Monday, May 25, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: "The Cortlandt Boys" by Laura Vanderkam

A small town high school basketball team wins the Pennsylvania state championship with an improbable last second three point shot. The Cortlandt Cavaliers celebrate their unlikely victory, but good fortune changes the boys’ worlds in unpredictable ways. This story revisits the characters 10 and 20 years later as the ramifications of their youthful success play out over the course of their lives, forever linking them and the people around them to this little town that has its ways of not quite letting you go.

I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

A story in the vein of Holly Robinson or Maeve Binchy, one which follows a vast cast of characters throughout their lives, leaving them tied together by the most tenuous of strings.
I'll start my review by saying that these are amazingly realistic and likable characters. Particularly Max, who is a sportswriter and whose life we follow closely.
We go through twenty years to get to the culmination of the Cortlandt Boys, meeting coaches, players, writers, a severely religious teen and various offspring, all because of one basketball championship.
Now, I love sports. Would I have liked this book a little better had they been talking about hockey, soccer or baseball? Yes, I would have. I won't lie. This book was filled with sports details, news, and metaphors, which might make it a dull read for those who think it's more about the characters than it is about the sport. The sport itself is really a character in my opinion!
The drama and family dynamics, as well as that little string that ties us all together in the story, is very well written and inspired. Unfortunately, it falls short to basketball. While I did enjoy the book, I am afraid a lot of readers might give up on it for lack of interest. Had there been just a little less sports and a little more suspense, this would've been a near perfect book.

3/5--enjoyable but a bit lacking.

Purchase The Cortlandt Boys on Amazon!

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