Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The Foxhole Court // a book with undelivered potential in both its characters and its story

Title: The Foxhole Court (All for the Game #1)
Author: Nora Sakavic
Genre: Contemporary
Warnings: violence, murder, drugs, alcohol
Rating: 1 stars
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The Foxhole Court is about a bunch of troubled kids from messed up backgrounds finding escape through sport. And there's something about that idea that's hard not to love - 10 people at odds in every way slowly forming a bond over something they care about.

But it turns out the execution didn't quite work for me.

It feels like there's an endless list of things I wanted to see from The Foxhole Court that weren't delivered. It had the potential to delve into the details of professional sport. It had the potential to address mental illness and the side effects of medication and withdrawal. It could have addressed the dangers of mixing alcohol and recreational drugs with medication.

Instead we see none of this. And it makes me sad, because when I heard this book had a character taking medication I really wanted to see something real. It is fiction, but that doesn't mean it can't have accurate representation. I wanted to learn about a real condition, not about the side effects of a medication the author made up to suit the story.

There's a broad cast of characters, but I didn't learn much about any of them. I wanted to read about their struggles and their backgrounds but it didn't feel like I got that for anyone - not even the focal characters. These kids are meant to have struggles, but I never actually felt it. I was just told and not shown what they were actually having to deal with.

The fact that actual character dynamics didn't start to form until the last 20% of the book make me think that the lack of showing and not telling is something that might be redeemed in the later books. I'm just not sure if hoping for that possibilty is worth continuing the series over.

Diversity Note: gay and demisexual characters

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