A powerful novel about friendship, basketball, and one teen's mission to create a better life for his family in the tradition of Jason Reynolds, Matt de la Pena, and Walter Dean Myers.
Bunny and Nasir have been best friends forever, but when Bunny accepts an athletic scholarship across town, Nasir feels betrayed. While Bunny tries to fit in with his new, privileged peers, Nasir spends more time with his cousin, Wallace, who is being evicted. Nasir can't help but wonder why the neighborhood is falling over itself to help Bunny when Wallace is in trouble.
When Wallace makes a bet against Bunny, Nasir is faced with an impossible decision—maybe a dangerous one.
Told from alternating perspectives, After the Shot Drops is a heart-pounding story about the responsibilities of great talent and the importance of compassion.
I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher. This does not influence my thoughts on the book or this review.
I’ve heard a lot about Ribay’s debut so when I saw that he had another contemporary YA coming out about basketball, I decided I had to read it. After the Shot Drops is a wonderful sophomore novel about friendship, responsibility and community.
Bunny and Nasir were best friends, at least until Bunny transferred to St. Sebastian’s, a fancy private school. Nas feels betrayed because Bunny didn’t tell him, and he’s leaving their basketball team. Bunny feels abandoned in the months that follow as Nasir ignores him. As they drift further apart, Nasir becomes closer to his cousin, Wallace, but quickly finds that things are not always as simple as they seem. After the Shot Drops is ultimately about friendship and responsibility, and the way that the two may intersect in unexpected ways.
Nasir and Bunny had their own distinct voices so I felt like their POVs worked really well. I really liked reading about their experiences separately to see how they both interpreted the circumstances of what happened to their friendship. I liked seeing how they started to reconcile by the end of the novel and how important they were to each other. I don’t read a lot of YA novels about two young men being best friends, like brothers, and that type of friendship is definitely something that we need more of in YA.
The first half of the novel wasn’t as fast-paced in terms of plot but I liked that the characters still made the story compelling enough to keep reading. The second half of the novel definitely has more plot so I do recommend this novel to readers looking for a realistic but thrilling novel as well as readers looking for something with great characterization.
Overall, After the Shot Drops is a fantastic novel that I definitely recommend for fans of Jason Reynolds. This is my first Randy Ribar novel but it definitely won’t be my last.