Monday, October 1, 2012

ARC Review of One Shot Away by T. Glen Coughlin

One Shot Away
One Shot Away; A Wrestling Story
By: T. Glen Coughlin
Review by: Kaede
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 336
Source: ARC received from Jennifer @ ARCycling
Star Rating: ★★★★/ Exceeded expectations.

It’s senior year and the last season for Diggy, Jimmy, and Trevor on the Molly Pitcher High School varsity wrestling team. And they all want the same thing: to win.

But Diggy’s got to compete with his older brother’s legacy, and now he’s in danger of losing his spot to newcomer Trevor. Jimmy’s got the cops after him, and a girlfriend who looks down on him. Then Diggy does the unthinkable—he betrays a teammate. Can the team forgive him? And can he forgive himself?

Experience the pressure with Diggy, Jimmy, and Trevor as the stakes rise and loyalties splinter. They’ve got just one shot to make weight and get onto the mat. But pinning your opponent is about more than just winning.


Kaede is both shocked and happy. So...I might look a bit like this...maybe:

    But like, just a teensy bit less cuter.

A wrestling story. Never in my life did I think I'd enjoy a wrestling story. I'm a girl. And a fairly girly one at that. But One Shot Away was so much more than just a wrestling story. One Shot Away is about coming to terms with who you are, what you want to do, and how one thing can affect so many different people in so many different ways.

If there was one thing I didn't expect from this novel was how deep it went. I was all like, "Damn...that's deep yo." Okay...maybe there wasn't a 'yo' in my train of thoughts. But you adds some good effect...right?

But anyway.

So where was I? Oh, yes. The deepness. Mhm hmm. So with Coughlin's first teen novel, we explore the lives of three main male (score one for Mr. Coughlin!) characters: Diggy, Trevor, and Jimmy. With Diggy, we watch and see as he struggles to make a name for himself in the wrestling world that won't be overshadowed by his older brother's legacy. With Trevor, we watch as he tries to come to terms with his father's sudden death and Harry London's unwanted presense. With Jimmy, the boy has the cops after him for something his dad did. The cops. And his father's messed up, like Diggy's is.

The book is told in third perspective, rotating between the three boys' life. Coughlin's writing style is very readable, and his descriptions are great. However, sometimes the writing doesn't flow and starts getting a bit choppy. I don't think this necessarily has anything to do with Coughlin, it's just the fact that third perspective limits how much emotion and feelings you can get across for your characters. I didn't mind that too just seemed oddly out of place.

And oh my God was some of the families messed up. We have Randy, who refuses to let his sons Diggy and Nick call him dad. He likes to be referred to as "Coach Randy." And plus, he's nothing more than just a fat-ass prick of a jerk who told his wife to shut up. Now that definitely bothered me. No self-respecting female should ever have to take that from her husband. But Diggy's mom did. She just shrugged it off like it was nothing. Me? I would've punched the lazy jerk's head off.

Oh and, for the record, Harry London isn't much better. Maybe richer, yes. But not much better in other places.

Jimmy and his mother recently lost an important figure in their life. For Jimmy, he lost a dad. For his mother, she lost a husband. And smart little Harry London decides to swoop in at that time, offering Jimmy's mother a chance to work at a suspicious motel (it's quality should be around a
2-Star hotel. *shivers*) he recently opened up. It's just wrong to set your eyes on a prey that recently experienced such a lost.

And before I forget, did I mention there was a Twilight reference in this book? Twilight and wrestling, huh? Two things I never thought would ever belong in the same sentence. The world is a strange place...

I don't know whether to be amused or horrified. I really don't.

I'm going with amused.

One Shot Away has elements that is sure to appeal to male readers as much as female ones. There were times when the wrestling talk had me going, "Wait, whaa?", but I throughly enjoyed the writing and the characters' stories. This isn't a book you'll want to miss, especially for fans of wrestling.


Review also found: Goodreads
Contact Kaede:



  1. Awesome Never thought you were pro wrestling though! Lol

    1. LOLOL. I never thought so either, love. Really. But hey, everything's a first.

  2. As a high school wrestler I could related to each of the main characters in One Shot Away. The pressure on and off the mat is grueling. The practices are intense and the matches more so. The pressures from my teammates, coaches, friends, and families to achieve greatness becomes your focus. This book represents real people with real problems. I enjoyed it and recommend it to everyone. Life isn't a fairytale and this book says it all. Wrestling is my life.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I've never heard of this before your review, but this sounds like such a good story. Great review! :)

    1. Thanks! I hope you enjoy it if you chose to read it! :D

  4. A new book to me. I like watching wrestling so maybe I would like it. But why a Twilight reference? Thanks for a great review.

    1. I cannot fathom why a Twilight reference was made either. *shrugs* Lalalalalalalala. You're welcome! :)

  5. This sounds great, although I am not a fan of wrestling... It'll make my brother (who adores wrestling) happy. Thanks for your review!

    1. You're welcome! Thanks for taking the time to read my review and leaving a comment, it's always appreciated. I'm not a fan of wrestling either, much less any sport, but I did enjoy this book. I hope your brother does too! ♥