Graphic Novel Review: Play Ball

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Graphic Novel Review: Play BallPlay Ball by Christina Weir, Nunzio DeFilippis
Published by Oni Press on April 25, 2012
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 144
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

Most girls, when they get to a new school, just want to fit in. But Dashiell Brody isn't like most girls. A natural at softball, Dashiell discovers her new school has a championship level baseball team - and Dashiell wants to play ball One girl's quest to play the national pastime with the boys will turn her family, her school, and her state upside down.

This is my third experience with the graphic novel-writing team of DeFilippis and Weir. Previously, I read some Amazing Agent Luna and the first volume of The Avalon Chronicles. Although Play Ball was pretty cute, it’s definitely my least favorite of the bunch.

The story was definitely sweet, and I appreciate the feminist element. Speaking of which, this really did always bother me. Why do girls play softball and boys baseball? The heck is that about? Girls can’t hit a smaller ball? I believe this to be false. The genders should play the same sports. I really don’t see why there should be a sport just for boys or just for girls unless anatomy comes into it, which…gross. I’m even bothered by the fact that women and men mostly do different gymnastics stuff, not that I feel like any woman should resent not having to do the rings except on principle. Also the pommel horse one. Those are stupid.

I feel like I’ve lost track of what I was talking about. Um, to sum up that meandering rant, girls are awesome and they should be allowed to play any sport they damn well please! The plot line may sound vaguely familiar to anyone who saw A League of Their Own, which is also about women playing baseball, although not a high school girl on a boy’s team. Take that movie and add a soupcon of She’s the Man. You’ve pretty much got Play Ball.

That’s the real issue I had with this. It doesn’t do anything new or innovative. From the opening chapters, I knew EXACTLY what was going to happen. And I was right about every bit of it. I do want to offer props though for the fact that Dashiell (who is awesome for wanting to go by a unique name) has a male best friend, with whom she didn’t have to have any sexual tension. So glad when pop culture doesn’t subscribe to the When Harry Met Sally mentality, even though I love that movie.

Wow, I am really easily distracted today, huh? Oh, what’s that over there? A puppy? *runs after puppy* Book review. Right. I should wrap this up before I find myself discussing my policies on the space program or something.

The art for Play Ball also really didn’t work for me. When reading something graphic, the art is often a clincher on my enjoyment level, because, well, it’s kind of the point. It’s not terrible, and might appeal to some, but I preferred the look of The Avalon Chronicles myself.

Play Ball is a sweet, fun, fast read that I recommend to people who feel like a quick dose of girl power.

5 responses to “Graphic Novel Review: Play Ball”

  1. Michelle says:

    Hey! This is the girl you were talking to at Jackson Pearce’s book signing tonight. Hopefully this isn’t creepy.

  2. S.E. Andres says:

    I was actually going to do a write-up for this graphic novel for Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better). DF&W are a great writing duo. I also suggest checking out their miniseries they did with Rashida Jones “Frenemy”. It was so fun! A spoiled rich girl, famous for being rich, is enlisted as a CIA agent. If I do a write-up for this, I’ll link to your review.

    • Christina says:

      Cool! I would like to read more of their stuff, but graphic novels are kind of hard to gain access to without buying. Which would be expensive.

      Frenemy sounds awesome. Thanks for telling me about it!

  3. […] gotta just write something. I have been reading some graphic novels lately and one that I read was Play Ball. It was a coming of age story about a teenager named Dashiell who went from a girls only school […]

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