Gut Check by Eric Kester
I adored this book. I laughed a ton, I got a little teary, and my heart broke a few times for this loveable character. Wyatt’s got a big heart and a big body that he’s not always proud of, but he’s also okay with it. Unless you are comparing him to his older brother, football quarterback and town star, Brett. His body fat is non-existent, he’s a town god, and is on track to make his mark until his arm gets severely broken in a game against cross-town rivals. One year later, Brett is back and ready to regain his team and one of his starting blockers happens to be his little brother, Wyatt. Wyatt doesn’t even know if he likes football and isn’t even sure how he made the team, but it’s the only thing that will connect him and his brother. His dad, also a high school football legend, gave up on his existence long ago because he wasn’t a star and all of his focus is on Brett. Wyatt’s not exactly upset about that, but it’d be nice to have other interactions with him other than picking him up and putting him to bed after he passed out on a twelve-pack of beer they can’t afford. And, after another red tide has the small fishing town bracing for an economic downfall things aren’t looking like they will change. As long as the town has football, they’re good. A lot is happening for Wyatt in this less than 300-page story. He’s on the football team, made a few enemies (more like bullies), is talking to the girl of his dreams, dealing with only condiments in his fridge to eat, an alcoholic parent, a mom he misses, and a HUGE secret that could impact not only his brother’s future but the town’s too. Some silly moments managed to be unrealistic yet perfect for this story. Especially anything with his BFF, Nate. An easy recommendation to those who like sports stories with some heart.