It’s an uphill climb, one that will leave many readers stranded on the side.

READ REVIEW

RACING CALIFORNIA

For 18-year-old Evan Boroughs the chance to sign with a major cycling team comes as an incredible opportunity.

Joining the Image Craft-Icon team gives Evan the chance to compete in the Tour of California with his cycling icon, Dashiell Shipley, as the tour winds from Sacramento to Thousand Oaks. Evan still tries to make time for finishing his senior year, for his mom’s undiagnosed sickness and for his girlfriend Glory despite the rigors of the race, but he quickly finds he is stretched to the limit. When his hero tests positive for drug use, Evan must evaluate his place in the cycling world. With a bit more gross-out humor, Lynch’s narrative could nearly be mistaken for a Chris Crutcher novel, albeit one about an incredibly narrow subject. Potentially exciting moments fail to materialize due to cycling jargon and too-generic descriptions of roads, hills and spinning wheels. Cycling terminology is defined in the narrative rather than in a separate glossary, and that additional weight slows the pace. While Evan has depth, the other characters appear and vanish too quickly to leave an impression.

It’s an uphill climb, one that will leave many readers stranded on the side. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: April 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2363-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A fresh, beautifully written look at high school sports that sparkles with strong female athletes.

WE ARE THE WILDCATS

“The girls who played varsity last season each still nurse a secret wound, the thinnest of scabs capping a mountain of scar tissue.”

The intense pressure that Coach exerts on these former field hockey champions is far less than what they place on themselves. They are tormented by last season’s championship loss: Ali and Kearson choked; Mel, the leading scorer, didn’t score at all; and Phoebe limped off the field. This year, the West Essex Wildcats—including new members Grace and Luci—are willing to give up romance, free time, and family for the privilege of being a Wildcat. At sleepovers before weekend games the girls enjoy dinner, movies, and bonding, but on this night, the first before the new season, devastating secrets are revealed. Anyone who raised a high school championship trophy—or dreams of doing so—will find Vivian’s (Stay Sweet, 2018, etc.) book powerfully familiar and sink deeply into this juicy read. The writing is both poetic and blunt, just like the badass Wildcats. The pace may frustrate—it takes a while to grasp that the book is not about the season but a series of perspectives and shocking reveals over the course of one long night. The end, while satisfying, lacks sophistication. Most main characters are white; Ali is Korean American, and Luci is Argentinian and white American.

A fresh, beautifully written look at high school sports that sparkles with strong female athletes. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3990-0

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Magic, tennis action, and family secrets are woven into an original coming-of-age tale.

LEGACY AND THE QUEEN

A 12-year-old girl living in a kingdom ruled by a mysterious queen dreams of attaining her sport’s highest prize.

Legacy Petrin lives and works in the financially strapped orphanage in the provinces run by her father and rises early every day to practice tennis with her old racket. After her best friend, Van, excitedly tells her about a scholarship competition for a spot at an esteemed academy and the opportunity to try out for the national championships, Legacy runs away to the city to compete. After winning, she learns there is still much she doesn’t know: The players are not just proficient in tennis, but also have magical skills that they use to their advantage. Legacy befriends Pippa, a knowledgeable girl from an elite tennis family, and acquires a builder, or coach, Javi. With Pippa and Javi at her side, Legacy makes her way through the competition, despite sabotage attempts, learning secrets about her own family along the way. Legacy is a strong character, and the secondary characters also have interesting backstories. The storyline is reminiscent of other dystopian stories, but centering tennis—with lively descriptions of matches that give a strong sense of the sport—is an unusual touch. Most characters are white, although Javi is brown-skinned, and some other characters of color are mentioned.

Magic, tennis action, and family secrets are woven into an original coming-of-age tale. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-949520-03-3

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Granity Studios

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more