A few weeks ago, I was asked to read and review a book called Victory Lap. The subject matter was important to me to represent in my blog, but I was not sure what to expect from the book itself. You know how people sometimes talk about how some books stay with you for a long time after you finish reading them? This was one of those books for me, and I’m thrilled to share it with you here.
Victory Lap is the story of two high school students in a small town in Canada called North Park. Josh is in his fifth year (or victory lap) and Kiki is a year behind him. Though they don’t know each other at the beginning, one fateful day connects them and their budding friendship propels the story forward.
I think one of the most compelling elements of this book is how real it feels. Whether or not a reader’s high school experience resembles the one depicted in this book, they nonetheless feel drawn into the story as a silent member of Party Awesome. Pop culture references like one to Community (a favorite of mine) place the story firmly in the present, where transphobia and racism still run rampant in what is supposed to be a progressive society.
The characters are all beautifully flawed, each one having a familiar quality that connects readers to their courage and heartbreak. I hope you will read my full review here.
This book is definitely not for readers who are easily offended. A trigger warning at the beginning prepares readers for the complex language and situations found within the story, but I’m reiterating the message here. None of the messaging feels forced, though its intensity is palpable. More than once, I found myself reacting outwardly to the events in the story.
Through my time reading this book, I grew to love each of the characters and my stomach hurt for them when they were in uncomfortable situations. A feeling of hope rounds out the story, though, resonating like the final note of a dynamic symphony.
If you are looking for a YA story about a less-than-perfect high school experience with strong friendships that reaches out and takes you by the heart, I hope you’ll take a look at this one.
Do you know another great story I should feature in my blog? Please contact me here and let me know!