In Revoyr's first novel, Japanese American Nancy Takahiro recounts her days as a high school basketball star in South Central Los Angeles. Soon, African American Raina Webber, a star at a rival school, and her mother move into Nancy's home. Both young women are gay, and Nancy must come to grips with feelings for her new housemate that go beyond the scope of athletics. Revoyr focuses on a number of issues, including competition, interracial relationships, and same-sex relationships. In its presentation of the challenges of living in the 'hood, her work is reminiscent of Sheneska Jackson's Caught Up in the Rapture (LJ 4/15/96). While Revoyr doesn't delve into the complexities of interracial relationships as deeply as the issues of sports and interpersonal relationships, she does question whether love can truly transcend social boundaries. A thoughtful work for larger fiction collections.-Shirley N. Quan, Orange County P.L., Garden Grove, Cal.
Two young women grapple with the stress of competitive high school basketball, college recruiters, their sexual identities, racism, and the interracial love story of their parents. Enough here to appease appetites for drama. (Dec.)
Low-key but refreshing girls 'n' the `hood debut novel about a pair of furiously competitive basketball stars searching for love and certainty in the dank gymnasiums and mean streets of South Central L.A.
The familiar inner-city downers of racism, crime, family disintegration, and sports-as-salvation are handled with extraordinary intelligence and sensitivity in this episodic story. Teenager Nancy Takahiro, a shy, six-foot Japanese-American basketball player, lives in a small suburban tract house with her divorced father, Wendell, a high-school math teacher and football coach. When Wendell invites his girlfriend, divorcée Claudia Webber, a circulation manager for the L.A. Times, to move in with him, Claudia, an African-American, brings her daughter, Raina Webber, a ferociously aggressive basketball star who plays at a different high school that's in a different league. The two girls are not only the same age but also "members of the family"that is, lesbian. As their parents endure racial stigmatism from former friends, what could have been a simple sibling rivalry becomes something far more complicated as Nancy becomes emotionallyand sexuallyinfatuated with Raina, who, though five inches shorter than Nancy, has the gutsy, American street-smart confidence that Nancy feels she lacks. Author Revoyr dodges the easy clichés of ghetto melodramanobody gets pregnant or has a drug problem here; everybody has enough to eat; and violence and crime, while evident, happen elsewhereas she sends Nancy and Raina toward an ultimate confrontation in a league playoff, where Nancy's turbulent uncertainties about herself, as well as her unrequited affection for Raina, make the outcome of the game more than a matter of winning or losing.
A quietly intimate, vigorously honest, and uniquely American hoop dream: tough and tender, without a single false note.