Why Did I Listen To This Book?
I am the sort of girl who likes to listen or read things in season. So, when QB1 by Mike Lupica popped up on my radar I knew I had to pop that audiobook on my iPhone during September, as it’s football season and that sets the right kind of tone for Lupica’s novel about football, family legacies and Texas. I thought that the audiobook of QB1 was merely okay and unfortunately will not number among my favorites in 2013. I mean, it’s a decent palate cleanser, but I’ve come to expect a certain level of emotions from football stories.
What’s The Story Here?
Jake Cullen is a freshman football player who comes from a long line of football legacies. His dad was drafted for the NFL but got injured. His brother, Wyatt, plays quarterback for the Texas Longhorns. So, it stands to reason that Jake would play quarterback for his high school team. Of course, some of his fellow teammates believe Jake is just handed everything because of his family name, BUT Jake has had to earn his position on the team. Unfortunately for Jake, there’s a new quarterback in town who wants his position. Jake will have to prove to the team that he’s good enough. Meanwhile, he’s also having dad issues, as Jake seems to think his dad, Troy Cullen, is more fixated/cares more about his brother Wyatt than he does about Jake. And that, in a nutshell is Mike Lupica’s QB1. OH OH and Jake has a crush on a girl named Sarah.
What Did I Think Of Jake Cullen?
There’s one scene in the book that perfectly encapsulates my feelings for Jake Cullen – basically Jake comes to field after a game and one of his fellow players is still there. Jake is upset because his dad had to leave halfway through the game to help Wyatt with something. So, Jake boo hoos to his team mate. His team mate then pipes up with perspective and is like, man have you ever seen MY dad at a game? No? He then lays sort of a verbal check your privilege smackdown on Jake and it’s just so perfect. Jake’s a nice enough kid with his heart in the right place, but I just never felt all woe is you for him.
How’s The Writing?
Technically, the writing is fine and passable. There aren’t awkward sentences or phrasing. The pacing and the plotting work well. However, much of the back cover copy promised me a ‘Friday Night Lights’ feel that QB1 basically fails to deliver on. I just never felt much emotion for the book or the characters. I didn’t think there was enough anxiety or doubt as to whether the team would win. I didn’t think Jake Cullen’s problems were even close to Matt Saracen’s or Tim Riggins’. I just couldn’t connect with the book on a deeper level. Superficially it works, but I had a tough time digging deep and I think that maybe it’s because this book skews younger than what I typically read? I am not sure.
How Is The Narration?
Nicolas Tecosky does a decent Texas accent and a fine job reading Lupica’s story. His voice is more mature sounding which works for the whole sports thing. I thought the narrator was well matched to the story. Also, the audiobook of QB 1 by Mike Lupica takes like no time to listen to at all. It’s only 5 hours and 47 minutes long, so it’s easy to listen to while cleaning on the weekend. The audiobook is produced by Penguin Audio and the quality is on point as usual. If you are going to read QB 1, I highly suggest going with the audiobook.
Sum It Up With A GIF:
Well, I wasn’t the most enthused about this book.
Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher
Other reviews of QB1 by Mike Lupica:
Bookworm 1858 – “A cute enough read but I’m not really the audience for it”
The Reading Date - “Tecosky does a great job with giving the play by play like a pro”
Long And Short Reviews – “an amazing story of family, football, and all that comes with it”