10 Mar

Shutter: Vol. 1 Wanderlost by Joe Keatings and Leila Del Duca

shutter

Shutter Volume 1: Wanderlost by Joe Keatinge and Leila Del Duca tells the story of Kate Kristopher, a former explorer, known for her many adventures in a fantastical world, somewhat like our own. After she decides to move on from that occupation, a family secret brings her back into the path of adventure and danger, and she will have to return to her old ways.

Now I knew nothing of Shutter before picking it up, and that was intentional. I wanted to read the book knowing that it would be a new experience. So I did not have an expectation going into it, and I was ready to be immersed. With that being said, I can say that Shutter is an interesting read. Being that this is only volume one, there will be plot points that will not get resolved, and you may leave with more questions and cliffhangers than answers, but that does not necessarily make it a bad read. It made me intrigued for a volume two. If I could describe this volume into one word, I would probably say that it is surprising. From the tonal shifts to the twists, you really cannot tell what is going to happen next. I have a feeling the spoiler section of this review may be longer than usual, because to go into the way the story tells itself I feel would give away some surprises that the book gives. So, I would say that the story is good for what it is. It is interesting, and it does make me interested for another installment, although it did take me a little bit of time towards the beginning to get into the world Keatinge and Duca established. On an art aspect, I would say that it is well done. The scenes have a lot of detail, and when there is an action scene, or a scene where a lot of detail is demanded, the art pulls through and is well crafted. Maybe it is because I just got done reading three spectacular graphic novels in a row that I was expecting to get wowed from the beginning. Although it is a good book, I would not put it on a higher pedestal than Anya’s Ghost, The Adventures of Superhero Girl, or This One Summer. Maybe it was because this was only one volume compared to a full story, or that it took me a little bit of time to get a consistent tone with the story, that I don’t hold it as highly as others I have reviewed, but I would not say that it was bad. It was interesting, and good for what it was trying to do. Maybe it is right up your alley. If you want a fantasy, somewhat dark, adventure where anything and everything is possible, you should check it out.

 

A Song

 

Since almost anything was possible in this story, a lot of songs came to mind when thinking of a good pairing. And while a lot of songs could match well with this story, I found myself coming back to the song Lightning Bolt by Jake Bugg when thinking of the book. In terms of energy, the two pair up well. The song has an upbeat tempo, giving off a little bit of a sense of craziness. It has energy pulsing through its melody. It is the kind of song you would play to get things going wherever you happen to be. I found this essence of energy in Shutter as well. The world set up in the book has it so that anything could happen at practically anytime. This leads to some intense, crazy scenes that have a lot going on. There is energy pulsing through the action, and the art captures the essence of the tension well. So in that sense, I could see the foundation of a good pairing. Also lyrically, I could see some similarities. For instance, in the song, the singer says the line, “Fortune, people talking all about fortune, do you make it or does it just call you?” In the story, Kate looks to find her own path after adventuring. She looks for her own future, her own “fortune”, not one predestined by her family name. But time seems to make her cross ways with her old self. Also, in the beginning of the song, the singer remarks how it is just an ordinary day when he gets in the bolt’s path (“Morning, it’s another pure grey morning. Don’t know what the day is holding when I get uptight and walk right into the path of a lightning bolt.”). This quick, sudden sense of action could be seen in the story too. Scenes of intense action sometimes come from places of calmness and ease. While a bunch of songs could be possibly matched with the mood of the story, I kept coming back to Lightning Bolt when thinking of a good pairing.

 

Notes/Moments (*SPOILER ALERT*)

 

This section is to point out some cool or noteworthy moments that happened in the book and why they are cool or noteworthy in detail, so if you haven’t read the book yet, you may want to hold off on reading this section just yet.

 

– I really liked to see the rooted interactions between Kate and Alain. You felt an actual sense of friendship between the two. And when the unexpected flashback happened, showing the first interaction between the two, I was captivated, and it actually ended up being one of my favorite parts of the book.

