“I heard the chain on the door as he locked us in and the world out.” ~Power Play
Power Play by Eric Walters: 4/5 Stars
No one is tougher than Cody. Not his hockey teammates. Not his rivals on the ice. Not even his old man after he’s been drinking. Cody only wants one thing – to make it to the NHL – and he won’t let anything get in his way. When a junior A league scout helps Cody make the draft and becomes his coach, Cody can hardly believe it. Finally, someone who sees his potential! But he soon learns that his new champion will take as much as he gives. And, before long, Cody’s lucky break has transformed into a nightmare of secrets, lies and a terrible abuse of power.
*This review may contain some spoilers*
I saw this book for cheap on Book Outlet and since I love hockey I figured why not? I didn’t realize how much I would love this book. it is such a powerful and important read. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I think everyone needs to read this book even if you aren’t a sports fan. This book deals with sexual assault along with molestation.
In this book the main character, Cody, is a serious hockey player with problems at home. He has a dad that drinks too much and gets angry way too fast. If I’m honest that seems to be a reoccurring theme in hockey books I read. Anyway, he has a very loving mother, but Cody is still troubled. He doesn’t try hard in school and when he’s on the ice he doesn’t mind being aggressive to show he isn’t weak. He’s one of the best players on the ice so it isn’t a surprise when a scout decides he wants to help him. However, that’s not all the scout wants.
This scout also wants to become a coach and most of the kids call him Coach when he chooses a select few to be on his team. One of them being Cody who couldn’t be more excited since he’s just a step under going pro in the NHL. He finds out really quickly that it isn’t all fun and games. Cody ends up being molested by Coach, a guy he was supposed to be able to trust. Cody seemed a little iffy about some things Coach does, but brushes it off as nothing. For example his coach encouraging him to drink beer when he’s under age and to miss curfew by talking with him. This gets Cody in trouble but Coach comes to his rescue and in Coach’s eyes that means Cody owes him.
As the book progresses Coach ends up molesting Cody. Cody isn’t living with his parents at the time because he is off pursuing his career of hockey so he is staying with a different family. Therefore, Cody feels more alone than ever. He has no idea what to do because no one will believe him if he speaks up and Coach has everything set up to make his life a living Hell if he does say a word. Coach has a folder full of lies about Cody and he says that if Cody says anything then he’ll release it making it impossible for Cody to ever become pro or to ever play for another team for that matter. Cody is bullied into doing what Coach wants because he feels he has no other choice but to give him what he asks for and in return he will someday be pro. Cody fears telling his parents because he doesn’t know how his dad will react and he doesn’t want to make his mom worry. Cody decides to just deal with it because he gets something in return.
Cody soon decides it isn’t worth it anymore; dealing with his coach sexually assaulting him. he tries to make a deal with his coach saying he won’t say a word, he just asks that his coach stops what he’s doing. The coach doesn’t take this very lightly and makes sure that Cody knows that he is the reason Cody is doing so well and will be successful and Cody will continue to do whatever Coach wants and that if Cody ever tells anyone Coach isn’t afraid to kill him. Cody is too afraid to try anything so he complies.
He had me trapped even more completely than I’d believed possible. What he was doing was evil and awful and, in a twisted way, brilliant. But what else did I expect from Coach> He was the smartest person I’d ever met.
As the story goes on Cody continues to feel trapped and begins to think of suicide. Although he knows he can never do it he can’t seem to shake the thoughts that come to him. Anyway, Cody ends up getting caught hung over in school and he get’s called into the principal’s office. However, he’s not the only one in the principal’s office, Terry is there, the owner of the team. Cody can’t keep quiet any longer and he tells Terry everything. Cody get’s the help he needs and Coach is put in jail.
This book was just amazing and so important in my opinion. I feel like sexual assault occurring to guys isn’t talked about enough and this book helps shine some light on the subject. I thing everyone should give this book a read because it’s important that it’s talked about and not just forgotten. It’s important that those who have been sexually assaulted speak up about it and don’t keep quiet because by speaking up they aren’t only helping themselves they’re helping all of those who have also gone though the same thing.
This book also had an Afterword by Sheldon Kennedy and I just found that amazing. He is a former hockey player who experienced sexual assault from his coach and he even wrote his own book, which I plan on buying. It’s important to see people speak up no matter how old or young they are.
This book was pretty dark, but in the end it shined some light on how serious sexual assault is even for guys. I really enjoyed this book. I liked the writing and the story and the character. Cody had a troubled life and it made it easy for me to feel for him and just want to earn more about him and see how his life turned out and how he took control. My only problem with this book was that the ending seemed a little rushed, but overall it was really good. I recommend this book to everyone!
Thanks for reading my review, I hope y’all enjoyed it!