I realize belatedly that picking up a novel about a young girl interested in golf probably wasn’t the best idea for me as I’m typically not a fan of most sports and while I may not hate golf with a fiery passion as I do with American football (gag), I definitely find it to be a fairly boring activity outside of goofing off. That said, while I didn’t have a high level of interest in the main sport of this book, the golf aspect of it genuinely wasn’t all that bad. In fact, after reading the afterward in the book about the original title, I’m actually genuinely annoyed that it was changed in the first place. The Sweet Spot is by far an infinitely better title for a book than Falling for Wonder Boy. It’s certainly a million and one times less vapid, in my opinion.
Falling for Wonder Boy by Kristine Carlson Asselin definitely had a lot of potential as a novel, but I don’t feel like it ever reached a lot of that potential. The best thing that this book has going for it is that the characters are actually decently written and developed. Unfortunately, the piece that really bogs down the novel is it’s predictability and the lack of reasonable motive in the villain. Ironically, I had the arsonist pegged exceedingly early in the novel. While there was a brief moment when I questioned my certainty, it didn’t last long and ultimately left me with a feeling that the author was simply trying to, but couldn’t quite complete the process of, throw the reader off the trail.
But the arsonist, in the end, was painfully obvious and the story as a whole ridiculously predictable. It didn’t make the novel terrible, and in fact I was ready to say it was just a mediocre book but not a bad read and I would have had it not been for Tracey. The main reason that this book ended with a two-star rating rather than a three was due to the main character’s older sister, Tracey, who at regular intervals existed as the character to make excuses for misogynistic actions as though to question the main character’s hurt and anger at certain mistakes made by her crush.
There was almost a ‘boys will be boys’ approach to the advice that Tracey gave her younger sister, alternating between a commentary that one should forgive a boy’s terrible behavior because otherwise they will blow their shot at their crush and the idea that boy’s are worthless and awful, neither of which are ideas I would ever want any young girl developing. And this is not to say that the level to which Tracey showed these problematic pieces of herself was enough to condemn the book as a whole, because it wasn’t. And I’m sure that it wont bother everyone. But for me, it was too much.
I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.