“Foul Trouble” by John Feinstein

Foul Trouble by Feinstein

Foul Trouble is a sports novel that focuses on high school basketball players Terrell Jamerson and Danny Wilcox. The boys are best friends and high school seniors who are being scouted to play basketball in college. Terrell one of the best high school basketball players in the country, and soon college coaches, investors, and sponsors start lining up to offer him deals with large sums of cash. Danny sees that not all of these people offering Terrell these deals are looking out for him. Some of the deals could prevent him from becoming a pro if they were discovered by the NCAA. Terrell and Danny try to avoid getting sucked into a deal that is too good to be true when they are looking to play basketball for their dream colleges.

Those who do not know much about basketball may be confused while reading this novel, as it contains many descriptions of basketball games. Basketball terminology is used heavily, such as the parts of the court, positions on the team, and certain plays.  Readers can tell that Feinstein has done his research because there is mention of real-life college coaches, players, and important figures in basketball. While there is not much of an exciting plot, Feinstein makes up for this with interesting behind-the-scenes insights into the deals offered to high school players and how they may affect the players’ future careers.  It also examines the issue of people who want to be close to you because of your talent or fame, not because of who you are as a person. This book is definitely recommended for teens who are interested in an insider’s view of the sports world.

-Check out this book or put it in hold.

-Caylee P.


“Nil” by Lynne Matson

Nil Cover

Seventeen-year-old Charley is standing in a Target parking lot in her Georgia hometown when she suddenly feels burning hot. The next thing she knows, she is lying on a stretch of rocks with no clue where she is. After surviving alone for twelve days, she meets Thad and Jason, who tell her that she is on the island of Nil. Thad introduces Charley to a group of teenagers who have also been sent to the island and are trying to escape it. The only way to escape the island is through “gates”, which are portions of shimmering air that randomly move across the island. Trying to catch one of the gates is challenging, and another hitch is that each teenager only has a year after they arrive to try to leave Nil or they die. Together Charley, Thad, and the rest of the group are trying to figure out how to catch the gates to escape the island of Nil before their time is up.

This book is very similar to the popular book The Maze Runner by James Dashner. Both books involve teenagers that end up in unfamiliar and dangerous locations and have a limited time to escape before they will die. A unique element of Nil is both Charley and Thad are narrators. This gives the book dual perspectives: Charley is female and an island newcomer; Thad, a male and island veteran.  The book is set in the present, which is a nice change from all of the post-apocalyptic and dystopian novels that now dominates much of the young adult genre. The novel is devoted to advancing the plot rather than trying to explain the backstory of how Nil came to exist and why it is the way it is, which helped the island appear more mysterious and dangerous. There are romantic feelings between Charley and Thad, but these only make the situation of being stuck on the island even more complicated than it already is.  The ending is very suspenseful and dramatic as Thad’s time is running out. Fans of The Maze Runner or action and adventure novels should check out this book so they can be transported to the mysterious island of Nil.


-Check out this book or place on hold.

-Caylee P.