– So in the review, I mentioned how I had trouble towards the beginning of the book finding a consistent tone of the story. That is because the world was being set up as a combination of fantasy, science fiction, and humor. I didn’t really know how dark it was going to go, or how far they were going to go with the action. Again, I knew nothing going in, which I liked because it would be new. So there was humor, and some fascinating imagery. There were police in flying saucers, A pack of lion mafia-style mobsters, and a robot making cookies. So I thought it was relatively light hearted, but then that changed when a dragon burst from the body of a prison guard, in full detail for the most part. It kind of took me off guard, but I wouldn’t hold it against it. I did not know of the intended audience of the book, so maybe knowing that, I would have gone in with an idea of what I was getting into. It still had the same elements, just with a darker tint. Then, I was not expecting a newt looking creature to shoot a rocket into an apartment building for a desperate attempt to get money, a duck to crush a lion mobster’s larynx, and an anthropomorphic fox getting curb stomped. So an even darker tint. I guess it took me a little bit of time to find out how far they were going to go, which kind of distracted me when I was reading. Again, maybe this is where I should have looked into the book a little bit more before reading it. Maybe then the darker elements wouldn’t have detracted from the story as much as they did for me. Because I have nothing against dark material, it just wasn’t meshing well with the rest of the story to me.

Guest reviewer: Nick

 

10 Mar

This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki

this one summer

Review

 

This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki follows the story of Rose as she goes on her annual summer trip to Awago Beach. Unlike her other trips prior, this time there is arguing amongst the adults in her life, and she is in the middle of drama building around where is staying. Along with her friend Windy, Rose goes through a coming of age tale filled with friendship, angst, heartache, and secrets.

This book is incredible, with spectacular art, an amazing amount of heart, and genuine characters. From the beginning page, the mood is dropped on you in the best way possible; a memory of a previous visit. And with this scene you feel the amount of emotion put into this story. It’s feels real. It uses beautiful real moments, with art that is both cinematic and endearing. And the writing is great as well. It blends drama, emotion, and even some humor in a very graceful way, and it makes you invested in the characters Jillian and Mariko have set up. Speaking of the characters, they show development and genuine emotion, which I have probably mentioned before, but it is important to reiterate. The book itself brings out the majesty and adventure in the understanding and embrace of adolescence and innocence. It feels as though there is magic in the ordinary, in the little hangouts, to small outbursts. The story makes you feel like there is no such thing as an ordinary moment, or if there is one, it doesn’t feel mundane. You feel happy, or sad, or angry, or relaxed. Never just neutral. Or if you are neutral, you are at peace with it. I don’t know, maybe that’s just the vibe I got from it. It makes a small family vacation into an amazing, emotion filled tale, with incredible art, writing, and character. Nothing in the book felt one dimensional or flat, everything showed itself with detail and felt genuine, from the environment of Awago Beach, to the movie night exchanges between Rose and Windy. I highly recommend this book. You should definitely read it if you have the chance.

 

A Song

 

When reading this book, Lorde’s rendition of Swingin Party perfectly fit to me. It gives the mood of bittersweet happiness, which may sound negative when phrasing it that way, and it may not be the best way to describe it, but it really is an interesting feeling. The songs gives of this mood in the way the sound makes you feel enlightened, but grounded at the same time. Happy, but realizing your why you’re happy at the same time. I don’t really know how to describe it. The song is incredible. It gave me the feeling of finding the happiness and magic in the ordinary. Being okay. Knowing your situation. Knowing who you are, and being okay with it. I want to explain even further why it is such a good song, but, in some essence, it’s indescribable why it’s so good. Or at least, I feel like I wouldn’t be doing it justice if I tried. But anyway, it matched well with the mood of the book to me. The book gives the sense that there is majesty in the small moments. Rose and Windy are sometimes scared. Sometimes amused. Sometimes happy. Sometimes loving life. The book is grounded in realism, but the story and art give it an embracing and adventurous atmosphere. There are memories in the calm, and there are memories in the smallest little conversations in life. The book and the song both give off this sense. They are both incredible works of art, and the pairing makes complete sense, or at least, it does to me.

 

Notes/Moments (*SPOILER ALERT*)

 

This section is to point out some cool or noteworthy moments that happened in the book and why they are cool or noteworthy in detail, so if you haven’t read the book yet, you may want to hold off on reading this section just yet.

 

– There are a lot of instances where the most common of events one could do on a summer vacation, turn into cinematic and beautiful works of art. For instance, after playing the M.A.S.H. game and starting to run out to the beach, the scene takes an overhead view, showing Rose and Windy running on the beach in a wonderfully drawn landscape, showing the vastness of their environment. Or the scene with Windy dancing, and Rose nodding along. It showed the fun and happiness in this small moment. One moment that could look insignificant by some is shown in a great sense of happiness and importance. Losing themselves to the music. This happens again and again in the book. The beauty in the small moments. It’s really cool to see.

