Sunday, September 29, 2013

Review of "TT: Full Throttle"

I do not know much about motorcycle racing other than a few motocross highlights and having heard about a race on the Isle of Man.  This race is called the Tourist Trophy race and is a premier event in the sport.  Nicole Winters wrote a book about this race geared for young adults and I was fortunate to be provided a copy for review.  Here is my review.

“TT: Full Throttle” by Nicole Winters

Motorcycle Racing, fiction, Young Adult (YA)

September 20, 2013

264 pages

5 of 5 stars (outstanding)

The Tourist Trophy (TT) Race on the Isle of Man, one of the premier motorcycle racing events, was the dream of Scott and his father.  Now Scott has to attempt to qualify for this race without his father, who died before realizing that dream.   How Scott continues on this quest, not only for himself but also for his father, is the story told in this outstanding young adult (YA) book by Nicole Winters.  

What sets this book apart from many other YA novels is that the focus of the story is about the sport of motorcycle racing and the course for the TT race.   Many critics of this genre complain about too much “teenage angst” that takes away from the main story.  That is certainly NOT the case with this book. 

Yes, there are conflicts with each of the characters. Scott is wondering how he can possibly qualify for the race.  Maggie, or Mags as she is called in the book, loves working on bikes and wants to be a top-notch mechanic, but her parents have other ideas. Scott has feelings for Mags, but wonders if she feels the same and whether he should tell her. Dean has demons from his past he wants to overcome. All three of them are mourning the loss of their friend Neil, who wanted to travel to the Isle with Scott for the race. They are important to the story, but not written in a manner that neither detracts from the race nor is over the top in dramatics.

A reader does not have to be a fan of the sport or even have much knowledge to enjoy this book.  Ms. Winters does a wonderful job of not only explaining the technical aspects of the bikes, but also her description of the course. The scenes in which Scott is on the track, whether in practice or during a qualifying run, are superbly written.  The reader not only experiences the thrill of the sharp turns and fast straight sections, but also gets inside Scott’s mind as to what he is thinking about at that moment. 

This book can be read by anyone of any age and be enjoyed.  It is one that I would recommend for anyone who simply loves a good story or if one wants to learn more about motorcycle racing.  Ms. Winters did her homework on the topic and this story is one that shows that hard work can result in an outstanding product.

I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Did I skim?
No – I made sure to devour every word of this story.

Did I feel connected to the characters?
Yes.  Each one of them seems to be genuine with conflicts, but focused on thier task.

Pace of the story:
Excellent – the main story of Scott’s attempt to race in the TT moves along and is always the focus.  The side stories of each characters other issues are woven nicely into the main story without becoming a distraction.

There are so many.  While the story is marketed as a YA story, it is a great read for any age.  I felt the best aspect of the book was the outstanding research into racing and the course that Ms. Winters did in preparing to write this book.   The details of particular marks and turns on the course are illustrated in a way that the reader will think he or she is actually there on the course.

There aren’t many, whether it was for the story, characters, editing, flow, or the research into racing or the TT course.  All aspects of this book are well done.

Do I recommend?
Yes – for anyone, any age who simply enjoys a good book. 

Book Format Read:
ebook (Kindle)

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