Unfortunately, this is the last book that the English publisher Viz Media chose to release. It ends on a cliff hanger on both the volleyball aspect anUnfortunately, this is the last book that the English publisher Viz Media chose to release. It ends on a cliff hanger on both the volleyball aspect and the romance aspect. Depending on whether Wikipedia is correct, there are at least four more volumes (possibly six). I really thought that I had the whole series in hand only to get to this book and realize there was no way to wrap it up in one volume. The series does teach a lot about the difference between sportsmanship and gamesmanship in team sports especially in competitive high school settings. It is also a fascinating look at the way the Japanese run their schools in comparison with ours (not that differently when it comes to athletes who excel). There are some unwanted advances by several guys including one that could have gone very poorly had others not stepped in and stopped it (I can't remember which volume, but it was the guy with the creepy crush on her). There is more people getting hurt for volleyball and some fights over girls, but other than that there isn't really any violence. I don't remember much if any language although there are quite a few mean words traded for various reasons throughout the series....more
This volume shows just how much someone can beat up someone else using just a volleyball. Again the language can get a little harsh, but no real surprThis volume shows just how much someone can beat up someone else using just a volleyball. Again the language can get a little harsh, but no real surprises and definitely nothing a high school kid wouldn't say even in front of an adult. It just occurred to me that some parents might take offense to a girl living in the boys' dorm, but she isn't sleeping in any of their rooms and they are pretty respectful of her space....more
**spoiler alert** I hid this under the spoiler warning because even my description of content contains spoilers that are necessary for parents and tee**spoiler alert** I hid this under the spoiler warning because even my description of content contains spoilers that are necessary for parents and teens who may want to be warned of potential triggers before reading the book. If you do not want key points of the book to be revealed, please use another review to determine whether this book is for you.
This is one of those books that makes me contemplate creating a separate shelf for books aimed at older teens (those for true young adults) and one for teens. There is a lot of cursing and harsh language in this book. In addition, there is a physical and psychological torture throughout the book just because the football players believe they have a right to act like that towards everyone else. There is even a scene of that combines the two with sexual abuse and rape which rather quickly lead to suicide. All of the characters talk about homosexuals in derogatory terms and use those same terms on each other. Most of the true trash talk is from the football players with the other characters merely pointing out flaws in their statements (still not appropriate things to say really, but very much in tune with teen characters). There is quite a bit of talk about sex, grabbing one's self, getting aroused and making out with girls, but there isn't any on-screen intercourse. I don't count the rape as intercourse because it is violence through sex rather than sex itself. Kurt's flashbacks to his and Lamar's experiences with Crudbucket were also heartrending even though they weren't terribly detailed beyond what was necessary to let you know that Lamar was raped and molested in addition to being beaten and abused the way Kurt was.
It took me a while to appreciate Kurt's voice, but I really felt that both Kurt and Daniel were realistic and life-like (to the point that it made my heart hurt at times to see them struggle so much against what seemed like unbeatable odds to them). The friendship that grew between them made me wonder if it was all because of Lamar's ghost (not a real ghost just a memory of him) or if they would have become friends without the specter of abuse and bullying shadowing them both. I was definitely shaking my head and thinking "Boys..." when they wanted to get a huge guy in football gear doing a back flip in the end zone. I'm fairly certain that a girl wouldn't have thought that that was a good idea.
One issue I did have was that when Ronnie first committed suicide, I felt that it was kinda a cop-out for the author. With the victim of the rape gone, now all he had to deal with was the guilt of the guys who failed to save him. The author didn't have to write about Danny dealing with seeing Ronnie every day or helping Ronnie try to deal with the trauma and get back into doing gymnastics. He didn't have to write about Ronnie probably never being able to be around Kurt without flinching just because of his size. Yes, they both told him that nothing happened, but why didn't he even leave a note or talk to the coach? I guess the only thing I can say for the author is that it wasn't really Ronnie's story; it was Kurt and Danny's. It was probably better in the long run to focus on the two of them, but for a couple of chapters I was pretty mad at the author instead of at the characters....more
This book is a lot faster paced than the first two with much of it focused on Rei's motorcycle race. I still love the interaction of the characters anThis book is a lot faster paced than the first two with much of it focused on Rei's motorcycle race. I still love the interaction of the characters and am eager to see more of the series. There is a bit of language, but no violence in this one. The most sexual the book gets is kisses between Rei and Kira....more
Some of the language is a bit coarse and Nobara does get shoved around, but overall this is just a classic sports story with a bit of romance. It's acSome of the language is a bit coarse and Nobara does get shoved around, but overall this is just a classic sports story with a bit of romance. It's actually pretty good although I can't really understand the drive behind Nobara's desire to play volleyball. I never had anyone tell me I couldn't play soccer. I might pick up the next one someday and this would probably appeal to a teen wanting something that their parents don't approve of. That or someone wanting to read about a teen doing everything possible in order to play a sport she loves....more
For the most part, I really enjoyed this book. The style is pretty easy to read and follow. The details about the soccer matches were awesome and compFor the most part, I really enjoyed this book. The style is pretty easy to read and follow. The details about the soccer matches were awesome and completely believable. The only problem was that Paul was a slightly unreliable narrator. He had some odd thought processes that were a bit confusing to me. Also, some of the events were more serious than they were portrayed to be which sorta made me uncomfortable. I think there was only one curse word that I remember other than a couple 'hell's. The kid is in middle school which fortunately is an indicator of how little sex/sexual tension is involved. There is quite a bit of violence on both in one of the soccer games and between Paul's older brother and several people....more
I wanted to know more when I finished this book. For one thing, I wanted to know whether Nathan and Alex kept up a relationship. If not, I wanted to sI wanted to know more when I finished this book. For one thing, I wanted to know whether Nathan and Alex kept up a relationship. If not, I wanted to see how Alex found someone else and continued to be happy. I really enjoyed the characters although Tyler confused me a little. There was some language including two kinds of f-words, a little bit of sex though nothing explicit, but no real violence aside from James hitting someone. The story applies to more than just gay teens because more people feel like Alex before and after his suicide attempt than anyone really wants to admit. Teens feel lost and alone when their friendships change. Sometimes, it seems like the world wouldn't even notice, but many times, like in Alex's case, there are at least a few people who would be very upset. This story helps recognize that feeling as well as providing a resolution to it. It also features a teen couple who have to hide their relationship. I think the book could have been more radical and in your face about how many people in small Southern towns feel about gay people, but it worked well the way the author dealt with it....more