The Hockey Saint

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: Not set

Member Reviews

A great example of the impact of fame on a young person. The message to young "star athletes" who may see themselves invincible or 'one of the chosen few' is very powerful.  When one considers how few make it to the top of the game, in comparison how many almost make it, this book is a mandatory read.  It is as applicable message for youth who are seen as a star athlete in no matter what sport, as they become prey to the predators in the sports-entertain business.
Was this review helpful?
For a comic called hockey saint there was a lot less hockey than I expected. Which was a little disappointing. I did enjoy the storyline and the art style even if it was a little amateur at times
Was this review helpful?
This is a sequel to "The Stereotypical Freaks" but can be read as a standalone story. Like the first book, this too focuses on an unlikely friendship between a world famous hockey star and a college hockey player. It covers topics such as addiction, unwanted media attention and the idolization we subject celebrities to endure without stopping to realize that what we see in media isn't necessarily the full picture. I personally enjoyed the first book more but this was a pleasant read too!
Was this review helpful?
In general, books about sports fill a particular niche among young readers and especially among young male readers who are the demographic most commonly diagnosed as "reluctant".  The Hockey Saint is special in that it marries content (a story about sport) with form (the graphic novel) to better reach this reluctant reader.

The biggest challenge in recommending The Hockey Saint is that, based on the actual content of the book,  the audience who would most enjoy a Sport Graphic Novel is somewhat younger than what I would expect the "intended" audience to be.  (In other words, the content is perhaps too mature for those who would otherwise consider this a perfect blend of interests.)
Was this review helpful?
Tom is a college hockey player, and he stumbles into Jeremiah, his idol, while out for a drive one night when he’s feeling down. Jeremiah is supposedly the best hockey player in the world, and he’s the subject of a lot of media scrutiny; everyone insists that he’s the face of the sport and he carries his team. He’s the namesake of the title, known publicly as the Hockey Saint. But he’s shrouded in mystery; his private life is an enigma no one can seem to crack. Until Tom.

Tom is a complete stranger. He looks up to Jeremiah, so when he’s down on his luck, he… drives to his house and sits outside? Jeremiah comes out of the house, sees Tom, and engages him in conversation. This is the part where it starts to get really hard to suspend your disbelief. Jeremiah takes a liking to Tom immediately; within their first meeting, he gives him his phone number and insists they should hang out. The very next day, Jeremiah takes Tom on a tour of his private life, from his volunteering at a food bank and hospital to a private dinner in a fancy restaurant with his “cousin” and personal manager, who turns out later to be his wife. And no, I have no idea why they’re hiding the fact that they’re married. Or why Jeremiah is so insistent that he cannot let his charitable side become public— because yes, that’s a thing. He tells Tom that he doesn’t want to deal with media scrutiny that would come with being public about his charity work, lest he be criticized for “not focusing on the game and spending too much time with those sick kids”. Uhh… okay? Famous hockey players do charity work all the time, and literally no decent human being in any media would give somebody grief for visiting children with cancer.

Okay, anyway. Here’s the thing. Jeremiah is adamant about keeping his private life a secret. But immediately after meeting Tom, he reveals pretty much every aspect of his private life to him. Just for context, Tom is a complete stranger to him, a college hockey player with no personal connection. Jeremiah mentions during an argument that the reason he took such a liking to Tom was that he felt bad for him since Tom’s parents are dead, but you know what? I’m not convinced. I still don’t get why the supposed greatest hockey player in the world, who is very private about his personal life, would decide to open up to a complete stranger just because said stranger is an orphan.

I’m a hockey person— I co-host a hockey podcast and I’m an avid fan of the sport, so I was excited to read it. This novel was pitched to be about hockey. But despite all the weight on Jeremiah, all the expectations for Tom as assistant captain of his team (a title that gets revoked later once he starts blowing off practice to hang out with Jeremiah), we see I think maybe two total pages of on-ice action in this story? And those pages come at the very beginning, during one of Tom’s practices. I know this is a personal preference thing, but where was all the high-stakes athletic tension I was hoping for? Jeremiah lost a huge championship at the end of the story, yet a.) we didn’t see it happening, we were only told about it in an overly expositional conversation, and b.) he didn’t really seem to care that much. For the best hockey player in the world, he didn’t talk much about hockey. I almost felt like instead of reading about hockey, we were being taught a lesson, but I couldn’t quite figure out what lesson it wanted to teach us. Jeremiah looked an awful lot like White Jesus, and he was called the Hockey Saint, after all. But was he supposed to be the savior of the sport? He didn’t care very much. Neither did Tom. This was more about an unrealistic unlikely friendship than it was about anything to do with hockey. Even the sports commentators didn’t feel authentic to the way people talk about the sport.

