Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Crossover (2014)

The Crossover. Kwame Alexander. 2014. HMH. 240 pages. [Source: Library]

First, I owe this book an apology. I've been purposefully avoiding it, despite it winning a Newbery, simply because it was about basketball. You see, I don't necessarily "like" reading sports books. I wasn't trusting enough, perhaps, that a book could be about basketball and so much more than basketball at the same time.

The Crossover is an award-winning verse novel starring Josh Bell (aka, Filthy McNasty) and his family. Josh and his brother Jordan (aka, JB) both play basketball. Their father, at one time, played professional basketball. But an injury ended all that, and now his focus, his full-time focus, is on his boys, his family. Their mother's almost full-time focus is on the health of her husband who absolutely refuses to go to the doctor. Though, of course, she loves watching her sons play basketball too.

The novel has its ups and downs...especially for Josh. Things are changing, always changing, and he doesn't like it. His brother is distancing himself from the family, from him, and even from the game itself at times, because he's head over heels in love with 'the new girl.' The more besotted his brother becomes, the more disgruntled Josh becomes. And Josh's choices, well, they aren't perfectly good and right. (Whose are?) Still, the two brothers will be tested as never before when their mother's fears prove correct...

I wasn't expecting such an emotional journey. But that's exactly what I got. This one has depth and substance to it. The characterization was very well done. And the narrative verse worked really well.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

3 comments:

Rowena 12:17 PM  

This is a MG book? I'm a huge basketball fan and am definitely curious about this one. Thanks for the review!

Hannah Billie Perry 5:28 AM  

I'm so guilty of that too - avoiding a book because you don't like the main subject matter. But then its so nice when it turns out to be great anyway, and it makes me feel pretty silly! Really good review.

Hannah x

Amy @ Hope Is the Word 7:32 AM  

I'm a person who enjoys sports movies (and maybe books?) but dislikes sports in general (and football in particular ;-) ). However, I do like novels-in-verse. You've definitely piqued my curiosity about a book I was formerly very lukewarm about reading.

Thank you SO MUCH For participating in the Newbery Through the Decades Challenge!

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
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I am not a fan of:

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  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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