Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Review of "QB 1," by Mike Lupica

 Review of

QB 1, by Mike Lupica ISBN 9780147511522

Five out of five stars

Football as a near religion

 If you pay any attention to how high school football is treated in the state of Texas, you know that it is a near religion. Some schools have extremely large stadiums and almost everyone in the areas where the two schools are from attend the games. That fervor is the basis of this novel about three quarterbacks.

 The father is Troy Cullen, former great quarterback at Granger High, then a college star that went on to play briefly in the NFL. His career there was cut short by a series of concussions and not due to lack of skill. The oldest son is Wyatt, former star at Granger High that won a state title last year and is now the starting quarterback as a freshman at the University of Texas. Jake is now a freshman at Granger and when the season starts, he is the third string quarterback.

 However, things change quickly very early in the season. The veteran first string quarterback suffers a season-ending injury early in the first game and the second string quarterback struggles. Even though he is very raw, Jake is given the opportunity to compete for the starting position. It is a quick learning experience as he battles his inexperience, his father that appears to be totally focused on Wyatt and the general difficulties of being a freshman in the stressful environment that is high school football in Texas.

 There are several different threads to this story, all weaved together to come down to what is the standard “big game at the end.” Even though the reader knows fairly early that that will happen, it is handled so well that it is still engaging. I read the pages of the account of that game twice because I found it so exciting.

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