Also, one more thing. Why did everybody care about Jeremiah so much? Okay, so he’s a good hockey player, but there are other good players in the league, right? What about other leagues? There’s literally a whole subplot (or maybe this was the main plot) where this ex-FBI agent hooks up with an owner of a rival team to get dirt on Jeremiah so they can give him a PR nightmare. The dirt? He has a drinking problem, he’s addicted to cigarettes, and he’s secretly married. These things are literally not that much of a media blockbuster. Yes, alcoholism is very serious and addiction is a disease, but that doesn’t mean that these issues are uncommon. Of course Jeremiah should have gotten help. (He didn’t.) But major sports leagues are littered with strong personalities, assaulters and abusers, alcoholics, and people with criminal histories. Jeremiah was not that scandalous. I felt like everybody cared about his private life because the story demanded he get a lot of attention.
Was this review helpful?
The Hockey Saint is an interesting look at friendship, fame, and how the public views someone isn't who they really are.  Jake, a famous hockey player and Tom a college kid meet and become friends.  Until they met Tom had a bit of hero-worship for Jake.  Then they become friends and he starts to see him as a person.  Tom sees the volunteer work Jake does and how he interacts with others.  Tom also sees the very human side of Jake and some of his less savory habits.  This tarnishes the hero-worship but is also the foundation for a genuine friendship between the two.  
The art was good and the story is well written, there is a decent conversation about how famous people are just people, and there are other people that should be considered role models.  If you're looking for a non-super hero graphic novel, a good story about friendship this is a good pick.
Was this review helpful?
When I started reading this book, I didn't realise it was the second in a series, to be honest I don't think that mattered much, as I didn't feel like I was missing anything. Well, any thing other than the point of this story. Sure there were some interesting statements made, but they felt out of the blue and not integrated into the story that much. 

The issues were really short and didn't contain any story basically. I was often surprised that another issue was done as I didn't feel like I read anything yet. After finishing The Hockey Saint I had a feeling of 'what the h*ll did I just read?'  It was pretty boring, the 'friendship' started off super weird and didn't make any sense. What did a hockey superstar see in this college kid that he wanted to be friends with him? I honestly don't see it. I also didn't like the art style, especially the portrayal of the main characters. I really wished I enjoyed it more, but this just wasn't for me.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a copy for a honest review.

