From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Baseball is the most important thing in Scott's life. But for the varsity third baseman, life in baseball's proverbial hot corner becomes much hotter after he discovers that Travis, his lifelong best friend, is gay. Then comes a bloody batting-practice accident that may mean Scott has become infected with AIDS. The test results won't be available for seven days, during which time Scott's undefeated team is headed to the championships, where a hoped-for future as a professional ballplayer hangs in the balance. Yes, baseball once again serves as a handy metaphor for life, but Trueman does a good job of avoiding the errors of didacticism and tendentiousness. His suspenseful story is enhanced by some late-inning surprises, the gay subplot is treated with honesty and integrity, and Scott and Travis are believable, sympathetic characters. Trueman scores again.--Michael Cart Copyright 2007 Booklist
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
With a compelling twist on a coming-out story, Trueman's (Stuck in Neutral) novel stars 18-year-old Scott Latimer, a baseball fanatic who plays third base (the "hot corner" of the title) for his high school's team. Scott's world is thrown into disarray when his best friend, Travis, reveals that he's gay during the citywide baseball tournament. Now, in addition to worrying about playing well in the seven-day tournament, Scott anxiously awaits the results of an HIV test that he gets in secret: he fears he may have contracted AIDS after a batting cage incident, in which he wound up with Travis's blood on his hands. When Travis's parents kick their son out of the house, thinking he may influence his younger brother, Travis moves in with Scott's family, causing additional tension between the two best friends. An article in the high school newspaper anonymously relates Travis's struggles as a gay high school senior, and Scott fears that his classmates might think he's gay as well if they discover the article is about Travis. Scott wrestles with gripping fear about potentially having contracted AIDS, anger that his best friend kept his sexuality a secret from him for so many years, confusion about his own and his fellow classmates' prejudices, and concern for Travis's safety. Readers will likely be affected by this emotional journey of a kid who would have been happy to limit his concerns to catching blazing line drives and working toward a shot at the major leagues. Ages 12-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved