Pivot Move by Chris Boucher

Pivot Move by Chris Boucher
Publisher: Wings ePress
Genre: Young Adult (14 – 18 y.o.), Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

At 14, Boyd’s life goes the way of his hair–down the drain. His dad leaves and his curly brown mop follows. Now he longs to be free, too.

Things seem to improve when he starts ballin’ with the Blazers. He works hard to win over his new coach and teammates–too hard–and his misguided attempts alienate more than they impress.

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As Freidrich Nietzsche says, “no one can construct for you the bridge upon which precisely you must cross the stream of life, no one but you yourself alone.” Remember these words as you read this review and book.

Boyd genuinely felt like a young teenager to me. His mind and body were changing rapidly in ways he couldn’t always predict, much less understand. This was especially true when it came to his reaction to the alopecia he’d developed fairly recently. Sometimes I shook my head at the impulsive decisions he made, but they were all common things not only for his age group but for his personality in general as it had been explained to me.

I would have liked to see more attention paid to the character development in this novel. As interesting as the characters were, it would have been nice to get to know them better and see them evolve as a result of the things that happened to them. This was especially true when it came to Boyd’s mother who was a pretty critical and discouraging parent. She put down her son’s interests so often that I wished the narrator had dug into this part of her personality much more thoroughly. There was a lot of space here to explore why she behaved this way and how she thought it was going to improve an already tough situation.

The basketball scenes were explained well. This wasn’t a sport I know much about, so it was helpful to go into as much detail about the various drills and moves the players were expected to learn as it did. I also appreciated the passages that described how and why the relationships between team mates can change in an instant depending on what happens during practice or games.

Basketball fans and anyone who has or is curious about alopecia, take note of Pivot Move. It has interesting things to say about both of these topics.

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