Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Case for "Payback Time"

Hey Readers!
I know it’s been too long since I last posted! (That’s been my song all summer, huh?) But I think that what I have for you today will make up for it … I have the first sneak peek book review of Teen Book Festival 2011! 
I received an ARC copy of Carl Deuker’s newest novel “Payback Time.” Now, I’m just going to lay it all out on the line here and honestly tell you that I hate sports. HATE sports. I don’t play them, I don’t watch them, and I don’t find them interesting. So when I saw the cover of “Payback Time,” I groaned inwardly. 
However, I was pleasantly surprised by “Payback Time.” The main character of “Payback Time” is Mitch, an overweight, aspiring journalist who is not happy to be reassigned from the news section to the sports section of his school newspaper. Although Mitch likes sports (but hates gym class), he doesn’t see sports as news breaking. Once football season starts, though, Mitch changes his mind. Angel is a new student and star player, but the coach rarely plays him, electing instead to have him sit on the bench as the team struggles through games. As Mitch begins to investigate this odd decision, he learns that digging around in someone else’s live can unearth more than one may think. 
One of the reasons that I enjoyed “Payback Time” is that is wasn’t totally sports-centered. I will admit to skimming through the details of the football games. (I am football illiterate and gave up when it became clear that I was NOT going to figure out what was going on …) Although football is central to the book, the focus is more on the mystery surrounding Angel and on Mitch’s career aspirations. There is also a side story about Mitch’s attempt to lose weight and about his crush on the school newspaper’s sports photographer. 
“Payback Time” is set to be released on September 6. I give it the sport-haters seal of approval; so even if see the cover and think “Eh, not for me,” give it a try! I don’t think you’ll regret it! 

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