Kirkus Reviews QR Code
OVER THE END LINE by Alfred C. Martino


by Alfred C. Martino

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: July 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-15-206121-0
Publisher: Harcourt

Jonny Fehey begins his senior year concerned that Kyle Saint-Claire has changed and their friendship is dissolving. Kyle, loaded with charisma, is one of New Jersey’s top soccer talents, while Jonny’s role is as a hardworking backup. Martino opens with a great hook: Jonny is hungover and disoriented, covered with vomit and unable to shake his conviction that something horrible happened at a party. Flashing back to the previous August, readers learn of Jonny’s frustration at seeing his friend become a larger-than-life hero, his anger at bad-boy teammate Erik Maako and his interest in new girl Annalisa. Jonny triumphs in a championship match, but the subsequent nighttime drunken free-for-all results in stunning violence. The author includes a wealth of soccer action but stops the details short of overwhelming the story. Jonny’s convincing narration reveals a sympathetic character with authentic teen issues he cannot control. Unfortunately, a sudden shift from teen problem-novel to an ending lifted from a B-horror movie keeps this story from truly soaring. (Fiction. YA)