a prestigious journalism camp his preacher fath [...]


  • Ok so I loved the story and the charecters but their where two sharp turns within the story that just killed it for me. I am a christian and I am gay so I can relate to hugely to Jake. In fact the way he dealt with his sexuality is pretty much the way I have. I loved the charecter also of Sam. I think it is totally cool that Jake is Christian and Sam is Jewish. I loved that about the charecters and the story. I could even deal with Sam being a bit trampy. I think the story was headed in the righ [...]


  • I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Jake, the son of a fundamentalist preacher from Alabama, has long suspected that he was gay but did his best to "pray the gay away", because the Bible says it's wrong. It isn't until his first trip to New York City, to attend a prestigious journalism program at Columbia University, that he begins to face the truth about himself and accept that maybe he is the way God intended him to be.I can appreciate what Playing by the Book is [...]


  • So, have you seen Transformers 3? Or what I like to call the “the movie that never ends?” At one point I started calling this “the book that never ends.” It’s not a long book. But add the time I had to take to roll my eyes and sigh heavily and the book became three times as long.I had two major issues with this book. The first issue I had was the overwhelming feeling that the author was completely disconnected from the young adult voice. I am having a hard time describing what I mean s [...]


  • Reviewed for NetgalleyI have a rule that if I am not completely hooked by the 50th page, then I toss the book in the Did Not Finish pile and grab another one. There are too many good books in this world to waste time on one that doesn’t hold my interest. Unfortunately with Playing By the Book, I didn’t even make it to the 50th page. The main character, Jake, is so brainwashed by his religion that both his internal and external dialogue are offensive. No one who is 17 years old is this ignora [...]


  • This book was extremely hilarious but at same time heartwrenching (especially the first half), and I have to say that I've really enjoyed it.Having been raised in a Christian household myself, I'm quite familiar with what kind of expectation you're supposed to live up to, and even though I've never experienced something quite as serious or strict as the situation described in this book, it still made me think back on when I was younger and more involved in my city's the religious community.The m [...]


  • Post Your Comment Here

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *