After reading the first few chapters of this book, I put it down and really didn't have time to get back into it.
...or so I thought. A few days later, I realized that I was making excuses to not get back to it. The truth was, those first few painful chapters hit too close to home for me.
I'm glad I got back on the horse, though. From chapter four on, I could hardly put it down. Once I accepted the fact that Hayhurst could eloquently reconcile the horrible parts of his life and the parts that were hysterical; I can't remember ever laughing so hard at a book. At one point, I laughed so hard, I had to put it down and retreat to my kitchen for some kleenex with which to blow my nose and wipe away my tears of hysteria. I'm sure my neighbors and the occupants of the office building behind my yard were staring. I offer no apologies.
Hayhurst is truly a gifted writer and an amazing role model for young people. If there are parents who are on the fence about whether or not to let a teenager read this book, I'd vote for letting them read it. Hayhurst has a way of telling his teammates' raunchy stories without glorifying their behaviour. He neither harshly judges them nor puts himself on a pedestal for his own abstinence from such shenanigans; he simply tells the story and it's a tale from which young and old alike can be both entertained and inspired.
I thought I knew the ending, and I still found myself holding my breath for the last few chapters! What a ride.
I wish him the best. I'm truly sorry for his current injury status. I selfishly hope that he spends that frustrating time pounding out another book before his triumphant return to the mound. I further selfishly hope that when he's back, he's still a Jay.