I did not know this was book two in a series but it didn’t read like a second book.  Some pages didn’t have text where there was bubbles for them so I missed out on some dialogue.  I really enjoyed the story line and I thought the main character was going to go to the reporter and not be a true friend. I have a lot of trust issues especially when it comes to friends or relationships.  I gave them 3.75 out of five stars.
Was this review helpful?
Meh, the first one was way better.  I didn't feel like much happened, the ending was predictable, and while it was still fun to see the musical selections for each chapter, they seemed out of place when none of the plot had to do with music this time around.  I mean, it didn't really even have anything to do with hockey - it was a character study that in my opinion fell flat.  However, it was a quick read and I still liked the first one so much I'll plow ahead to the third!
Was this review helpful?
Book Review
Title: The Hockey Saint (Forever Friends Trilogy #2)
Author: Howard Shapiro
Genre: Graphic Novel
Rating: ****
Review: The opening to The Hockey Saint was good, we are introduced to Tom, a great hockey player living with his grandmother as he is made assistant captain for his team. I am not sure if this is the same Tom from the Stereotypical Freaks because the character design is a little different but the dream he has about his parents seem to be identical to the first Tom’s parents. Tom’s hockey idol is Jeremiah Jacobson and through a friend he accidently finds out where he is currently living. 
As we approach the ¼ mark in the story, Tom decides to drive out to the house just to see if his idol lives there and ends up meeting him face to face. It is confirmed that this Tom is the Tom from the Stereotypical Freaks and that his parent’s died recently in a car accident, but on the bright side his idol sort of becomes his friend in the strangest circumstances. 
As we cross the ¼ mark in the story, Tom gets to spend the day with Jake and learns more about the man behind the name good and bad. Tom learns that Jake is a very selfless person, he spends huge amounts of time in the cancer ward of the hospital and the food bank, but on the other side of things he also seems to have quite a large drinking problem and major distrust in the media.
As we approach the halfway mark in the story, I realised that this instalment in the series is a lot more dialogue heavy that the first book, but it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As the pair get closer, Tom is beginning to realise that there is far more to being a world class hockey player than just playing well but he decides that he likes Jack and isn’t going to betray his trust like everyone else. However, there is a man who owns a rival hockey team that wants a private investigator to dig up some dirt on Jake in order to throw him off his game and let them win.
As we cross into the second half of the story, Jake and Tom have become firm friends despite not knowing each other long but Tom’s grades are beginning to suffer, and he also has his assistant captain’s position revoked and his scholarship might be next if he doesn’t get his act together. The pair however, are unaware that they are being followed by a P.I. but the P.I. decides to go after Tom thinking he is easier to get to than Jake but Tom remains loyal to his friend and defends his secrets at all costs. However, Tom has seen the vices that Jake has and is determined to help him through them, but he has to sort out his own life first starting with school and practice.
As we approach the ¾ mark in the story, Tom gets approached by the private investigator for him to give his story to them and sell out on Jake and he refuses but when money is mentioned Tom considers it for a moment as he knows that Jake has a problem and needs help with it, but he also knows that this isn’t the right way to go about it.
As we cross into the final section of the story, despite dropping hints to Jake about changing, Tom eventually meets with the P.I. and agrees to tell him what he wants in exchange for 10 grand, but it is clear to see that Tom is being naïve as he believes that these men are trying to help Jake when they are actually trying to do the opposite. In the end, not everything is resolved but there is a good opening for the characters to develop further in their own individual arcs as well as in the overall story. While I didn’t love this graphic novel the same way I did the Stereotypical Freaks, I still highly recommend the hockey Saint and I will be jumping into Hockey Karma straight away.
Was this review helpful?
This was such a fun book to read! As an avid hockey fan I loved this so much. The story line was fun and the characters were great to get to know! I loved the format
Was this review helpful?
I'm always looking for books that are engaging or educating or hopefully both for YA students.  Call this one "engaging."
Was this review helpful?
A nice quick read that I found immediately engaging. I loved the storyline and meeting all the characters. Cannot wait to read more from this author.
Was this review helpful?
The Hockey Saint values the importance of friendship between main character Tom Leonard and hockey legend, Jeremiah Jacobson. Jacobson is also a hockey saint as he is charitable, good-natured, and an all-around good man in the public eye. However, Jacobson struggles with the pressures of stardom and turns to alcohol to relieve some of that stress. 

One of the main issues I had with this novel is the writing style. I didn’t like the way that conversations were conveyed with no indication of who the speaker is at the moment. At first, I thought the novel was in verse because of the layout. Then, I realized that it’s a novel with graphics conveying some scenes. It is different and took some getting used to. 

The second thing I didn’t really enjoy were the character’s themselves. Although there is heavy content involved, I didn’t feel any empathy for Jeremiah. I think it was the execution coupled with the writing style that fell flat for me.
Was this review helpful?
While the artwork and overall message of the book are appealing, there was something lost in the delivery. Both Jeremiah and Tom are sympathetic characters and the friendship they developed is sweet and mutually beneficial. I did appreciate that we see a bit of a character arc with Jeremiah, but I think it would have been better and held more meaning if we got to know him a bit deeper. And while Tom did mature in some aspects due to his involvement with Jeremiah, it also felt like he devolved in other ways and lost focus on things that he shouldn't have. I also really didn't understand the media's need to villainize Jeremiah, nor the motivation for the big baddie in the book to go to such extremes. Perhaps I would've been more invested in the book and enjoyed it more if I had read the previous book in the series, but alas, I did not, and honestly I don't have any desire to do so at this point.
Was this review helpful?
I think Hockey Saint was an interesting read. I had issues with the plot being unrealistic but for every complaint I have I have five good things to say. Overall it was an interesting and addictive read.
Was this review helpful?
But these are great for kids who may not like reading or kids who enjoy real-life comics. Would recommend! Downloaded from Netgalley (auto-approved for this publisher on there). But these are great for kids who may not like reading or kids who enjoy real-life comics. Would recommend! Downloaded from Netgalley (auto-approved for this publisher on there). This has been out since 2014 so can purchase now. Yay!
Was this review helpful?
THE HOCKEY SAINT by Howard Shapiro is the second book in a trilogy of young adult graphic novels, and is a story about Tom Leonard, a young man in college and a hockey player with a huge passion for the sport.

