Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic

💙 I read this for the Unapologetic Romance Readers' New Years 2018 Reading Challenge, for the category of: Sports Romance. For more info on this challenge, click here. 💙

File this under "Goodreads led me astray on yet another over-hyped piece of nonsense." How could you have failed me yet again?

I remember when this book had under 100 ratings on Goodreads. Now it has over 15,000 and I honestly don't get the hype. Quality-wise, it reminds me of some of the self-published efforts I used to see on Fictionpress or Fanfiction.net: well-written trash that for whatever reason garnered a cult following. Nothing against trash - I am a huge fan of trash - but when I read trash, I want things to happen. Exciting things! Scandalous things! And THE FOXHOLE COURT doesn't really have a whole lot going on for a book that's supposed to be #SoEdgyYouGuysOMG.

In fact, it was actually kinda boring.

THE FOXHOLE COURT revolves around a made-up sport called "Exy" that seems to be a cross between lacrosse and soccer. The main character, Neil, is good at Exy. He's also on the run for ~reasons~. Clearly, he hasn't done a good enough job about covering his tracks because he ends up getting drafted to the Palmetto State Foxes Exy team. They just have to have him... even though he's kind of an ungrateful, shady jerk about it.

The team is basically comprised by a bunch of psychos, one of whom wields a knife (which he uses to threaten people with) and does a copious amount of drugs. All of the "strong" women on the team get overly physical and have bad tempers. There's a rapey gay dude. Their leader is a classic tsundere who hides his ~complex emotions~ under a shield of physical aggression and rage because he's so ~damaged~. They are led by a coach who sees nothing wrong with enabling these bad behaviors and even gives them alcohol. By the end of the book, I feel like my face looked like this: o_o

Also, for some reason, the yakuza is involved? Whaaaat.

Takeaway points:
1. This is labeled as a romance, but there is basically no romance. I think this is the set-up for a romance that happens later but there isn't really any strong UST to make me motivated to care.

2. THE FOXHOLE COURT is offensive AF. If you read this book and gave it five stars, you are never allowed to speak badly of bodice rippers ever again, because THE FOXHOLE COURT runs the gamut of ablelist and homophobic slurs. "Retard" is used several time, and so is "cripple." I'd already written this group off as a bunch of psychos, so I didn't really care what they said and I'm able to compartmentalize as a reader, but keep in mind if you're sensitive, the language is there.

3. Drug use and mental health are represented pretty badly here. I posted a status update a while back about how I didn't like books that glamorized going off your meds as this wild and crazy journey. This book does that with one of his characters, and his on-again, off-again behavior is accepted as a sort of "in joke" among his teammates, and his coach even passively encourages him to go off his meds for games because it makes him play better, or some ridiculous BS like that.

4. NOT A WHOLE LOT HAPPENS. Also, for a new adult book that takes place in a college, nobody cracks open a book. I think there was one scene where Neil was studying. These kids must all have F's because they only seem to party and do drugs and never study. Way to prepare for the real world.

5. I'm still hung up over the whole yakuza angle. Like, one of the teams is a front for a mob boss's sinister organization? Lmao, what. This must be the worst-regulated sport in the history of ever, because people are allowed to brutalize each other on the court (there's a loophole that allows you to hit people who don't have the ball), and there seem to be ZERO drug tests (hence the partying).

6. THE FOXHOLE COURT went all THE HUNGER GAMES and shit at the end. May the odds be ever in your favor, Neil. Too bad nobody cares. At least, I don't. Why did I buy the next two books in this series again? Oh, right. Because they were 99-cents each and I am a sucker.

Overall, I can't say that I hated this book. It was very well-written, as I said, and kind of had an anime vibe/anime fanfic vibe to it, which is why I imagine this book is so popular with the youngins. If the characters had been fleshed out more, I think I would have liked the story more, but they all felt like caricatures to me. I can't say it's worth the hype but I'll probably read the sequels since I bought them.

2 to 2.5 out of 5 stars

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