The Hockey Saint

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Member Reviews

Lately I've been obsessed with reading books that feature hockey as a main theme. But this graphic novel did not  center on hockey as much as I'd like it to. Which is okay because it centered on friendship and it dealt with some important and tough topics.  
I came for the hockey but stayed for the friendship and the characters, and I enjoyed reading it. It's about an unlikely friendship formed between a hockey player and his idol, who is a hockey star.
It was very interesting and realistic and does not let you go until the last page.
Just to mention the illustrations, which were great, but at times they lacked detail.
*I had no idea this was the second book in the Forever Friends Trilogy

Copy given in exchange for an honest review
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This one was very difficult to read on my kindle or maybe I didn't know how to read it. Since I'm missing the hockey season I was really intrested in picking this one up, but this didn't work for me.
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I had a difficult time getting into this story and I think it started with the artwork, which simply wasn't quite my taste. From there I only found this story more of a challenge, as I didn't connect with any of the characters and lost focus on the plot so often that I'm not sure I could give a complete summary. I'm disappointed, I like hockey stories generally but this one just wasn't for me I suppose.
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I don't usually read graphic novels, but I liked this one. The friendship between Tom and Jeremiah was cute, I liked that Jeremiah showed his true self to Tom, the good and the bad. He gives to charity and volunteers with cancer patients, but he also drinks too much and is self destructive. I felt like Tom improved from the relationship, he started giving back to the community and he also encouraged Jeremiah to get help. The drama of the PI trying to get dirt on Jeremiah was intriguing and I liked how that played out. I wish this were longer and had more to it!
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Since I love hockey I went into this thinking I would get a graphic novel about hockey. Surprisingly even though the title is hockey saint, this novel is more about unlikely friendship and meeting your heroes. Everyone knows you shouldn't because you might get the complete opposite of what you expected but in this story Tom gets to meet hockey superstar Jake and although he is completely different from what he expected, Jake is both a giving caring guy but also dealing with secrets and his own demons. Overall, I found it an interesting, quick read and even though it wasnt about hockey, it was a more human, people-focused story on the game.
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2.5 stars.
Copy provided by Net Galley in exchange of an honest review.
I must say, this isn’t one of the best comic books I have ever read. I didn’t care for the many character and I found many of the characters reactions annoying.
In that being said I enjoyed the first half of this comic, but started to lose interest when the “villain” was introduced. I finished it but im not sure I’ll be reading any more works of this author.
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The first couple pages were not enough to capture my attention to continue reading this. I liked the idea of the story, hence the reason I requested it but once I sat down to read it I was not too impressed. That being said though I can see how and where people would find interest in reading this story, it just wasn't for me.
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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.
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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
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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!
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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.)
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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.
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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
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I'm always looking for books that are engaging or educating or hopefully both for YA students.  Call this one "engaging."
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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.
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