Author: Chad Alan Gibbs
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Borne Back Books
Publication Date: March 15, 2020
Book Description: A mixtape of Friday Night Lights, Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, and early ‘90s nostalgia blasting through fifteen-inch speakers.
After leaving mysteriously two decades ago, financial ruin and his dying mother have brought Marcus Brinks back to his hometown of Rome, Alabama. Brinks, the former lead singer of ’90s indie-rock band Dear Brutus, takes a job teaching at his old school, where years ago, he and his friend Jackson conspired to get Deacon, the starting quarterback, and resident school jerk, kicked off the football team.
Now it’s Jackson, head coach of Rome, who rules the school like Caesar, while Deacon plots his demise. This time Brinks refuses to get involved, opting instead for a quiet life with his high school crush, Becca. But will dreams of domestic bliss go up in flames when repercussions from the past meet the lying, cheating, and blackmail of the present?
Rating: 4 Stars
Review: Those of you who read my blog know that I am not a huge YA fan, but when I received a Galley of this book, I thought I would give this a shot. First, I did read Gibb’s first week and really enjoyed it and the second reason, part of this book takes place around the same time I attended HS in the ‘90s, which Gibbs totally got right.
This story is a supposed to be a retelling of Julius Caesar, which to be honest, I don’t remember since I read this over 20 years ago. However, I did not feel I was missing anything by not remembering that story. This takes place over two timelines. Fall of 1994 where we meet Marcus Brinks who is a a senior in Rome, Alabama. This school is all about Football, which Marcus could really care less about. The second timeline takes place 2017 and Marcus returns to teach after leaving a successful music career behind. Guess what Football is still the thing. But this time his old friend Jackson is the coach.
Both timelines involve Marcus and the potential to take down the Football team and an ending I did not see coming, but blew me away in a good way. Because of the way this is written, this is perfect for older teens and adults alike. Gibbs took time to really get the quintessential ‘90s and I love the book more for that. This book is totally engaging and I did not want to put it down.
Highly recommend this one and if you grew up in the ‘90s I think you will absolutely love this.
Thank you NetGalley and Chad Alan Gibbs for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.