I do not review books for a living, but I actually do enjoy reading despite what many of you probably think. Hertel did an outstanding job in the first book. He not only introduced several interesting characters, he also was able to capture our sport in a way that clicked as I read.
As each character was introduced and as I started to learn about their personality, I actually visualized faces of people I knew. At first I found it a bit weird and thought I was just doing that on my own. I then realized that Hertel did something that many writers tend not to do; he was able to develop his characters with personalities that we could all relate to. Specifically, if you have been involved in our unique sport, you should be able to connect someone you know to one or more of the characters.
Coach Granger brought back vivid memories of my own head coach in High School; older, grumpy, hard nosed and all business. I had to take a break from reading and think back to “discussions” I had with my coach. Assistant coach MacCallister did not really remind me of my assistant coach, but he did remind me of many other wrestlers I have know over the years. Specifically, it reminded me of those wrestlers who fight personal demons and who use wrestling as their support. Wrestling has a way of making things right for many, and again I think Hertel nails it with coach MacCallister.
As for the main characters I think it is safe to assume that many of you will find some kind of connection with them. Hertel does an excellent job of capturing the essence of what our sport is about and how our sport is more about overcoming obstacles then anything else. The story looks at how some wrestlers are athletically gifted, while others are not. It shows how hard work and dedication can help overcome deficiencies; all in all it shows what wrestling is.
This is a book for both young and old alike. Coaches, parents and wrestlers will connect with the story.
On November 1, 2011 the sequel will be released. To Be The Best: REMATCH (2011, HH Castle-Mac Publishing).
This book will focus on Ron and Nick Castle, as they pursue their shared dream of winning the state championship.
While REMATCH includes more mature themes than To Be The Best, especially around the character of Sean MacCallister, the likeable Riverside assistant coach who deals with more than his fair share of life’s challenges, the target audience for the sequel continues to be the high school wrestler.
Like the original, REMATCH is available in both Kindle and traditional paper formats. Order your copy today at www.amazon.com . For more information, or to download book excerpts, go to www.hhcastle-mac.com .