I think this is one of those books that will resonate with some readers more than others, and while the message and ideas were important, I don't think this was a book that worked for me.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another review, After the Shot Drops by Randy Ribay. Thanks so much to Raincoast Books for sending me an ARC of this book for an honest review, as always, all opinions are my own.

This story follows two best friends, Bunny and Nasir. Bunny has recently transferred schools because of his basketball career and Nasir is having troubles accepting Bunny's decision to move on without talking to him about it. While Bunny tries to fit in with his new private school classmates, Nasir spends more time with his down-trodden cousin, Wallace. When Wallace and his grandmother are faced with eviction, he bets against Bunny in the final game of the state championships. Nasir has to make a hard decision - between his family and the brother he's always wanted.

Firstly, I just want to preface this review by saying that I am not at all a sports person. I barely know anything about like 2 sports, and basketball isn't one of them. While I was a little hesitant about this book because of that, I was pleasantly surprised to be able to get through most of the b-ball talk. There were a couple parts where the characters 'sports-caster' announced what was happening in the game and I had no idea what anything was, other than scores, but I still managed to understand some of it.

I really loved how Ribay tells this story with not only two male narrators but includes a strong male friendship. Friendships, in general, are lacking these days in YA, especially male friendships. I don't think I can remember the last book I read that featured male friendships, so I was excited to see Ribay's portrayal of that.

Writing-wise, I liked how the story was told. I appreciated the dual perspectives and didn't really have any problems keeping the two separate. I'm always a fan of quick, short chapters so that was nice as well.

Ribay also touches on some really important social issues, including race and socio-economic struggles. Bunny struggles to find an identity for himself as one of only a handful of students of colour at his private school and despite the financial aid they offer, stands out among the more privileged students. I thought this was a really important and often overlooked aspect of books dealing with racial tensions.

I do think that while this book has some good bones, it just doesn't work with me - mainly because of the basketball elements. I really tried to get past it but I just couldn't. I don't even think you have to love basketball to enjoy this book, you just have to know more than absolutely nothing about it.

Overall, this book didn't work great for me but I can definitely see it as a favourite of many others.