Head Fake

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After years of living on and off the streets and failing at multiple jobs, twenty-five-year-old Mikey Cannon is on the brink of turning his life around. While he’s back at his father’s house, he gets a new job as a bus driver at a school for juvenile offenders. Eventually, he takes up an opportunity to coach the school’s basketball team and strives to win at least one game. Since his father looks down on him for being a loser, he hopes to prove that he knows what he’s doing as a coach, even as they exchange bitter words and Mikey’s thoughts become clouded with doubts.

As Mikey takes on an impossible mission to get a group of misfits to win a championship, he grapples with the loss of his mother and his previous failures, including a haunting loss from a basketball game in the past. Scott Gordon’s Head Fake follows a troubled protagonist and the odd basketball team he coaches as they partake in an intense basketball competition and strive to overcome their traumatic and mental battles.

From the basketball tactics to the unique gifts of the players, the book provides an immersive and memorable experience for basketball fans. As a leisure basketball player, I appreciated Scott’s attention to detail and how the intricacies of the basketball game are skillfully portrayed. Whether they’re smack-talking or learning how to defend without causing fouls, the teams’ determination to win is highly inspiring.

The theme of mental health stands out in the book. Even as he’s surrounded by troubled children, the protagonist has to deal with various difficulties, such as his mother’s loss and his father’s tough expectations. His inner voice and his self-deprecating thoughts are communicated intimately in the first person, which allows for an effortless understanding of his personality. Despite dealing with various sad situations, he is seen experiencing infatuation, humor, empathy, ambition, hope, and other attractive emotions.

What makes the story unique is how some short stories are expertly merged with the main basketball plot. These stories, which are usually titled as assignments, allow readers to know about the students’ personal lives. I found them intriguing because they proved to be quite unpredictable, such as the story in which Nubbin narrates why he took “a poop in his brother’s gym bag” and Otis’ adorable relationship with a neighbor’s dog.

Overall, Head Fake offers a suspenseful and emotional journey that’s full of passion, conflict, drama, and resilience. Multiple stories from different realistic and deviant characters merge to create an unforgettable, heartwarming, and lifelike book. Furthermore, basketball fans and readers who enjoy stories about sports will love it. I strongly recommend it!

Reviewed By:

Author Scott Gordon
Star Count 5/5
Format eBook
Page Count 331 pages
Publisher Maxwell Street Books
Publish Date 27-May-2024
ISBN 9798990103504 Buy this Book
Category Popular Fiction


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