Becoming Phoebe

Becoming Phoebe

by J Michael Neal


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780997025804
Publisher: Melancholy Donkey Press
Publication date: 02/01/2016
Pages: 422
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.86(d)

About the Author

J. Michael Neal lives in Minneapolis where he owns a house and in turn is owned by three cats. His passions are history, fantasy and science fiction, role playing, prog rock, sports, good liquor and especially the Gopher women's hockey team. Unproductive at home he works primarily from various restaurants around the Twin Cities. His favorite authors include Guy Gavriel Kay, Jon Courtenay Grimwood and Alistair Reynolds.

He has been published in By Polaris Bright, an anthology from the Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers. His story "Living After Noon" won the Open Division of the 2013 Minnesota Geek Partnership Society Writer's Contest, and his story "The Love of His Life" will be published in an upcoming issue of Tales of the Unanticipated.

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Becoming Phoebe 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Amys_Bookshelf_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Heartbreaking and Uplifting It's a perfectly paced story that brings the reader on the adventure that is Phoebe's life, the life of a foster child. She's very complex and is trying to figure her part in the world. It's a well written story and I love how the Hockey theme gets woven in the story, as an inspiration and aspiration for Phoebe, but it doesn't take it over as her only saving grace. There are deeply heartbreaking moments, and then uplifting moments. Phoebe is a character with great depth who over comes a lot in her life, where she could use her poor childhood as an excuse, and she doesn't.
WhisperingStories More than 1 year ago
At just four years old, Phoebe is found wandering the streets on her own. As she grew older, she found herself sent from one foster home to another, until at the tender age of 18, she was old enough to grow her own wings and leave the system. Phoebe’s childhood was marred with neglect and abuse. Her only safe pace was on the ice rink, playing hockey, in a mainly male-orientated sport. On the ice she felt less lonely and enjoyed being a part of a team. As Phoebe flourishes on the ice, she starts to break down her own frozen wall, that she has built around herself, to become the person she should have always been – herself. Becoming Phoebe is a page-turner of a book. There are many sensitive and delicate issues within the story which the author handles with great care and understanding. Through a series of flashbacks, you come to feel a real connection with Phoebe and have a genuine sense of love for her, and a will for her to become the woman that deep down she really is. Phoebe is a complex character that you will instantly feel an empathy towards. Whilst her traumatic past does play an important part in her life, she doesn’t let it dictate who she is now and who she wants to be. She has learned to control her own future. The book is about one young woman’s courage and battle to leave her horrid past behind, and flourish in the present with the help of a great team of hockey players, who she has the pleasure of calling her friends. It will leave you with a sense of satisfaction, whilst throughout it will have you breaking your heart in some places, and beaming at others.
Lovz-Books More than 1 year ago
This is the story of Phoebe, an orphan girl with aspirations of becoming a hockey player. Her earliest memory is about her wandering the streets at four years old with skates around her neck and a man took her to the police station. That’s where it all begins. Sixteen years later, Phoebe is living her life in college, where she tries out for the hockey team. Written in the POV of Phoebe, story is an earnest and succinct account of a poor, lonely girl and a dream. We’re basically reading the girl’s diary by the way it’s written, and all she talks about is hockey. Every brief snippet seems to center on hockey. Of course, I believe that girls can play hockey, if that’s what they want, and Phoebe was literally born for it. She’s smart, savvy, and tough. Being that I’m not into sports so much, the hockey stuff wasn’t that interesting to me. But I admire stories with strong, independent women who go for the gold. If you say, “Girls can’t play hockey,” Phoebe says, “Watch me.” You have to admire her gumption. Still, I couldn’t help but feel that the story centered more on hockey than anything else. Of course, hockey is the central theme, but it becomes weary after a while. I personally would’ve liked to learn more about Phoebe—her past, her friends, her life sans hockey. C’mon, the girl should be able to think outside of hockey. Even in A League of their own, the girls had other things going for them besides baseball. All in all, this was an okay story, but I anticipated it to be more than just hockey. Phoebe’s a great character and readers will enjoy watching her try and fumble. It’s hockey’s version of G.I. Jane.
Boundlessbookreviews More than 1 year ago
I'm not one for sports books, because If I'm not familiar with the sport the book tends to be confusing. Becoming Phoebe is loaded with sports, but they were explained in a way that was easy to understand. Phoebe had a really messed up past. Her earliest memories are of her knowing and stating that she was going to play Hockey. Girls playing in Hockey is not common and finding her place in this sport was hard, but she prevailed. She finds herself on the team she always dreamed of and along the way she meets people that help her find herself. This book was written very well. It presented the reader with a young woman from a bad past who, through all kinds of battles, makes it. It provides hope, redemption, and friendship in a new light. It's funny, sad and sometimes shocking and really is a great read for anyone of any age. If you struggles with your past this story can possibly help open your eyes to those struggles and help you be a better you despite the past...Stormi
TsBlogging1 More than 1 year ago
Title: Publisher Read “Becoming Phoebe” by J. Michael Neal Reviewed by B. Smart 4/7/16 2:04 p.m. Meet Phoebe Rose: a tenacious teenager with a passion for hockey and a desperate need to prove herself in the world. Found walking alone on the street when she is only four years old with no recollection of her family, Phoebe is bounced around from foster home to foster home until she finally escapes the system at age 18. She leaves determined to play hockey for her favorite college team in order to break free of her traumatic past. Although she has a hard time trusting people, she eventually opens up to her fellow teammates who are able to show her the true meaning of family. Becoming Phoebe is a coming-of-age story about loyalty and betrayal, abuse and support, friendship, and redemption. Author J. Michael Neal does a phenomenal job of creating original, emotionally complex characters whose experiences tug at the reader’s heartstrings. His first person narrative is extremely well-developed, and the protagonist’s strong personality and unwavering perseverance is inspiring to read. Filled with thoughtfully constructed flashbacks interspersed with unique, realistic experiences, this novel is rich in depth and raw human emotion. Becoming Phoebe is a poignant, compelling read intended for mature audiences, and readers may find some elements of this novel disturbing. However, the more alarming scenes are written in a way that is more reflective than graphic. The narrator does not dwell on her circumstances, but rather she views them as an outsider looking in, and her friends help her understand her past while she grows from it. This is a story about the triumph over impossible odds and how the events of one’s life do not define them. Those who enjoyed Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak or Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower will love this book. I give “Becoming Phoebe” 5 out of 5 stars and deem it a Publisher's Read. Cheers, B. Smart