Title: The Goalie
Author: Angelo R. Lopez
Genre: Sports Fiction, Hockey Fiction
Despite a difficult childhood, Ben Sloan stands near the top of the World International Hockey League cementing himself as one of its best and brightest goaltenders. Only one step away from reaching the highest hockey league in the world: The National Hockey Federation. On the ice, he is collected, fast, and explosive. But when the roar of the crowd quiets and the bright lights of the game fade, Sloan is far from okay. Anxiety and harmful thoughts are the norm. Silenced only by handfuls of pills and the pass of a blade across his skin. A single shot, an act of hopelessness and spun rumors by the media cast a dark shadow across his life dragging Ben suddenly from the top of the league to adjusting to a life away from the pros. Years pass, when a familiar face comes calling with the promise of a better life across the country and a chance to escape the mundane life Ben has faded into. All seems quiet until a run-in with one of the NHF’s best breathes new life into the Sloan name. All eyes are suddenly on Ben again and a rare second chance makes itself known. A chance for Ben to learn that the biggest saves he can make have little to do with hockey.
Only in the last few years has the curtain been pulled back on mental health issues with pro athletes. This book is a clarion call for the spotlight to be shone on this critical area.
This is an incredibly important book. It is extremely well written and tells a gripping story. That this story centers on one great athlete suffering from mental health struggles elevates this book. The story is well-paced and developed. A reader quickly becomes connected to Ben and cares deeply for this character. The other characters are brilliantly developed.
This book is even for people who do not understand hockey. The author takes the time to explain the game in a way that isn't preaching. The game is clearly defined in a way that makes sense as part of the story being told. That is the sign of a gifted writer. Many could take a lesson to not assume your readers understand the basics of a book.
The illustration of Ben's struggles is harrowing to read. They are so realistic as is the difficulty athletes face opening up about their problems. The world is making strides in accepting mental health as not a definition of a person. The world of pro athletes is one of the last that needs to understand this.
A wonderful book that tells a superb tale. Recommended to every fan of the game of hockey. Recommended to anyone battling with mental health issues or those who know someone who is. This book will open the eyes to the reality of mental health challenges. A tremendously important book for the world to embrace.
My Rating: 5+ stars
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Hello, my name is Angelo R. Lopez. I am 33 years old and fairly new at the writing game. I am just a working stiff trying his hand at a chasing a dream I never thought would come (unless I made it happen). I am a huge sports fan and dedicated towards helping others who struggle mentally (As I myself do at times). I look forward to creating many stories that create a feeling that inspires or leaves a mark on readers. To me, that is the only reason to tell a story in the first place.
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Reviewed by: Mr. N