“‘Cause if there’s a God, that’s not what he is. He doesn’t just give you anything you beg him for.” ~Checked
Checked by Cynthia Kadohata: 5/5 Stars
Hockey is Conor’s life. His whole life. He’ll say it himself, he’s a hockey beast. It’s his dad’s whole life too—and Conor is sure that’s why his stepmom, Jenny, left. There are very few things Conor and his dad love more than the game, and one of those things is their Doberman, Sinbad. When Sinbad is diagnosed with cancer, Conor chooses to put his hockey lessons and practices on hold so they can pay for Sinbad’s chemotherapy.
But without hockey to distract him, Conor begins to notice more. Like his dad’s crying bouts, and his friend’s difficult family life. And then Conor notices one more thing: without hockey, the one thing that makes him feel special, is he really special at all?
This’ll be a spoiler free review. I figured it’s been a while since I’ve done a review and I just enjoyed this book so much that I felt like writing a quick little review. 🙂 I hope y’all enjoy this review.
So, I saw this book in the middle-grade section of Barnes & Noble so I decided to buy it because it seemed like this book was meant for me haha. If you’re not aware I’m a huge fan of hockey and I actually used to have a Doberman. My Doberman, Rocky, was my baby. I had him probably close to the same age as Conor in the novel. So, I immediately resonated with this book before even reading a word of it. That being said…if you’re not a fan of hockey then I think you’ll get bored with this book.
I loved this book so much because it actually brought back so, so many, good memories. I made me think back about my Rocky and even about my current dog Zeva. So, this book definitely was a feel-good book for me. It just reminded me about how much hockey means to me. I actually found a rink that I’m gonna try to start going to on my days off. It’s not necessarily close but I miss the sport. That’s why this book is so special to me. It just made me feel so good.
I also liked the plot and the writing of this book. I liked seeing how things unfolded. It was amazing to see Conor grow and learn some really important lessons. It had some pretty grown up lessons that he learned that you don’t always see in middle-grade and honestly I think that’s super important. He learned some just overall great things. Especially towards the end. It’s such a good book about hard work and just life in general. I definitely recommend it but maybe I’m just biased. 😉
I also liked seeing how Conor’s dad grew throughout the novel…I think it’s a very necessary thing to see. Adults aren’t perfect and his dad seemed pretty good at sharing that side of himself with Conor. I also just loved their relationship. It was such a good thing to see because sometimes parents and kids don’t talk about more personal things and it was so nice to see just how open they were with one another. I wish that was seen more in books, honestly.
It’s a longer book but I think every page is worth it. I enjoyed it so much. I just can’t get over how much I enjoyed it….that’s exactly the feeling that makes a book a 5-star read as opposed to a 4-star read. This book just touched a part of my heart and it’ll forever have a place there now.
I think that’s all I have to say about this book. Like I said it was just a short review….basically me fangirling about how much I loved this book haha. Have a wonderful day. I hope y’all liked this review. 🙂