Tuesday 25 February 2020

eXtreme Blindside - Leslea Wahl

eXtreme Blindside
Leslea Wahl
Pauline Books and Media
eISBN 9780819824066

This is the sixth volume written by or contributed to by Leslea Wahl that I have read. The Perfect Blindside, was the first book I read by Wahl and after reading it I picked up all the others that were then available. And I eagerly awaited this novel that continues the story. And the story was well worth the wait. This book is a good clean Christian young adult novel. But the story is so well written that even older readers should really enjoy it. It is part mystery and part romance. But the romance is about young people figuring out what God really want’s for them. 

As such the story revolves around mysterious events happening at an eXtreme games event in Colorado. But it also focuses on growing into who we want to be. Growth in maturity and responsibility. And about life in the limelight and under pressure and public scrutiny. The story also has some incredible scenery. From heliskiing in Europe to the events at the games in Colorado. 

Jack is taking part in an eXtreme Madness Games. In part as training for his role on the US Snowboarding team. And in part to help raise support for a new training facility. A facility that will not only cater to elite athletes but be fully integrated for Special Olympics, and athletes with all kinds of abilities. But something is going on at the games. Top athletes keep having things go wrong. From broken equipment to missing gear. Someone seems to be interfering with the events and putting people at risk. 

Jake Taylor is trying to walk a fine line between living his faith, and being a high profile name helping to raise funds for the new facility. His girlfriend, Sophie, is onside doing an internship for a magazine. And together they start looking into what is happening and why. But as with the last time, their investigations ends up putting both of them at grave danger. And They danger is not only from those trying to wreck the games, but from their own struggles with life in the media spotlight, and on both sides some jealousy. 

The story moves at a brisk pace. One of the greatest strengths is the characters. Wahl writes great characters. Both our heroes and also the villains. Another excellent part of the book is the representation of internal struggles. Both for what to do and for understanding what they want. Jake and Sophie are excellent role models and examples. And I hope that we get another story with them.

This book was a great read. I could hardly put it down. I have already asked my oldest daughter to read the story so we can use the discussion guide at the end. And I plan on reading it with my son later in the year. And with the discussion guide at the end great for families or youth groups to work through together. It is an excellent read.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by Leslea Wahl:
The Perfect Blindside
An Unexpected Role
Where You Lead
Unlikely Witness

eXtreme Blindside
Christmas Angel 
Contributed to:
Secrets: Visible & Invisible 7 Amazing Stories - Catholic Teen Books

Gifts Visible & Invisible 8 Christmas Stories for Teens
Treasures: Visible & Invisible 8 Stories for Teens
The Gift of the Angel Tree 

(Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: A Year of Reading Intention - Catholic Reading!)

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