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Posted July 28, 2013
This novel has an interesting concept centering around Enzo Prinziatta and Barry Budiski, two college students that cross paths when Enzo falls for Barry’s girlfriend at a Halloween party. Swept up in lust as he chases Jenny, Enzo stumbles upon the death of a stripper in the fraternity house, unleashing a set of events that put Enzo and Barry into close contact throughout the rest of the novel. Readers feel the tension between the two males from the very first violent outbreak, and the tension remains high throughout the novel as it unfolds, crossing back and forth between the narration of Enzo and Barry, which gives readers a direct link to each as the plot thickens. I love this narration style as it generally allows me to connect even more with the characters, however, in this instance it had the opposite effect for me. The more I learned about the inner workings of the characters’ minds, the less I liked them—though no fault of the authors. Enzo seems extremely immature, constantly drinking, fighting, and trying to score with Barry’s girlfriend, and I just wasn’t impressed or attracted to him at all. From the sounds of his character descriptions, it seems he has a rather large beer belly, as well, and since he’s the star baseball player, well, that was difficult for me to envision, and his sloppy attitude didn’t endear him to my heart any further.
Barry was exceptionally sinister, and his arrogance and flippant nature was an instant turn-off for me from the beginning, but I feel like this was more or less intended. While the pressure from Barry’s father helped shed light on his antics and lies, I never did feel sorry for him or even begin to like his character; he too seemed immature and sloppy to me, just as Enzo did, which made for a tricky read as disliking the two main characters doesn’t bode well for a novel I’m reading. However, the writing was extremely well done, and the story carried through quite nicely from start to finish. And though it’s slated as a sports novel, it’s really much more than that, with relatively little baseball, which was great for me because I really don’t care for sports all that much. Honestly, I think many readers might find the events in this novel quite comical and enjoyable should they not mind the main characters’ immaturity. I, personally, can only give it two stars, though.