Nancy Rue’s Tournaments, Cocoa & One Wrong Move, the third book in the Real Life series, tells the story of Cassidy, a female high school basketball team captain, whose seemingly perfect life is ripped apart when she takes pills to quicken the healing of a knee injury. Thrown off her team and forced into interaction with “low-lifes,” Cassidy must repeatedly face the fact that everything is not about her and that no one is defined by one mistake, however big or small.
The book begins well, with narration of Cassidy’s last game and her injury as the buzzer sounds. As the story progresses, Cassidy’s knee injury is described and diagnosed. Right before she begins taking the pills, Cassidy happens upon the Real Life book. A new study hall and an art project force Cassidy to converse with Rafe, a self-classified loser who seems focused on robbing her of her sanity.
Tournaments, Cocoa & One Wrong Move has a theme described by Proverbs 18:12 as, “Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.” Cassidy continually is forced to give up her pride.
The progression of Cassidy’s story is interesting, with problems mounting on problems, and a few subplots running with the main one, but the overall writing is disappointing. True enough, by the novel’s conclusion Cassidy has become humble rather than proud, but her new romantic relationship with Rafe is rather premature for her age and rather ancillary to the purpose of the book.
Tournaments, Cocoa & One Wrong Move has a nice idea behind it, and its message is genuine and worthwhile, but this book doesn’t seem to resonate with younger readers. – Meredith Sell, www.christianBookPreviews.com
Perfect? Everything seems to be going right for Cassidy Brewster—she’s the star of her high school basketball team, has a near-perfect GPA, and college recruiters are showing up at her games. But during the state tournament she injures herself, and her season appears to be over. With pressures at home and at school, Cassidy turns desperate and makes choices that only increase the number of problems in her life. As Cassidy’s carefully controlled world falls apart, a mysterious book begins to speak to her, and it might just contain the answers Cassidy has been trying to find.