– Windy is my favorite character in the book. She isn’t just comedy relief, she is an actual friend, with an actual relationship with Rose and those vacationing with her. I’m glad she is more than just a side character, because her characterization is really well developed. She shows innocence, but in some instances, shows real maturity. That is another thing about the book, which I may have already mentioned; the characters are extremely well developed and are balanced with the timing of the story.

Guest reviewer: Nick

10 Mar

The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks

superhero girl

Review

 

The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks tells the story of Superhero Girl, a young superhero going through everyday life, whether it is dealing with critics from the town, shrinking her cape in the laundry, fighting monsters, or trying to make small talk at a party. The story follows her through events in her life, whether it be big or small, and see her react to the mundane or extreme happenings of life, in a very well written, and greatly drawn way.

The book is a fantastic read, and if you have the chance to read it, you should totally pick it up. Faith Erin Hicks does a great job realizing her characters, and made me feel immersed in the universe she created. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, but at the same time, the characters show heart, and have a great sense of humor. Many might look at the book and think that it is just a parody, but they would be wrong. It is so much more than that. The characters aren’t just cardboard cutouts, they are well written and all show great emotion. When Superhero Girl goes through tribulations, both grandiose and small, she shows that she is a person. She worries, she gets angry, she gets frustrated. She isn’t a stone cold, stoic hero. She is a person just trying to help. And that is what makes her character so compelling, relatable and interesting to read. And the story is genuinely funny. The humor does not consist of just making a reference and hope you laugh, the story makes itself funny with clever dialogue, great characters, and engrossing scenes, and those who happen to know the tropes of comics will find it that much more funny. And when it does make a reference, it is really well placed, and actually really funny. The art is really good as well, with great emotion and characterization throughout the book. You can feel the heart put into the project through it’s endearing art and well written scenarios. The Adventures of Superhero Girl is a humorous, endearing, relatable, and just overall great read that I think perfectly balances it’s elements of everyday life and the elements of the superhero genre. If you have a chance to pick it up, you should act on it. It’s a really good time.

 

A Song

 

To me, I think that the song Anna Sun by Walk the Moon could match up well with this story. With the song, the mood I get is happiness, or optimistic. It’s the kind of song you would have blaring at maximum volume on a radio. It makes you feel human, alive, and ready for your next challenge. It reminds you of happiness. And it maintains this tempo and mood, even with lyrics like, “this house is falling apart.” It brings out optimism in the darker times of life, to me at least. It is like a hand raising your chin up even when you feel down (“we got no money, but we got heart”). I got the same type of mood out of the book as well. When going through ordinary things in life, Superhero Girl makes these events earnest and optimistic. You root for her and feel for her when she goes through something bad, and you want to see her succeed. You feel good and ready for the next chapter. And there are two lines in the song that made a distinct connection to the character to me; “We rattle this town, we rattle this scene,” and “We’re gonna rattle this ghost town.” Throughout everything in the song, the narrator reminds us that he will make a mark on this town. He wants to be remembered, and he will be happy doing it. He will do his thing. Same goes for Superhero Girl. Throughout all the tough times, she reminds herself the reason she wanted to be a superhero in the first place. She loves it. It makes her happy. She will be a respected superhero. She just wants to be happy helping the citizens of her town, on her own terms. While reading the story, this song kept popping it’s way into my head.

 

Notes/Moments (*SPOILER ALERT*)

 

This section is to point out some cool or noteworthy moments that happened in the book and why they are cool or noteworthy in detail, so if you haven’t read the book yet, you may want to hold off on reading this section just yet.

 

– In the story there were a lot of great, small moments that I really appreciated for their endearing qualities. For example, when Superhero Girl runs into a ninja at the grocery store and remarks that she doesn’t like seeing people from work when grocery shopping made me smile. Little real moments in the surreal make this book great. Or, it is one of the many reasons why it is great.

