Winter is fast approaching, which means feeling crisp air, wearing knit cardigans and sweaters, and catching snowflakes with your tongue. We are confined to the warmth of our homes for the holiday season as the days get shorter and the air gets colder. It's my favorite time of year, because gives me time to catch up on all of my favorite works of literature.
Literature, to me, is something that fuels my obsession with existing everywhere. There is nothing you can compare to loosing yourself in a fictional world other than your own and jumping into a sort of separate reality. It's refreshing to be able to experience life through a different pair of eyes, surrounding different circumstances. I've been a huge reader for my entire life.
And recently, I've discovered a book series that tops any and all other books I've ever read.
All For The Game by Nora Sakavic changed my life. Maybe not the course of it, but it has definitely changed the way I view life. The author's brutally honest dialogue, paired with the complexity of each character and storyline, makes the entire series intimate and compelling to the reader. Each and every single character of this book that has caused me to fall in love with it. Because it deals with extremely delicate subjects college students go through, and portrays them in an authentic, respectful way.
You have nine main characters in this book: the "Foxes." Nine unique, fundamentally different, completely non-stereotyped characters, all team members of their college's athletic program, that you are able to learn about and piece together throughout the series. They aren't necessarily good people; they all contain their flaws and their personalities aren't perfect by any means. However, they are good characters. The Foxes are interesting, thought-out, and their character development throughout the series is fascinating and refreshing. Their lives are a tarnished mess, as each comes from different families and backgrounds, such as the foster-care system, homophobia, mental illnesses, trauma, abuse, etc. However, the Foxes are united as a team through a college sport, and the story centers around how they learn to let each other in, work together, and trust each other. Family is a word that may mean nothing to them, but the bond they create and share with each other may be the closest concept to a family relationship they have.
I feel like the reason why this book series stood out so much to me is because it's unique. Life isn't always happy, it can be cruel and harsh and ultimately unforgiving at times. And the author makes certain this is known. It's not your usual story where the book starts and everything's perfect and then something happens to make everything miserable. In The Foxhole Court, the first book, everything and everyone are pretty much miserable in the beginning. The series maps out the progression of their lives together, however, and how they transform from a fragmented group of teenagers to a unified team of Division I athletes. Things go from miserable, to slightly less miserable, to okay.
The concept that no matter how terrible your circumstances are, you still have the chance to be happy, the chance to be truly okay, is beautiful. And, it's displayed prominently by the end of the series. One of it's mentally ill LGBT characters who was supposed to be dead because of his life's circumstances, ends up off of his medication and happy, moved in with the love of his life and two adopted cats. One of it's former trailer trash, female characters ends up as the captain of a Division I team in the NCAA, the only female captain in the entire history of the sport. These are all reminders that there truly is hope for the humans of this world.
"It's always been 'lie' and 'hide' and 'disappear'. I've never belonged anywhere or had the right to call anything my own. But Coach gave me keys to the court, and you told me to stay. You gave me a key and called it home. I haven't had a home since my parents died." - Nora Sakavic: The King's Men, Book 3.
Overall, these books have inspired a love in my heart for all of its characters, for its author, and for life in general. If you have any time at all this winter amidst the holiday season and all of its festivities, take a chance on the Foxes and read All For The Game.
All my love,