Quirky, smart, and good looking, Zack Chase is a book-loving, talented hockey player. But he doesn’t want to turn pro like his late dad, despite his mom’s hopes. New in town, Zack’s pitted against obnoxious Mac, the hockey team captain with something against Jane, the alluring Goth-girl who’s caught Zack’s eye. As incidents on the ice and off force Zack to decide what he really wants, he copes with sore losers, other people’s drinking problems, and the consequences of making out with too many girls. As Zack focuses even less on hockey, he discovers other ways he wants to score in life, especially as a 15-year-old guy with spiking hormones. He’s being chased by hot little Mona; his best friend Sheila has curves that make him sweat; and he’d like to show Jane that he’s not another typical hockey player. Soon Zack finds out the hard way that people have secrets and burdens all their own, and that some actions have tragic, far-reaching consequences.
Favorite thing about the book?
Character development. I felt like I knew SO MANY of the characters in the book. It’ss not always common to feel that way about even the minor players.
Obligatory least favorite thing about the book?
How quickly things turned around for Zack. He went from being unsure to Yoda in no time. At times, the resolutions were a bit too “pat.”
What was most surprising about the book?
Same as my least favorite thing about the book. J.E. McElrod had developed a character with many issues, some that were serious, and some that Zack and any other teenager would think were serious. But, then the book rushed to the finish a bit, which left me feeling, well, a bit surprised.
Zack Chase, the main character, not because he was perfect or always loveable, but because he represented a lot of what it was to be a teenager. He was insecure while being cocky, friendly while being angry, confident while being confused. He was great.
There is the obvious coming of age, but I guess less obvious is dealing with depression, love, teenage lust, team chemistry/leadership.
After this book you felt…?
Who would you recommend this book to?
boys and girls teenage years/young adult–Ok, that is sort of obvious. But I’m always a big fan of finding the YA “boy books.” And this was definitely a gem in that field. I feel like this is sort of Twisted-esque by Laurie Halse Anderson. You’ll love Zack like you loved Tyler.
Moreover, while I find team/sports books in the Middle Grade section, I find fewer in YA. And aren’t sports a huge part of high school for a lot of people? So, if you are looking for that type of read, check this out for sure.
Finally, how long did it take you to read?
The book only took me the afternoon to read. It’s a short, sweet page turner.
**I’ve been meaning to post this for awhile, but WestSide Books is a cool new publishing house. Check out some of their other books as well.