– One point of characterization that I found really well done was when Skeptical Guy (later found out to be Shaun) remarks that Superhero Girl isn’t a “real” superhero, which puts her in an existential crisis and kind of ruins her day. A small comment hurt. The scene got to me. It was so real and relatable. Again, one of the best parts about the book is how it mixes emotion and relatability with the superhero genre. This quality could also been seen in many other parts of the book, like the scene when she is talking with her mom about the troubles of finding an archnemesis, or when she finds trouble making small talk at the party she goes to with her roommate. It is such a good quality to the book.

Guest reviewer: Nick

10 Mar

Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol

anya's ghost

Review

 

Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol follows the story of Anya Borzakovskaya, a girl in high school going through some problems that many could relate to; she is self-conscious about her body, she feels like she does not fit in, and does not like to talk about her family. But, on one day where all of her problems seemingly pile on top of each other, she accidentally falls down a well. At the bottom of this well, she finds the skeleton, and ghost, of Emily Reilly, a girl who died ninety years ago. After being rescued from the well, she realizes that a piece of Emily’s skeleton has found it’s way into her bookbag, allowing her ghost to be free from the bottom of the pit, and to go wherever the piece goes. From this their story begins, but will it be a happy ending for the two involved, and is everything as it seems?

This graphic novel is extremely relatable, and I would say a great read for anyone wanting to pick it up. The way the humor and grounded story present itself make the book an incredible experience, with great art on top. Vera Brosgol never seemed to make me lose interest in her characters. The way she writes, in my opinion, perfectly balanced the supernatural elements with intriguing characters. Friendship, self confidence, and a whole bunch of other topics are brought up in this book for discussion, and the book portrays these issues brilliantly. From what it means to be a good person, to being yourself, and everything not being as perfect as seems to be were all greatly touched upon in her writing. The art is fantastic as well. The emotions and expressions were greatly conveyed, and the scenery and acts were greatly realized. All around, the book is fantastic. A great balance of humor, honesty, angst, and the supernatural. I cannot really think of anything bad to say about it. If you have the opportunity to read it, you should pick it up. I highly recommend it.

 

A Song

 

With this story, many songs could come to mind because of the different messages and heart found through it’s storytelling. One song that came to mind was Houdini by Foster The People. In the book, Anya is seen in some aspects trying to disappear from the predicaments she happens to be found in. Whether it is being embarrassed at school, to being embarrassed about her upbringing, she finds things that she wants to escape from. But, she doesn’t want to change. She wants to be herself, but also fit in somewhat. When talking about the song based on it’s lyrics, you could say there is a connection. The singer doesn’t want to be different than who he is, and in the lyrics, the narrator says, “I don’t want to compromise.” But that doesn’t make the narrator comfortable at all times, sometimes he just wants the world to accept who he is, and he wants to feel comfortable. But there are struggles to being yourself and being comfortable, which could sometimes lead to struggle and troubles, whether it is with others or yourself. This could be found in the song and in the characterization of Anya (“sometimes I wanna disappear”). When talking about the tempo and overall mood of the song, there is also another connection. When I listen to the song, I hear an uplifting tempo. Calming and energetic, if that makes sense. Matched with the lyrics, it feels like making the best out of your situation. Trying to feel comfortable even when you are struggling. I also saw this in Anya’s Ghost. Even though she struggles, Anya tries to make the best out of things, or at least make herself comfortable. She finds a ghost of a girl who died ninety years ago and make friends with her. She starts to feel more confident in herself throughout the book. She is being herself. And sometimes she is embarrassed, and there are struggles, but she is always herself. That is why I think the book and song could make a good pairing.

 

Notes/Moments (*SPOILER ALERT*)

 

This section is to point out some cool or noteworthy moments that happened in the book and why they are cool or noteworthy in detail, so if you haven’t read the book yet, you may want to hold off on reading this section just yet.

 

– There are a lot of great moments in the book. A lot of great characterization and scenes. This can be seen in the great dialogue for Anya. A lot of wit, and in that wit, there is heart and concern. The dialogue and humor in general is really well done.

– Also, for example, a great scene found in the book is when Anya goes to the party, and the preparation that comes with it. Beforehand, there is a nice scene shown of nervousness and excitement when Anya is talking to Sean when asking for a ride, and when he agrees, there is a really great sense of happiness and excitement on Anya’s face. And when this turns into caution and nervousness when getting ready, and eventually having the party turn out to be a reveal of all sorts of tension and disappointment, the book just goes to show how relatable the character is through her actions, and how well fleshed out these characters are in general. There are many dimensions that come with each interaction, and the interactions themselves are really well told.

