Title: THE FIELD
Author: Tracy Richardson
Publish Date: 10.12.13
Publisher: Luminis Books
Category /Genre: YA, Paranormal, Mystery
Recommended for: 12+
Grammar/editing: A – near perfect
Received from: Tracy Richardson (in exchange for an honest review)
Tour by: Novel Publicity
Goodreads: The Field
Date completed: 12.04.13
Description from the publisher:
Eric Horton has been having visions - terrible dreams that wake him up at night - of explosions and fire and someone screaming. On the soccer field, he's been in the 'zone', saving shot after shot as one of the starting keepers for his high school varsity team with what feels like supernatural awareness of where the ball is going to go next. And the connection he feels with Renee, the hot new exchange student from France, seems almost like he's known her forever. But all these wild visions and synchronicities are nothing compared to the strange experiments Renee's dad is cooking up in the physics lab at the University. He's asked Eric to take part in these tests, and that makes Eric question whether what he's seeing and hearing is reality, or something far beyond it. Then when his best friend Will starts drinking way too much and Renee has eyes for other guys, Eric loses the edge he's always had in the goal, and confidence in himself. If he's going to pull it together, Eric must tap into a part of himself that he never knew existed, and that might just be the part that connects us all.
I position myself in the goal. I touch the left side of the goal, then walk to the right side, touch it, and then move to the center and touch the crossbar to orient myself. It’s my ritual. I crouch in the center with my knees bent and arms in position to catch a ball. I feel confident, strong—ready. The coach starts the play.
The other team immediately takes control of the ball and the play moves onto my side of the field. Good. More action for me.
The opposing team’s striker sends the ball out to his right and his midfielder runs onto it. I move to that side of the goal and my left back covers the front. Our defender is all over the midfielder. I see that the opposing striker has moved into position in front of the goal to take a pass from the midfielder.
“Watch for the cross!” I yell. I’ve got the near post of the goal covered, coiled and ready to spring and I want my center back to cover the forward.
The midfielder beats my defender and sends a pass through to his forward in front of the goal. I see it coming and leap out to punch the ball clear of the goal before the forward can head it in. My fist connects with the ball with a satisfying thwack! My center back takes the ball and sends it in a long arc to the other end of the field.
Yes! Adrenaline is surging through me and I’m pumped from stopping the cross. Now the play is on the other end of the field. I watch, staying focused on the action.
The other keeper makes a save and quickly punts the ball down the field before my defenders have moved back. The opposing forward runs onto the ball. He takes off, sprinting toward the goal, and beats my defender.
It’s a breakaway! My heart is pounding. It’s just me and him. The forward is approaching fast. Should I come out to meet him and dive at his feet or stay big and block the shot? It’s a split-second decision. Make the wrong choice and it’s a goal. Wait! A thought flashes into my consciousness. I know where the shot will be. Left side—DIVE! I’m off my feet almost before the forward’s foot connects for the shot. I feel myself flying through the air, arms reaching. The ball is rocketing toward me. The ball strikes my palms and I push it wide, deflecting it outside of the goal and then I crash to the ground.
I jump up quickly in case the ball is still in play. My team has control of the ball and is moving it down the field. Squinting into the sun, I watch the play. Adrenalin is coursing through my veins. Total rush!
When I get subbed out I scan the sidelines for Will and jog over to him so we can rehash the play.
Will smacks me on the back. “You stuffed him!” Will’s hair is dark with sweat, his face glistening and gritty. “How do you do that? I swear you were off the ground before he took the shot.”
I wipe my face on my shirt and take a long drink from my water bottle before answering. “I don’t know. Just reflexes I guess.” I don’t want to make too big a deal about it with Will, but sometimes I just get a feeling of knowing. It just flashes into my head. Maybe it’s from years of playing, but when it happens it feels different than reacting on instinct without thinking. It’s like knowing without thinking.
“I bet it gets you a spot on Varsity for sure. Maybe even starting.”
“Yeah, well you were like a brick wall out there. Nothing got past you. Your keeper didn’t have any saves to make.”
“Thanks. Glad you noticed that you’re not the only star out there.”
“Whatever.” I’ve been friends with Will forever and I know he’s got my back, but there’s always been a competitive side to our friendship. I’m thinking Right, how many saves did you make? but I keep my mouth shut and turn my attention to the play on the field.
After all the players have had a chance to play and the scrimmage is over, the coaches have us run two cool-down laps around the field and then gather by the trainers’ station to stretch. This is it. When they select the teams. But first the coaches go through this long speech about how everyone is a winner and good sportsmanship and how difficult it was for them to decide.
“We’re hot, we’re tired, and we stink,” I say to the guys sitting next to me. “Just call out the names already.” This elicits a rumble of laughter around me.
“Okay, enough with the comments Horton.” Coach Swenson says. I shrug. “Let’s get to it. Here are the teams. Freshmen first. When I call out your name, move over across the field to where Coach Vince is standing.” He gestures to his right. He begins calling off the names for the Freshman team and then the JV team. Each player jumps up when his name’s called, relief on his face. Will and I wait through the JV names—we’re not called. Now it’s just the players who made Varsity and those who didn’t make it at all waiting on the grass. I have to believe that I made Varsity, but there’s still that small fear that I didn’t make the cut.
“Okay. Now for Varsity.” Coach Swenson calls out. “Ashmore, S., Asplunth, W.,” Will jumps up and I give him a high five. My heart is pounding. I’m waiting for the ‘H’s’. “Bartlett, B., Cohen, A.” My breathing is shallow, like I’m holding my breath. “Franklin, M., Gordon, S., Horton, E.” It feels like my heart actually stops for an instant. Horton! Varsity! I made Varsity! I jump up and jog over to the group surrounding Coach Vince.
“Eric, alright!” They clap me on the back. “Congratulations,” says Coach Vince and shakes my hand. Will grabs my shoulders, “Hey, man! We’re on Varsity!”
“I know,” I say stupidly. I actually feel a little wobbly in the knees the relief is so great. “Varsity. I know.” I lay down spread-eagled on the grass and savor the moment. The coolness of the grass feels wonderful. Yes! Varsity! But then I hear the coach call out ‘Morgan, B.’—Brett Morgan—the second string Varsity keeper from last year who’s a senior this year. My euphoria dims. I’ll have to beat him out to get the starting spot. What good is it to be on Varsity if I sit on the bench?
Eric Horton is a junior at Monroe HS. He's on the soccer team and taking AP Environmental Science. He dominates the soccer field, but he's also learning about the Universal Energy Field, alternative energy sources, navigating new love, and maintaining life-long friendships.
I loved this story of discovery. Eric is examining his place in the world, his beliefs, and his emotional connection to friends and his girlfriend. This story has strong messages of unified spiritualism and green energy. Eric and Renee’s star-gazing date was a perfect example of a romantic and sweet alternative to the common.
Also from Tracy Richardson:
- Indian Summer
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You could win either of two $25 Amazon gift cards, an autographed copy of THE FIELD by Tracy Richardson, or an autographed copy of its tour mate, SECOND VERSE by Jennifer Walkup. Here's what you need to do:
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Originally posted 12.04.2013 on my previous website
WordPress.com closed that site because I promoted authors and their books