11 March 2009

Off/Side CoverOffside
by Cathy Beveridge
Published by Thistledown Press
Review by Karen Lawson
ISBN 1894345258

Offside is a fast moving novel that is geared to young adolescents. Calgary writer, Cathy Beveridge, has a keen understanding of her target audience. She uses this insight to enter the world of amateur hockey and examine the various issues that are part of Canada’s favourite game.

Although Offside is a work of fiction, it is actually based on real events that happened in the hockey world. The main character is Joel, who is grappling with growing up and facing the concerns and problems that most teenagers face. The reader watches as Joel tries to be part of a winning team and gain the acceptance of his peers. However, he soon realizes that he must follow his conscience and do the right thing.

This story is relevant because it deals with the complications of adolescence and the trials and tribulations of growing up in today’s competitive society. The author uses subtle humour to delve into the serious consequences of drug dependency in amateur sports.

Initially, Offside seems to be a light hearted novel. But it quickly becomes apparent that there are deeper issues that provide the meat and substance to the story which add a serious component to the plot. The author uses other contemporary topics that are intertwined in the novel, such as peer pressure, depression, and the complexity of family relationships.

This is a book that young boys will easily relate to. Full of puck chasing action, it focuses on the underbelly of amateur sports. Offside also looks at how the desire and pressure to win take Joel on a journey that he never expected.


One Comment

  • Hikaru 26 March 2013 at 4:43 am

    The concept about drug abuse in sports is so over used… I would not say this was a good book nor recommend it to anyone for the specific reason that it is repetitive and simply just does not offer anything mentally stimulative nor grabs my attention.
    I am a young male and I play hockey.
    Your review is nice but seems a little biased like you were paid, sorry