1 out of 4 stars
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Share the Dream by Michael Eugene Hall tells a story of passion, sacrifice, following your heart's desire, and determination to succeed, even in the face of the worst odds.
Share the Dream revolves around Shannon Collins, a shy, talented teenage boy who already has his career path decided by his father, who wanted him in the military just like his grandfather. Nevertheless, he would have other dreams of becoming a mountain biker. The perfect opportunity presents itself to Shannon when he is recruited to join "Team Powell" on a biking tour to compete in the "World Cup Circuit." He would grab this opportunity with both hands, but the challenges along the road would be tougher than he could imagine. Firstly, besides not having his father's approval, his team was under pressure from its sponsors, having lost in previous years and experiencing declining sales. Also, there was the major issue of the three-time undefeated world champion to scale through on the quest for glory. How would Shannon and his team handle these problems?
The story is told mostly by Shannon in the first-person perspective but switches to the third person when we follow other characters. I particularly found Shannon's character intriguing, as he displayed wisdom beyond his years at certain points, especially with handling the grief that consumed his family due to the passing of his mother a couple of years before. There were a few vital things I also picked up from following Shannon's story, especially about following your heart and believing in yourself.
Nevertheless, that is where the positives end in this book. Besides the lessons conveyed, what could have been an enjoyable and thrilling dive into the world of mountain biking severely lacked in overall execution. I would like to start with the plethora of grammatical and punctuation errors that made reading this book a tedious task. Right from the start of the book, these errors welcome you and are a mainstay until the end of the book. Also, the characters included in the story are poorly developed and lack depth. Besides Shannon, I could not point to any aspect of the other characters that made them stand out. It also didn't help that they all sounded like teenagers, including the adults who seemed to only be fascinated by upgrading their skills in wooing women.
The author also attempts to infuse elements of romance in the story, but instead of spicing things up, it just falls flat. No effort at all was put into Shannon getting to know more about his love interest, "Miss Kamikaze." They spend short periods catching up on a few things, and "Miss Kamikaze" would disappear to the point that I would forget her existence until she made another sudden appearance. Furthermore, I was very concerned about how Shannon, who had no experience with mountain biking, would cope with going professional seemingly overnight. He seemed to make the transition quickly without even practicing.
I appreciate the underlying themes explored here, but I was disappointed in almost every aspect I could think of. The book's description highlighted that the book would explore musical elements, but I was left disappointed in that regard as well. In its current state, I cannot recommend this book to any target audience. I rate this novel one out of four stars.
Share the Dream
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