So, before we get started, let me explain the new system. Firstly, I’m going to be adding more details about the books to make it easier for people to find and extra details around publishers etc. Secondly, the ratings now consist of 5 categories:
Plot. Pacing. Characters. Style and Settings.
Each will receive a rating out of five star and these scores will be tallied up to make a final rating out of 5 stars just like a good reads review.
Now, without any further ado… Today’s review!
Golden Arm by Carl Deuker
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
TOTAL RATING: 3.8 STARS
Lazarus “Laz” Weathers wants out of Jet city, the trailer park in Seattle where he lives. When he gets an offer to move in with a host family and pitch for a high-profile high school baseball team, he knows it is the last chance to impress major-league scouts and start down the road to becoming a major-league player.
So Golden Arm at it’s very core is a sports story with the fabric of The Blind Side or Rudy. Laz is a bit of an outcast at his high school. Not popular, with a stutter. It’s his brother, Antonio, that’s the life of the party. But Laz had 1 thing he’s very good at. Pitching in baseball. It’s kind of his everything and he sees his only out of his trailer park life.
Now with most sports stories, the sports takes up a good chunk of the story but it’s actually Laz’s relationships that make this book well worth a read. As Antonio gets deeper into the world of drugs and the violence that comes with it, Laz has to deal with evictions, loss, fitting in and coming to terms with his family never quite being the same again, all while trying to find his place on a new team for a new school where he’s the poor kid in town.
The pacing was superb. Such short sharp chapters kept me turn page after page that I was barely aware that I had been reading for hours as more and more of Laz’s journey unfolded before me.
But when the story reached it’s tense ending I was pleasantly surprised to find the smile on my face of great satisfaction.
Now, truth be told… I would never have picked up this book normally. Being English, baseball is a sport I’m familiar with but I wouldn’t say I’m crazy about, however, I got this book as a free arc last year from YALC convention in London and it’s sat on my TBR for a while. That being said, I was so happy that I did give this strange little slice of Americana a chance as I enjoyed it a lot.
Final thought: It’s not quite a home-run but I’d say that Golden Arm comes away with a Win from me.