Official Review: House of Hoops by June Gillam

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diana lowery
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Official Review: House of Hoops by June Gillam

Post by diana lowery »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "House of Hoops" by June Gillam.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Author June Gillam concludes her newest Hillary Broome novel with this prophetic statement from Hillary, "I think we'll be surprised at how much we all find in 2020." She was correct. House of Hoops is set in Sacramento, California, in 2019. There are references to actual events and people, but the majority of the content is fiction. The book is dedicated to Gianna Bryant who died in January 2020. She and her legendary father, Kobe, are mentioned several times, but the accident that killed them both has not happened yet. References to mass shootings, protests, and Black Lives Matter are also included in this suspenseful story about the path to progress in a city environment.

The plot revolves around two protagonists who had an unpleasant incident in the past that is affecting their current situation. One of them is trying to build a community center; the other one is trying to stop the construction. The characters in this novel symbolize different social problems. Hillary, a strong woman, is determined to balance a career and a family. She has a supportive husband and a pre-teen daughter who echoes her mother's insecurities. Charlie, the second protagonist, is distraught over the gentrificaiton of his neighborhood. His concern has been hastened by a terminal illness diagnosis and his desire to leave a legacy before he dies. Readers see these individuals evolve and experience a catharsis. Stacy, another key character, remains a constant guiding force and is my favorite cast member in this social drama.

The chapters flow smoothly, and the transitions between the two storylines are easy to follow. The characters are introduced effectively, and it is not difficult to keep up with all the relationships. Gillam employs figurative language. "Cancer fingers destroying brain cells like developers destroying neighborhoods..." is a simile that connects Charlie's illness with his mission. Gillam also uses personification. Here it is used to suggest impending doom for Hillary: "...her navy peacoat bare protection against dark clouds starting to let go of their rain." Passages such as these were pleasant, not overwhelming, and created a relaxed reading experience. My only criticism with the writing style was the pace. It was very slow in the beginning and rushed in the end.

The novel consists of 54 chapters broken into three parts. At the beginning of each chapter, there is a quote. Some of these lines were from a satirical dictionary attributed to Ambrose Bierce, an ancestor of the protagonist Charlie. The other quotes were from a wide variety of authors, educators, and performers. I looked forward to these passages and was pleased when I recognized the source. Often the names were unfamiliar, and I was inspired to research them. This was my favorite part of reading the book. I was introduced to a variety of professors, environmentalists and social workers. This exercise proved to be both entertaining and educational. I applaud the author for her diligence in providing the perfect quote for each chapter.

House of Hoops is the fourth book in the Hillary Broome series. I have not read the earlier books but had no difficulty reading the last one first. The editing was almost flawless, and the entertainment value was high, so I am rating this 4 out of 4 stars. Because there is little profanity and no erotic content, I can recommend this to all readers. Since the subject of basketball is so prominent, I think it would be enjoyed by those interested in that sport. The book also covers the tumultuous road to adulthood for adolescent girls; this should be of interest to both mothers and daughters. I look forward to reading books one, two, and three.

******
House of Hoops
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Dominik_G
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Post by Dominik_G »

I'm not sure if House of Hoops is the right book for me but I enjoyed reading your insightful and well-written review nonetheless. Thank you!

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diana lowery
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Post by diana lowery »

Dominik_G wrote:
10 Oct 2020, 06:55
I'm not sure if House of Hoops is the right book for me but I enjoyed reading your insightful and well-written review nonetheless. Thank you!
Thank you for commenting. i appreciate it very much.

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Post by Nqobile771 »

Well,Hillary was right! 2020 really did surprise us. Thanks for the review.
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diana lowery
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Post by diana lowery »

Nqobile771 wrote:
10 Oct 2020, 09:32
Well,Hillary was right! 2020 really did surprise us. Thanks for the review.
Thank you for reading my review.

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Post by Bookworm101520 »

I'm not much of a basketball fan, but your review of this book might just convince me to read it! Thank you for a comprehensive review.

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Post by Lilyflower-x2 »

This is the time for a book such as House of Hoops.Thank your for your review.
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Post by rahilshajahan »

I'm just getting into basketball and the emotional backdrop of the story laid with one of the most prominent sports in the world seems to pique my interest. Thanks for the insightful review!
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Post by lavenderbooks20 »

I see that the story is full of drama. But since basketball is a prominent subject, I don’t think I would enjoy this as much. Great review, though. It is very thorough and well-written.

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Post by diana lowery »

lavenderbooks20 wrote:
11 Oct 2020, 08:17
I see that the story is full of drama. But since basketball is a prominent subject, I don’t think I would enjoy this as much. Great review, though. It is very thorough and well-written.
I appreciate your comments. Thanks for stopping by.

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Post by KayyCustoms »

I love the drama and the theme. Basketball is a tough topic to make interesting for all audiences .It was very well written though!

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Post by GatugiM »

You're review is well written and insightful. This sounds like something I would read. I want to start from book one though. Thanks for your review

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diana lowery
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Post by diana lowery »

KayyCustoms wrote:
11 Oct 2020, 15:10
I love the drama and the theme. Basketball is a tough topic to make interesting for all audiences .It was very well written though!
The author did a great job making it interesting to non-basketball readers, too.

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diana lowery
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Latest Review: House of Hoops by June Gillam
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Post by diana lowery »

GatugiM wrote:
11 Oct 2020, 18:27
You're review is well written and insightful. This sounds like something I would read. I want to start from book one though. Thanks for your review
Thanks for your comment. Yes, I think starting with book one is the best idea.

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Post by honesty_pays »

A book dedicated to the daughter of Kobe Bryant. This would be an exceptional piece and I think I would try it out. Nice review

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