A football star copes with his father’s suicide.
On the outside, high school senior Felton Reinstein has it all: He’s good looking and has a great girlfriend and the respect of his peers. Colleges and universities call him every day to entice him into accepting their scholarships. However, when the trauma he experienced as a child—discovering his father’s body hanging in the garage—begins to eat at him, Felton’s hold on his psyche begins to spiral out of control. Soon, he’s unable to control his actions, the words that come out of his mouth or his anger. Herbach’s narrative starts off shaky, with some uneven depictions of high school culture seeing football-star and possible homecoming king Felton being picked on. He soon hits his stride, however, and the plot takes off as Felton’s anxieties begin to overtake him. Bad decisions, booze and bullying become the name of his game. Herbach soon after throws in a heavy-handed reference to Shakespeare, which unfortunately overshadows much of the story he’s already successfully been building. Still, invested readers will want to push through the Hamlet gridlock to see how Felton and his friends make out in the end.
A memorable character from an author worth watching. (Fiction. 14 & up)