Tom lives with his grandmother after the death of both parents due to a car accident involving a drunk driver, and is still dealing with that as he tries to do well both in his studies and on the ice.

Jeremiah Jacobson is a high profile hockey star that is dealing with the disillusionment of constant press invasions on his life, and unfair portrayal of him causing him to put up a wall that isolates him from others, including his fans.

Tom happens to meet Jeremiah, and the star player is drawn to Tom after learning of the death of his parents, and reveals private details of his personal life to Tom with the understanding that it’s not to be shared with others.

Jeremiah shows a good side of himself in his behind the scenes support of a food bank and other charities, but Tom is concerned about excessive drinking being a potential problem for his new friend.

Tom is approached by an individual representing himself as a security agent for the league, and who tries to extract damaging information on Jeremiah with promises of payment as a reward.

Eventually, Tom gathers the courage to approach Jeremiah regarding the drinking, and has already warned him about the agent, but Jeremiah refuses to listen to his wife that he’s kept secret from the press, or Tom, and lashes out in anger at Tom causing a rift between the two.

Will Tom be lured by a possible large payday for damaging information about Jeremiah, or will Jeremiah see the light and try to turn his life around and reconnect with his fans?

I grew up playing hockey from a young age, so I read this book with interest knowing that it was targeting youths, but still found it an enjoyable read and one I’d recommend to a young person, as there are some positive messages here regarding putting things in perspective and setting priorities, but most of all being true to who you really are as a person.

3 stars.
Was this review helpful?
This is from an advance review copy for which I thank the publisher.

This is the second in a kind of series or collection aimed at telling a buoyant, life-affirming story and I'm afraid I was no more impressed with this than I was the first one. This story is about a relationship which develops between an established major hockey star and a college hockey player.

One major problem reported by other reviewers is that the college player, Tom Leonard, looks more like a girl than a guy for some reason, and while I agree with this perception, I don't see how it would be a problem, except in that Tom looks way too young to be a 21-year-old college student, so while it's entirely conceivable that a very young-looking, feminine-looking person could well play hockey in college, it's a bit distracting from the story.

A second, similar complaint was about the Jesus-clone of a hockey player who some people complained appeared to be too old for the character he was supposed to be. I disagree with that. While the long hair did seem a bit much, I didn't have any other problem with his appearance. It was his behavior and attitude which bothered me. He lived a hugely secret life and this would have been fine, except that no reason was offered for it except some half-hearted and rather mealy-mouthed comments the guy makes about being misunderstood. It seemed inauthentic and irrelevant to the story. One of the secrets was that he was married to the woman he was, in public, passing off as his cousin! That was just weird.

According to the blurb, Tom is supposed to be sorting through issues that are "both very real and seemingly insurmountable," but I saw no such issues on his plate. He did cause problems for himself, such as being trusted with the responsible position of assistant captain of his team, and promising the coach he won't let him down, and then blowing off the first chance he has to keep his word. This made me view him as a dick and a slacker, and that perception never improved.

One of the things the blurb mentions is that Tom's perception of his hockey hero is a bit too golden, but after all the sports and celebrity scandals we've had, Tom would have to be a blind and deaf choir-boy to imagine someone was flawless or some sort of paragon, which would make him a complete idiot.

I did not like anything about this story, and it made little sense to me. It was far from being inspiring as I'm sure was intended. I cannot recommend it
Was this review helpful?
I loved this graphic novel!! A great story about healthy male friendships in the college sports world, where toxic masculinity is all too rampant.
Was this review helpful?