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But when we stop to catch our breath, we realize this is much more than another sports book. New York features prominently in these pages-its successes, its heartbreaks, its projects and its swanky gyms. The relative security and safety of Holdsclaw's life at Christ the King High School in Queens stands in sharp contrast to her tales of life in the nearby projects, where alcoholism, drug abuse, petty crime and despair have a strong foothold in the rundown buildings and darkened bus stops.
But Holdsclaw does not dwell; she does not sulk. She doesn't have the time, frankly, for we soon find that the life of a young basketball star is full of constant action. From sunup to sundown, Holdsclaw is practicing, shooting, running and negotiating. The decision about which college to attend is almost as harrowing for the readers as it is for Holdsclaw herself, and we breathe a sigh of relief when she makes what is obviously the right choice.
And though we meet Jay-Z and Gabrielle Reece and many other famous sports stars on these pages, the personality we most remember is that of Holdsclaw's grandmother and guardian. She is the calm in Holdsclaw's storm, the light that shines into and illuminates the dark tunnels of choices no child should have to make. June Holdsclaw's steadfast surety is something every child would be fortunate to have, and her granddaughter's testament to her faith and love resonates in these pages.
As Holdsclaw grows up and trades in the streets of New York and a busted up pair of hi-tops for the rigors of academia at the University of Tennessee, the burdens of success become more apparent. The stress of being a star on the court takes its toll mentally, academically, and of course, physically, but Holdsclaw bravely dribbles past these obstacles and fights to stay on top. Which isn't to say she doesn't have her distractions-from boys to friends to tough-as-nails coaches like Pat Summitt, Holdsclaw's busy life bustles and buzzes throughout Breaking Through, making the pages hum with vitality.
And only when Holdsclaw's health fails her, when her team slows down and the winning streak seems to be over, does she come to realize that what's essential in basketball-and of course, in life-isn't speed, or strength, or who you know, or how hard you work, but balance: the fine line between not enough and too much, between carefree and careless. She finally finds hers, and that's what makes this book the powerful read that it is.
At its core, Breaking Through is a testament to the places and people that make us whole and keep us sane-it's a shout out to hard work, love, faith and equilibrium.
Posted March 7, 2013
This book is very inspiring. It has given me a different perspective on life. I see that you have to be strong throughout life. There are obstacles through life that are going to knock you down but you have to learn to get back up and be strong. I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone and everyone especially if you are going through emotional stress and family issues.
Posted April 26, 2012
To say I was disappointed in this book is an understatement! Not only is it a tired recap of her glory days playing basketball in high school and college, it's also extremely poorly written. She boasts of being an outstanding student, but she apparently slept through every English class she attended. Chapter after chapter filled with run-on sentences, grammatical errors, and misspellings made it necessary to reread passages multiple times just to make sense of them. With this book Ms. Holdsclaw totally destroyed the very favorable impression I'd had of her.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 4, 2012
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