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Reviewed by Vernita Naylor for Readers' Favorite
You are as great as your last feat. This is what Michael “Tootie” Mayberry learned as he transitioned into becoming a superstar football player. In Virginia Beach, Tootie was special because of how he romanced and embraced the game. When he was accepted at the University of Georgia, he once again not only became special but a superstar after a lot of hard work. Tootie realized that fame comes at a great cost. In The Athlete-Student: Freshman Year by Eugene Holloman, the reader will learn what happens behind the scenes in the glitzy and glamorous life as an athlete. Despite Tootie experiencing some challenges while playing in Virginia Beach, from his mother dying from cancer at a young age, and having a strict dad as a single parent, to his brother, Shawn, being caught up with the wrong crowd and on the wrong side of the track, his life was going fairly well. With his choice of a few colleges and his girl, Sophia, by his side who had a passion to become a lawyer, they had a dream to become an ‘it couple,’ but will their dreams come true or come crashing down when they begin attending separate schools?
Holloman himself is not only a young author but a former athlete who knows first hand that in any game of sports there must be a Plan B, maybe even a Plan C-E. This book speaks to the millennial generation because it provides a road map into the athletic life in that it does have highs as well as lows. Not everyone can be an athlete, singer or rapper, which are some of the passions that interest many of our youths. The irony is that they never look at an alternative path or plan for “what if?” This is a book that can help young adult readers to refocus and reevaluate their lives by seeing that, despite their dreams, there are some challenges and temptations that can derail them, and points out the paths that they can either take or avoid.