Hello everyone! When I was asked to be part of the blog tour and if I wanted to review Thanks a lot, John LeClair I jumped at the chance because HOCKEY! I’ve loved hockey ever since I fell in love with Avon Gale’s Scoring Chances series and have read a couple of hockey romances so far (but not yet a hockey YA) and I’m going to my first ever hockey game soon. So I was super happy to be part of this.
Sixteen-year-old Emmitt LaPoint has secretly been writing letters to his hockey idol, John LeClair, for years. So it’s probably only fitting that Emmitt’s small Vermont town seems desperate to make him the next LeClair. After all, Emmitt is about to lead his high school hockey team to the state championship, he has a near-perfect GPA, and he’s liked by almost everyone.
But even golden boys have problems, and Emmitt has more than his share. His father’s back in town to breathe down his neck. He’s happily dating his coach’s nephew, Dusty, but almost nobody knows he’s gay—and that secret is getting harder and harder to keep.
When Emmitt discovers Dusty is keeping secrets of his own, he’s forced to decide exactly what kind of golden boy he wants to be.
Thanks A Lot, John LeClair is a cute and fluffy Story about navigating your sexuality when you’re also trying to become a professional hockey Player.
Chronologically this book is set after Here’s to You, Zeb Pike and features the same characters but I haven’t read the first book and had no problems getting into the story. It might be nice to read Here’s to You, Zeb Pike first, to see Emmitt and Dusty become a couple but it can easily be read as a standalone.
What I really enjoyed about this book was Emmitt’s “voice”. His narration was vivid and engaging, but also had this nice youthfulness to it.
Each chapter starts with a letter Emmitt wrote to John LeClair, and at first these letters kind of threw me out of the story because I couldn’t see how they related to each chapter. But a couple of chapters into the book I really enjoyed them. They give an insight to the younger Emmitt and I really liked to see his character growth. He’s still figuring himself out, (obviously) because he is just 16 years old. But you could already see how he had matured because of the things that happened when he was younger.
Emmitt had to grow up early because his father left the family and moved away. Because of this his mum had to work more, to be able to pay for both kids and because she didn’t want them to miss out on things. Emmitt has always been protective of his brother as you can see in those letters but also as teenaged Emmitt.
Because his father left Emmitt declined a scholarship, which would have helped him on his way to become a professional player. But he didn’t want to leave his mum and brother so shortly after his dad had left.
On thing that was a bit confusing was, that I never figured Dusty out. Through most of the book he was an enigma and I didn’t understand his behaviour. Though I guess that was intended since the book is out of Emmitts POV and he has no idea about what’s going on either. And maybe that’s also when it comes in handy to know the first book (which I definitely intend to read) and thereby maybe knowing Dusty a bit better.
Not only has Emmitt to deal with his sexuality and how to handle having a boyfriend and staying in the closet, but he also has to find a balance between his demanding father. A father who doesn’t listen to his sons and always thinks he knows better what to do. (I really didn’t like him.)
“He screams at every player who misses a pass or a play like they just brought Hitler back from the dead.”
I debated a lot whether to put this in here or not. because it’s something that probably 99% of readers won’t mind (or won’t even see because to them it’s not a big thing) and in the grand scheme of things it was just one line. But I’m at a point where even 1 line is one too many.
When someone is compared to a Nazi or Hitler in a joking manner.. this makes me angry and I’m so tired of it. If an author needs to compare someone/something and needs an example of someone who’s done bad things there’s so much more than just Nazis and Hitler. Use something else! And no matter how “bad” they want to make someone appear, they can never be as bad as a regime that murdered over 6 million people. I wish people would stop to minimize the meaning and the weight those words have by throwing them around at every opportunity. It is not cool. Or a “joke”. I know that this is a pet-peeve of mine and another reader probably won’t even notice, but those things figuratively jump at me. And I just wish it wasn’t the “go to example of a bad guy”. Especially since it’s SO easy to use something else.
About the Author:
Johanna Parkhurst grew up on a small dairy farm in northern Vermont before relocating to the rocky mountains of Colorado. She spends her days helping teenagers learn to read and write and her evenings writing things she hopes they’ll like to read. She strives to share stories of young adults who are as determined, passionate, and complex as the ones she shares classrooms with.
Johanna holds degrees from Albertus Magnus College and Teachers College, Columbia University. She loves traveling, hiking, skiing, and yelling at the TV during football and hockey season.
Genre: Contemporary Genre: Young Adult Orientation: Gay Pairing: M/M Publisher: Harmony Ink Press Review Tag: coming of age Tag: Part of a series Tag: Sports Johanna Parkhurst Thanks a lot John LeClair