5.0 on the Masq Scale. Face-Off by @stacyjuba #ya #bookreview

Cover links to Amazon.com


Written by Stacy Juba

Genre: Young Adult, Sports

Head-to-Head, Skate-to-Skate, It's Winner Takes All!

What might have been a dream come true has turned into a nightmare. Brad's twin brother T.J. has gotten himself out of the fancy prep school his father picked for him and into the public high school Brad attends. Now T.J., the bright light in his father's eyes, is a shining new star on the hockey team where Brad once held the spotlight. And he's testing his popularity with Brad's friends, eyeing Brad's girl and competing to be captain of the team.

The whole school is rooting for a big double-strength win...not knowing that their twin hockey stars are heating up the ice for a winner takes all face-off. Equivalent to 110 pages in print form, the length is ideal for teens and middle-graders, as well as adults seeking a novella read. Also available as an Audible audiobook performed by Maxwell Glick.

Belinda F's Review

I don't often give a full five rating to a book I'm reviewing and especially when it's not in a genre I usually enjoy but I have to say Face Off had me drawn in from the beginning and I read it in all one sitting. I thoroughly enjoyed it despite not being a teen and knowing nothing about ice hockey. (Although I do know a bit more about it now!)

The characters are well drawn and their relationships are believable and easy to relate to. This is mainly because Stacy Juba writes such great dialogue - she doesn't need to tell us what Brad is feeling about his twin it's there in his words and his actions for example:

'Brad tore open his milk carton and swore as a small puddle spilled onto the table.

"What's the matter with you?" Steve asked.

"Nothing," Brad snapped. Glaring at TJ he stood up to get a napkin'

The tensions and the rivalry between the twins is realistic - they are often fiercely angry with each other but blood ties are always present and the fact that they come together to help their younger brothers through difficult family times feels right. The fact that they care so much could be cheesy but isn't.

Juba mentions in the preface that this is a re-issue of a book she wrote in the 1990s so it doesn't contain mentions of cell phones, social networking etc - she felt she didn't need to make these changes and I agree with her. The boys play Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit with their brothers instead of X-box and no one checks their Facebook status but you really don't notice and it doesn't detract from the story.

This is a great read and I can't wait to download the next in the series!

Review Disclaimer: Book provided in exchange for an honest review.