Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Homies (OK/WA authors): Knights Of The Hill Country by Tim Tharp

I hope to regularly spotlight young adult authors from the two states I call home (Oklahoma and Washington). This is the first and I chose it because it is written by a local author and sounded Friday-Night-Lightsish. Let’s face it, football is big-time here in Oklahoma and I have watched every episode of Friday Night Lights so this was an easy sell for me.

Friendships are the hardest thing about life. If they are true friendships they always take work and rarely come easy. Hampton Green has had his friend Blaine by his side since he moved to Kennisaw in elementary school. Blaine’s dad became a father figure to him when things weren’t great at home, and most of all they were the reason Hampton got into football to begin with. Blaine is a big headed cocky running back and Hampton is the beastie coolheaded middle linebacker and this is reflected in their personalities both on and off the field. In a small town like Kennisaw, where everyone knows everything, Hampton finds difficulty in being who he wants to be and still fitting in where he always has.

Guys will find the character of Hampton to be familiar. There are a lot of us Hamptons out there that are just doing their thing and liking what they do. He doesn’t fit the stereotype guy high school athlete that is overly aggressive and sex crazed (that would be his friend Blaine). The Blaines of this world become the ones to set the tone for the rest of us guys and that is rather unfortunate because there are more Hamptons out there than Blaines. Hampton is not entirely confident (especially when out of his element) even though he might pretend to be. He’s embarrassed sometimes by his mother’s behavior. He knows he’s not great with the ladies even though they find him attractive. He has a friend that does stupid stuff that gets them both into trouble because Hampton can’t figure out how to be loyal to himself and his friends. There is a girl he likes that isn’t “football player material” that he’s afraid to be with because of how his friends think it looks. Hampton is the everyday guy who happens to be good at what he does, which happens to be football. This was a great story and in the vein of Friday Night Lights. If you are not a fan of football, you need to know that this is not just a football story and you will find lots to like about this story. If you are a fan of football this story will be even better because you’ll enjoy it for the football as well. This book is a recommend for everyone. BTW This story is very true to small town Oklahoma and Texas, which should be expected from someone who grew up in Oklahoma.  

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