“Playgrounds and Black Markers” by Libby May

Nineteen-year-old Jake Jett always knew what he wanted as his career, but time runs short as his chances to follow his dream seem to disappear. The constant pressure to attend a prestigious college pushes out any hope of pursuing his own desires. Feeling unheard, Jake sinks into his hidden addiction. Rose Johnson, has the best adoptive family she could imagine. . . until they receive a new set of placements. Add that to her unexpected reunion with Jake, life is thrown completely off balance. Overcoming his repulsive attitude towards her, she’s compelled to convince him he has the power to quit his addiction and follow his dreams. When hearts get in the way, confusion settles in. Life is more complicated than anyone could have realized. Is it possible to leave all of the steps and outcomes at the throne of God? Does everyone truly have a destiny? Independent author Libby May cuts to the heart in her brand new novel that’ll have you crying one moment and cheering the next.

Book info
Author: Libby May
Rating: 3/5 stars
Publisher: Independent
Age: I can’t really recommend this book to anyone unless they are romance readers.
Bible version used: New King James Version
Romance/controversial: Holding hands, hugs, touching, and kisses (including on the lips) between unmarried couples. Guy telling girl he loves her. Mentions wine. Weird therapy doctors with “modern” thinking, and the one doctor says Rose has Jake under a spell. Jake goes to the cemetery to “talk” to his father. In my opinion, that’s like idol worship/pagan. Says Taylor used swear words. Female characters wear pants and sleeveless clothing. Characters dance. Aubrey wears a mini skirt.
Language/inappropriate content: The phrase “confidence in you” is used, which I don’t agree with. There are several words in the book I don’t like. “Hate” and the phrase “I hate you” is used, along with the words “su*k”, “oh my g*sh”, “stupid” (used at people in some cases), “shut up” (used at people), “idiot” (used at person), “dufus” is used at a person, and “cr*d”. Characters roll eyes. Male and female character flirt. Lies are also told in the book. The phrase I/you deserve it is used. I know Jake was at a bad point, but the only thing we deserve is death and eternal punishment in hell. Underage character drinks a beer. Girl is at guy’s house with no one else there.

My thoughts:

I was so excited for this book to come out, and I had high hopes for it. Then my sister told me there was a heavy dash of romance in it. I read it anyway, and I was REALLY disappointed, to say the least. Having read Dewdrops and Butterflies, I was expecting this book not to have tons of romance (I figured it’d have a little, but…). Aside from the romance, the words, and several of the things mentioned above, I did enjoy the book. It was interesting to read about Jake’s addiction (study the title to figure out the addiction), and how he kept trying to get over it. I also enjoyed reading more about Rose and what she was up to now that she was older. It was sad reading Jake’s past story and about his relationship with his mother. And Aubrey annoys me a lot.

Taylor is a stinker-ish foster child who needs a lot of love. She’s where the “I hate you-s” come in. She says she hates Rose multiple times. Why I understand the point Libby made by putting all the “I hate you-s” from Taylor, I think it could have been done a bit differently.

I also don’t agree with this saying, “I was done with school, an adult”. Being done with school doesn’t make you an adult.

And Jake’s Salvation at the end of the book almost sounds like he did it for Rose (Rose said she couldn’t date a non-believer).

I really wanted to like this book, but I can’t. I don’t think it’s one I’ll be reading again, and I don’t think it’s one I can recommend, unless you are a romance reader.

7 thoughts on ““Playgrounds and Black Markers” by Libby May”

  1. Thanks so much for your review, Lilly!! I started this book a couple days ago and got turned off almost immediately by the romance (I personally don’t believe girls/guys should be having a relationship while they’re still in school, or kissing before marriage). I had pondered coming back to it anyway, though, as I loved Dewdrops & Butterflies. Now I’m not so sure if I will. ☹

    1. You’re welcome, Ellen! I agree; I was very upset with the boy/girl relationships, especially since they weren’t with the purpose of marriage. And kissing before marriage… The book has good points, but I don’t think it’s worth reading all the other stuff to get to those points…😕

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