Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Review: BECOMING PHOEBE by J. Michael Neal

This is the story of Phoebe, an orphan girl with aspirations of becoming a hockey player. Her earliest memory is about her wandering the streets at four years old with skates around her neck and a man took her to the police station. That’s where it all begins.

Sixteen years later, Phoebe is living her life in college, where she tries out for the hockey team.

Written in the POV of Phoebe, story is an earnest and succinct account of a poor, lonely girl and a dream. We’re basically reading the girl’s diary by the way it’s written, and all she talks about is hockey. Every brief snippet seems to center on hockey. Of course, I believe that girls can play hockey, if that’s what they want, and Phoebe was literally born for it. She’s smart, savvy, and tough.

Being that I’m not into sports so much, the hockey stuff wasn’t that interesting to me. But I admire stories with strong, independent women who go for the gold.

If you say, “Girls can’t play hockey,” Phoebe says, “Watch me.” You have to admire her gumption.

Still, I couldn’t help but feel that the story centered more on hockey than anything else. Of course, hockey is the central theme, but it becomes weary after a while. I personally would’ve liked to learn more about Phoebe—her past, her friends, her life sans hockey. C’mon, the girl should be able to think outside of hockey. Even in A League of their own, the girls had other things going for them besides baseball.

All in all, this was an okay story, but I anticipated it to be more than just hockey. Phoebe’s a great character and readers will enjoy watching her try and fumble. It’s hockey’s version of G.I. Jane.

My rating: 2.5 stars

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