- There are so many good parts in the book, so much to the point where this section could go on for a while. And while this section does have the spoiler warning, I still don’t want to give away the ending. The final interaction between Anya and Emily is really intense and well done, and the very final scene in the book is great way to wrap things up.

Guest reviewer: Nick

10 Mar

Coaltown Jesus by Ron Koertge

coldtown jesus

Coaltown Jesus by Ron Koertge Book Review

By Rebecca Regnier

 

Themes:

Faith, Closure, Bonding, Religious

Review:

“Coaltown Jesus” is a great story of healing and faith by Ron Koertge. Walker, a teenage boy, is still broken by the loss of his older brother, Noah, despite not admitting so. Jesus comes to this broken boy and through talking and being with him for a while, he opens up Walker’s heart and helps him to discover how to heal and move on. This beautiful story through the journey with a “normal Jesus” shows how just listening to him and  your heart and understanding your importance is the way to go through any situation, bad or good.

I personally loved this story. Koertge’s poetic style helps to capture the way some people, like myself, experience Jesus. Instead of seeing him as a high and mighty man, he is presented as a common man, acting the same way as any normal person would. The journey that Walker and Jesus have together warms my heart, as Jesus helps Walker to discover some truth and remind him of his importance through his hard loss of his older brother. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is going through a situation where they feel lost and alone, just to remind them that Jesus will be with you and help you every step of the way.

Guest reviewer: Rebecca

10 Mar

The White Bicycle by Beverley Brenna

white bicycle

Book Review for The White Bicycle by Beverley Brenna

by Rebecca Regnier

Themes:

Family, Independence, Self Identification, Asperger’s Syndrome

Review:

Beverley Brenna has cleverly written such a wonderful piece in the perspective of a teen with Asperger’s Syndrome in her novel “The White Bicycle”. Taylor aspires to become an independent and happy woman in the world, with no one to depend on whatsoever. She decides to go to France after being offered a job as a “personal care assistant”. Her mother tags along in her adventure, which is not quite how Taylor would like her trip to go, and they both go and experience new things with the Phoenix family. Not only does Taylor go to do her job, she goes and writes a journal about herself and her past, which helps to identify herself and her future path. Brenna has written a heartwarming story about family, letting go of the past, and being bold enough to step into the future independently.

“The White Bicycle” is truly an inspiring piece that makes one think about letting go of the past and not letting it define you. Taylor, having Asperger’s Syndrome, was brave enough to share her story with Brenna and the world, and it is wonderful to see how she grows into a fine young woman on her own. Through minute details about her past, readers can see a part of the kind of world a person with Asperger’s has, but you never really realize it because she is a regular human being with the same issues as we do. She does not let her disease stop her from doing anything, and again is truly inspiring to see. I highly recommend this book to anyone willing to see how someone let go of  their past and defined their own future on their own terms.

Guest reviewer: Rebecca

10 Mar

Pieces by Chris Lynch

Pieces

Pieces by Chris Lynch Book Review

Themes:

Family, Loss, Depression, Curiosity

Review:

In Chris Lynch’s Pieces, he tells a story about a brother searching for the parts of his dead brother’s body that were given to other people in order to live. Eric, a heartbroken teen mourning the loss of his older brother Duane, meets a few of the people that received parts of  Duane’s body in order to help cope with his death. He hopes that by finding these people, he will be able to revive his family back together and finally overcome his brother’s loss. Through this story of loss and curiosity, Eric gets answers, but not answers he expects to get.

This book was okay. The story was confusing a lot, jumping from one scene to the next. It was cool because I experienced the thought process of a person dealing with a heavy loss, but the abruptness of which it happened was weird. If not for the mature content of the book, this would be a better read for middle schoolers. But, all in all, the story of Eric’s journey of piecing the memory of his brother back together is heartwarming and truly inspiring to see.

