Monday, September 30, 2013

QB1

QB1 by Mike Lupica
3.5/5 stars
Philomel Books, 2013
267 pages
YA Contemporary

Source: Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I received this unsolicited from the publisher and decided to give it a chance after reading the back cover comparing its "glamour and emotion(s)" to that of the amazing Friday Night Lights. Well that's a pretty big standard so I was intrigued to see if the book could in fact live up to that.

I definitely got those comparisons as this book is deeply grounded in small town Texas and its fascination with high school football. The main character in this book is the son of a star high school quarterback and the younger brother of a star high school quarterback who is expected by those stars to live up to the same high standards. However he has some competition for the position of quarterback as well as feelings of inferiority over the fact that his father seems to prefer his brother to him.

To start with, the MC's name is Jacob Cullen. Um, what? I don't think the target audience for this book (probably middle-grade to young adult males) will have the same reaction as me but us bloggers might have some feelings about this choice :) The story itself is pretty straightforward covering an entire football season as they pursue glory. An obsession with football is well-documented with radio stations eagerly following the competition to be first-string quarterback and with restaurants offering 50% off after a win-everyone is heavily invested in these boys and their successes (or not) on the gridiron. And that's almost all there is. Plays are described in detail, really too much detail for me but I'd love to see what some football lovers think of it.

Personally I would have liked to known more about Jake. Apparently he pulls straight A's but we never see him in class or really doing anything but playing football, feeling things about his relationship with his dad, and angsting over a girl. Jake is a freshman with very clean thoughts about said girl, which is why I estimate that this might be appropriate for a middle-grade audience. I'm used to sport books having more language and sexual thoughts as they target older readers-this one is quite clean though.

Overall: A cute enough read but I'm not really the audience for it; I wanted more character depth and less football plays.

Other Opinions:
The Reading Date

22 comments:

  1. YES! I completely agree, this is a cute read, but I would have liked more depth. I don't quite think I am the audience for it either.

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    1. There was just so much football and I guess it didn't leave enough space for the characters!

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  2. Ooh, with plenty of football action, I think this book would be perfect for some of my football fanatics, especially those who claim not to like reading.

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    1. That is exactly who I think should give this book a read!

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  3. I don't think I could get over Jacob Cullen.
    Anyways, glad it was cute

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    1. Isn't that crazy? He's usually called Jake but once I caught that, I was just like, "what?"

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  4. Great review :) But yeah, not a book for me at all. Jacob Cullen? Ugh. That just speaks of an author with no imagination for character names, in my opinion :\ Anyway. It does sound kind of interesting. Maybe :D Thank you for sharing. <3

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    1. The author is male so may not be aware of the Twilight phenomenon, hard as that is to believe but surely someone noticed that through the editing process.

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  5. It does sounds fun and is new to me as well. Great review, I'm glad you liked it.

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    1. I enjoyed the change of pace even if it wasn't a favorite.

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  6. "To start with, the MC's name is Jacob Cullen." BAHAHA. I don't think I would like this one too much because I really can not stand sports, especially reading about them.

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    1. If you don't like sports, you should not read this one-it is *only* for people who like/love football.

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  7. This might have too much football for me, but sometimes I'm okay with sports themed books. I'm not sure that I'd pick this one up but I'm glad you mostly enjoyed it!

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    1. It has a lot of football so be prepared!

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  8. This is usually how I feel about books with sports in them.... I'm just not the target audience, and it sounds like you aren't either. ;) Jacob sounds like an okay kind of guy (and I'm so proud that he has CLEAN thoughts about said girl) but I don't know how I would feel about him. Sounds like this was an okay read, though. Awesome review, girly! (:

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    1. We're not the target audience but it might be good for reluctant readers who are sports fan-it's in their language.

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  9. I am going to have to order this one for the teen collection at the library. Though I am not the target audience either I think the teen boys would go for it.

    Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock is a sports book that I actually enjoyed but then it wasn't just about football.

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    1. Dairy Queen sounds more my speed-characters are what I want to read about!

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  10. Ha -- I read another YA book with a character named Cullen. I couldn't decide if the author had been living under a rock, or if the name was ironic. I'm not as big a football fan as you, so I think I will skip this one…
    Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. I don't get how anyone could use that name-are they just oblivious?

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  11. I DO love Friday Night Lights, but that has more to do with Tim Riggins than the football itself. Though it did make me actually care about football while it was happening on screen, but otherwise I would NOT have cared a jot. I also find it fascinating how completely Dillon revolves around those football games, because even though most people in Australia follow one of our forms of football, an entire suburb is not dependant on it for everything that happens ever.

    For that reason, I doubt that this would really be released here.

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    1. It does seem like a uniquely American book-I really can't overstate how important football can be to a town here.

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