Title: Four Seconds On The Clock (Gulfside City Book 1)
Author: Mark Treble
Publisher: Self published
Release Date: July 8, 2015
Genre(s): Contemporary Young Adult
Page Count: 226 pages
Reviewed by: Tosha
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Logan Matthews has it all: good grades, a leading position on the basketball team, a hot girlfriend, a smart best friend, a great part-time job and his own car – and a slam-dunk basketball scholarship to a nationally-ranked university. Everything’s going his way. So, why does life suddenly feel as though everything is spiraling out of control?
A substitute teacher with an agenda is threatening to fail him in an important class. Some of his hidden activities on the job have been caught on video. There is even a whole website devoted to what he is doing. If it gets out, his father will throw him out of the house. And, if it stays secret, things could become infinitely worse than just being homeless.
Logan’s hot girlfriend is finally loosening up on the physical relationship side. She’s promised him a special treat at the party. But Logan’s father has grounded him because he disobeyed Coach’s orders. Even Coach admits it was a great play, but Logan’s father could care less. Anyway, he wants Logan to dump his girlfriend. Her twin brother just came out as gay and that made the girlfriend unacceptable.
Logan’s best friend, Antoine, is barred from visiting because he is black. The elder Matthews doesn’t want his son associating with a “nigra.” Logan’s relationship with Antoine is probably the sanest part of his life, but it’s in constant danger from a homophobic racist. Logan’s former best friend, Tommy, is the basketball team captain, and despises Logan. Almost as much as Logan despises Tommy. But, they have to work together or both lose their scholarships. And Coach won’t let up on forcing the issue. Either they put aside their differences or Coach will put aside their scholarships. But putting aside their differences is just not going to happen. There’s too much history and pain to overcome.
Logan gets sick during the state championship tournament. Very sick, with no explanation. With him the team is good, state championship caliber, and far better than any other small-town team in the state. Without him the team might not be good enough. And, without a win, many scholarships and futures – not just Logan and Tommy’s – are in trouble.
Coach knows what the disease is and even its cause. But he has no clue about how to fix it in time for the final games. If forfeiting the state championship would make Logan better, then Coach was willing to do that. The team and its members mean far more to him than a title. But Coach knows that a forfeited title won’t fix Logan. In fact, Coach is struggling with his own demons. He’s fairly certain he not only knows the cause of the disease, but he blames himself for the whole thing.
Coach calls in help from his cousin, a retired clinical psychologist, and Antoine’s Aunt Kamisha, a nurse practitioner. That might be more promising if Aunt Kamisha were not also known as Aunt Scary Lady. The two help Logan fight to get better, but that costs Logan his girlfriend and the last vestiges of relationship with his parents. When another patient comes down with the same disease, Logan’s life falls completely apart. The other patient is Tommy. And, secrets both glorious and gruesome hide just below the surface.
As Logan pivots his feet on the squeaky gym floor, he’s counting on a desperation play to win the game. And he wonders just how many more desperation plays, on and off the court, will have to succeed to get his life in order. It could all start with winning this game, but can he do it? After all, there are only four seconds left on the clock.
This book is really a heartbreaking tale. TRIGGER WARNINGS: There are explicit sexual scenes with multiple partners, an explicit rape scene, violence, flashbacks, PTSD. Though I have read this book in the past I could not remember the book enough to review it so I re-read it. It truly is a heartbreaking read but with a good ending.
Logan is on his high school basketball team and though the team is very open about sexuality there is still some things that will set Logan off. One of those things is Tommy, the team’s captain. Logan cannot stand Tommy but in the same breath cannot help but wanting him though he hates him.
See the thing is, at one point Tommy was Logan’s best friend and maybe even boyfriend then something very bad happened and Logan cannot forgive Tommy for the role that he played in it. Each of the members on the basketball team parties together when they win a game and it is not unusual for many, many things to take place at these parties including and not limited to group sex. So when it turns out that Tommy and Logan somehow seem to end up in the group setting together, both take advantage of it even though they both hate the other.
These two young men are drawn to one another and for them to work though what is keeping them from being friends, much less anything else, they are going to have to confront their past. It is not going to easy and it is going to take a whole lot of people to help them accept what happened and work through it all.
Can something from a past keep them from working through their differences or will what happened in their past keep them from being able to at least work together on the basketball court, much less off of it?
This was a good read but it broke my heart in more ways then one. If you have triggers to any of those warnings I listed at the beginning of my review then this is not a book for you. The only negative thing I can say about this read is that it ended kind abruptly and even though I went on to read book 3 in this series I still do not feel like I got the closure I was hoping to get. So hopefully there will be another book for these two in the future.