*** Please note that various posts will contain affiliate links for Amazon. Purchases from these links will make me a small percentage in store credit. ***

08 August 2016

Rambling About.. From The Sideline by Amy Avanzino

Title: From the Sideline
Author: Amy Avanzino
Publication: 19 July 2016 - Henery Press
From the Amazon description:
After losing her marriage, life savings, and waistline, Autumn Kovac is terrified of being hit by more heartache. So when her only child decides to try out for the football team, the overprotective, sports-illiterate mom has a near phobic reaction. But Zachary hasn’t smiled since his father left, and she’s desperate to make him happy (and doing nothing and hoping for the best hasn’t been working). She reluctantly enters a new world of youth competitive sports, full of overzealous coaches with Vince Lombardi dreams and fanatical parents trying to achieve vicarious glory. 
Unexpectedly, Autumn begins transforming within this strangely addictive new culture, finding her voice, facing her past, tackling her fears…and uncovering the secret that’s been keeping her from her son. After meeting her ideal catch, she finds herself back in the dating game and discovers some fierce competition of her own. Will Autumn make it off the sideline? Can the underdog finally win? 
First Lines: I'm not the  kind of person who likes to exert myself in any way -- unless I'm being chased by an angry mob threatening to tear my limbs off. But even then, instead of running, I'd probably just lay down and hope for the best.

Favorites on 4s:
14% - Zachary drops the ball, crumbles to the ground, and eats turf. His body is sprawled across the field like a crime scene.
34% - I can't help but feel like a loser. I lost my marriage, my life savings, and identity as a wife to a bigtime lawyer in the divorce, and I'm losing my son a little bit more every day. The only thing I haven't lost is weight.
54% - "Youth competitive sports is the newest partisan divide. It can be way more corrupt and dirty than anything ever seen in D.C. By hook or by crook, some of these parents will ensure their children get the high-profile position they desire."
74% - "It helped me to develop courage, cultivate loyalty, and firm up my character. But perhaps what I love most of all is that the game taught me the underdog can always win."
94% - Zachary refuses to be taken down. He stumbles but will not fall.

When Amy Avanzino asked if I would like a copy of her latest book, From the Sideline, I readily said 'Yes!' I loved the first book in the Wake-Up series so I was greatly looking forward to the next one. I was expecting it to be along the same vein as Wake-up Call, but instead it takes place in the same community with the main character here being a friend of Sarah's from W-uC.

 Autumn's son Zachary (aka Zeke) is ten years old, just like my dear Well-Read Pirate Prince, John. At this point, though, John is more mascot than player and his only athletic feats include power-walking to PokeStops for Pokemon Go or seeing how many books he can carry home from the library without breaking an arm or dumping them on the ground. He's not a team sport kind of kid. He has friends who are, and once upon a time I played youth league soccer and my brother played Little League baseball, so I'm still familiar with team parents and coaches and the world that Autumn and Zachary are entering.

Avanzino nails it with heart and laughter ... and some aggravation. I can be a bit overprotective, but Autumn takes hers to an entirely other level. Of course, after being in an abusive relationship I suppose that might be expected. Still, there were times when I just wanted to whap her in the head with a giant foam finger and tell her to lighten up.

As was the case with the first book in the series the characters -- main and supporting -- are entirely believable and well thought out. It would have been an easy book to make "quaint," but it wasn't. It wasn't always an easy read because sometimes I related too well to hypersensitive overprotective Autumn that I wanted to whap myself in the head with a giant foam finger!

It's a wonderful story about growth -- both for Zachary and Autumn. Life lessons can be found on the playing field... and from the sideline.                              

No comments:

Post a Comment