Unnormal Normalcy

Just News and Ramblings From Your Average Author

Tigers and Devils Review

Title: Tigers and Devils

Author: Sean Kennedy

Published: March 2009, Dreamspinner Press

Source: NetGalley

Goodreads Description: Football, friends, and film are the most important parts of Simon Murray’s life, likely in that order. Despite being lonely, Simon is cautious about looking for more, and his best friends despair of him ever finding that special someone to share his life. Against his will, they drag him to a party, where Simon barges into a football conversation and ends up defending the honour of star forward Declan Tyler — unaware that the athlete is present and listening.

Like his entire family, Simon revels in living in Melbourne, Victoria, the home of Australian Rules football and mecca for serious fans. There, players are deemed gods and treated as such – until they do something to cause them to fall out of public favour. Declan is suffering a horrendous year of injuries, and the public is taking him to task for it, so Simon’s support is a bright spot in his struggles. In that first awkward meeting, neither man has any idea they will change each other’s lives forever.

As Simon and Declan fumble toward building a relationship together, there is yet another obstacle in their way: keeping Declan’s homosexuality a secret amidst the intrusion of well-meaning friends and an increasingly suspicious media. They realise that nothing remains hidden forever… and they know the situation will only become more complicated when Declan’s private life is revealed. Declan will be forced to make some tough choices that may result in losing either the career he loves or the man he wants. And Simon has never been known to make things easy – for himself or for others.

My Thoughts: This book caught me from the start. I really enjoyed Declan and Simon’s story. My heart went out to them during all their struggles, and I felt Simon’s pain when things didn’t quite go as planned. I could hardly put the book down.

I did struggle a bit to understand some figures of speech used in the book, particularly “it’s your shout,” which I inferred meant something like “it’s your turn to buy” and usually beer. Of course there’s “mate” too, and I loved that football is shortened to “footy.” It also took me a while to figure out what Australian football is. At first I assumed soccer (I’m not that clueless to think the characters were talking about American football), but then I thought rugby. Apparently it’s more of a combination of the two? That’s the impression Google gave me.

There were a few points in the book where I was especially confused, because the author wasn’t exactly clear how much time had passed. I had no idea if things were happening days apart or weeks apart or months apart… But that was really the only thing that bothered me. Had I been able to follow the timeline better, I would have given the book five stars.

I want an Australian friend now.

Rating: 4/5

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September 13, 2011 - Posted by | Reading

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