Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Review: Call Me By My Name by John Ed Bradley

Title: Call Me By My Name
Author: John Ed Bradley
Year Published: 2014

Genre: YA fiction (sports)
Pages: 265
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2015 Google Reading map)USA (LA)

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this from my school library

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): The legend of Tater Henry was larger than the sleepy Louisiana town where it was born. It began at a time when a black quarterback was impossible. And a black superstar? Unimaginable. But then there was Tater Henry: making people imagine. Making things seem possible. Winning games.

Rodney Boulet and his twin sister, Angie, were best friends with Tater before he threw his first pass. In a place where prejudice was a way of life, they were the exceptions. The 1970s were coming and so was desegregation. If this didn't unite the town, only one thing could... a winning football season. With the Tigers on an unbelievable streak, everything seemed perfect. That is, until Rodney discovered a secret between Tate and Angie. Teammates, best friends--all of it is threatened by a hate Rodney did not know was inside of him. In love, life, and football, are some changes too difficult to accept?

Review: This book is intense! I thought it might just be another YA book about sports and romance, but it is much more.

The book begins in 1965, the year I was born, maybe that's why I have a connection to it. The characters are about ten years older than me, but growing up in a very different place. I grew up in California where I am sure there were racial tensions in the '60s and '70s, but it was nothing like that time in Louisiana, the Deep South. The author has done a really great job of showing the feelings about race on both sides of the issue--those that abhor the idea of integration and those that feel segregation should continue forever. I felt tense reading this book, sure that something awful was going to happen at any minutes. And trust me, there are awful moments.

But there are also good and beautiful moments when love wins, when friendship wins, and when people do unexpected things. The author also shows how sports can make a change and bring people together, even when they don't like it. I could see the situations from all the characters' perspectives, from those that felt things should continue on as they had always been to the ones who felt nothing should continue as it had always been.

I liked the characters, the sports, the romance, and the story.

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