by Jennifer E. Smith
Opening Day 2008 finds tomboy freshman Ryan Walsh cutting class to catch the game at Wrigley Field. Since that day also marks the 5th anniversary of her father’s sudden death, Ryan (who is NOT named after Ryne Sandberg) decides to honor her dad by returning to the place where they spent countless afternoons.
While there, she meets up with fellow Diehard Cubs Fan and classmate Nick Crowley, who has just moved to Chicago from Wisconsin (where he decidedly WAS NOT a Brewers fan.) As the teens develop a baseball relationship, they gradually learn each other’s deep down secrets and realize that they are both staging their own comebacks this year. However, as the Cubs fans’ traditional cry of “Wait ‘til Next Year” changes into “Next Year Is Here!”, Ryan realizes she has picked the wrong year to bargain against the team.