Guest reviewer: Rebecca

10 Mar

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Book Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sȧenz

Themes:

Friendship, Identity, LGBT

Review:

Author Benjamin Saenz has written a truly beautiful story about life and a story of true friendship  in his widely renowned novel Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. In the novel, a young boy named Ari struggles to make friends with anyone, wishing to be alone and free, as well as wondering about his arrested brother that his parents never speak about. He meets a new guy, Dante, and discovers with him all of the secrets of life Ari has wished to know. Through their journey together, Ari and Dante learn how to bring the truth about themselves out of each other through the power of friendship and sacrifice. This loving tale brings out strong friendships, self confidence, and trust between these two unforgettable characters that inspires young adults to be true and proud to who you are.

The novel has definitely made me think harder about life as we know it. Throughout Ari and Dante”s journey together, I saw so many events between them that had me thinking about my own friendships with others. Dante initially offers Ari the gift of friendship through swimming, a common passion both of them have together. Ari is extremely cautious at first, not knowing what kind of a person Dante is and being wary of starting something with someone. Dante starts to press details out of Ari in persuasive but subtle ways to break down the wall of isolation Ari had built around himself. Even though Ari swore to himself to keep everything to himself, he eventually learns to open up to Dante, which truly helped him to find his identity. Through reading all of this, I saw that I was extremely similar to Ari at one point in my life, wanting everything hidden and kept away. It was not until I met a few of my closest and dearest friends that I finally opened up and saw a part of my own identity I was looking for. Saenz uses real life scenarios with beautiful details that brings the story to life for people of all ages, starting with young adults on. With these real life scenarios, anyone can relate to the story in some way, and maybe even find their own identities as well.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a timeless tale that makes people think about their lives in so many different and creative ways. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to think more deeply about life and themselves. You will truly appreciate the work Saenz has done to bring the story into your life.

Guest reviewer: Rebecca

aristotle and dante

05 Aug

She’s So Dead to Us & He’s So Not Worth It by Kieran Scott

   

The first and second book in what I presume is a trilogy, She’s So Dead to Us and He’s So Not Worth It by Kieran Scott is an enjoyable read with interesting characters.  Ally Ryan and her family lived in Orchard Hills, a very affluent town where she had it all: popularity, good looks, lots of friends, money, etc.  She and her family lose it all when her father makes some bad business decisions and their money disappears along with his clients, many of whom were family friends.  After several years she and her mother move back.  Her father is absent and neither one has seen him or know where he is.  To say she wasn’t welcomed back is an understatement.  She is shunned by her former friends many of whom blame her for for their families financial troubles and even divorces.  There are the normal school issues and Ally tries to resume her life.  She now lives in the wrong part of town and is no longer a ‘Crestie’ (popular people group).  Ally runs into Jake Graydon, the new occupant of her former house.  He is a soccer star and she becomes his  ‘backslapper’ decorating his locker, baking him treats etc. on game days.  Former girlfriends and boyfriends of Ally, make her life difficult and to make things worse, her mother starts seeing Gray Nathanson.  She is ready to move on but Ally isn’t.  The first book ends with her former friends doing something truly nasty and Jake a seemingly willing accomplice.

The second book has Ally meeting her father, going to the beach for the summer with her mother, her mother’s boyfriend, Gray Nathanson and his daughter, and all the Crestie who go to the shore.  They stay at Gray’s summer home.  Ally is hurt and there is really no other way to nicely say it – bitchy.  She has a chip on her shoulder and is mad at everyone.  She goes to the beach to escape Jake.  While there she gets a summer job and meets a townie (local boy).  He is the opposite of Jake and her mother is not pleased, either.  In fact, just about everyone is not pleased with Ally or the choices she makes.  Without giving too much away, she does reconnect with Jake, some of her Crestie friends and her engaged mother.  Just when things seem to be going well, there is a MAJOR complication, of course.  So now we wait for book 3.  It will be a tough wait, because I, along with many other readers are caught up in Ally’s world.

02 Aug

Crackback by John Coy

  John Coy’s novel Crackback is a football story and a family story.  Miles Manning is not that smart, not that good looking, but he can play football.  Miles’ father is very angry and critical of his son’s football performances.  Miles walks on eggshells and home and now with a change in coaching, he has to be guarded at school also.  Mix in the regular high school drama of finding a homecoming date and the pressure is intense.  Does Miles take steroids to bulk up and improve his chances on the field and make his coach happy?  What is hiding in his family’s past that causes so much tension.  A tight story where ‘you can’t always get what you want’ is the rule and not every story ends happily ever after.  A good story and a quick read.