Skip to main content

Hooper

Review

Hooper

In Geoff Herbach’s HOOPER, readers meet Adam, a teenage boy with a talent for basketball and a passion for much more.

Adam is a young boy adopted from an orphanage in Poland by an American woman. He lives in Minnesota, playing basketball for the local high school team --- and he’s good. Really good. Good enough to be playing on teams he’s never even dreamt of playing with. Basketball is his passport to a greater life but how much is he willing to sacrifice for the sport?

"The feeling of not fitting in either culture you live around felt incredibly authentic to me and Herbach portrayed in a way that resonated with me."

HOOPER deals very heavily with basketball but that was not a barrier to me at all (unfortunately, my 5’0 frame leaves much to be desired when it comes to basketball). I was not expecting to relate to this book very much because I am not someone who enjoys watching or talking about basketball. However, I was surprised by how much the topic of identity resonated with me. I moved to the United States when I was 10 years old. At that age, I was too Nepali to be American and I was too American to be Nepali. Adam dealt with a lot of those similar feelings. He was too American to be Polish but too Polish to be American. The feeling of not fitting in either culture you live around felt incredibly authentic to me and Herbach portrayed in a way that resonated with me. Additionally, Adam’s feeling of resentment towards Renata, who he started viewing as someone who directly took the action that made him feel like that was also something I really understood.

One of my absolute favorite parts of this book was how it showed how parts of everyone’s life can be broken. Supporting characters in books often either have it all or have nothing at all. However, this book was different. Every character had something they were struggling with but also had good things happening in their life. This felt more real to my experience with people in general. Every character felt like they were real and not just one dimensional figures on the page.

The progression of Herbach’s writing style from the beginning of HOOPER to the end allowed me to feel like I got to know Adam well. I related to his story but also found all other characters to be real and complex.

Reviewed by Pranshu Adhikari on March 27, 2018

Hooper
by Geoff Herbach