Friday, February 12, 2016

REVIEW: Hit Count by Chris Lynch

Hit Count explores America's love of football as well as the notable dangers associated with the beloved pastime. High schooler Arlo Brodie wants nothing more than to excel in the game that he adores. He loves getting hit hard and hitting back even harder.  Arlo's brother, Lloyd, has already quit the game because of its nasty side effects; however, Arlo can't resist the notoriety associated with his rise as "Starlo" or his father's hard won approval.

On the flip side is his mother's fear and research noting the overwhelming medical evidence exploring football's connection to head injuries and post concussion syndrome. When even Arlo's coach is tallying his hit counts, it is apparent that he is spiraling down a dangerous path wrecking not only his health and future but also his relationships and education.

This isn't the typical type of YA book that I usually pick up; however, I was curious about this one given the recent release of the film Concussion, the 50th Super Bowl game and ensuring that I can provide adequate reader's advisory to a wide range of teens with broad interests.  Overall, I found this had good pacing and characterization while exploring an important and relevant topic. I'd recommend this to a teen who enjoys realistic fiction, sports or who might be a reluctant reader.  The target audience is definitely for boys but there is no reason why a girl wouldn't find this appealing, especially if she has brothers, friends of a boyfriend who plays football.

Final rating 3.5 out of 5 stars



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