War and Speech
by Don Zolidis
Release Date: May 5th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Not everyone can be a winner…
Sydney Williams knows this better than anyone. After her white-collar- criminal dad is sent to prison, Sydney fails almost all of her classes and moves into a dingy apartment with her mom, who can barely support them with her minimum-wage job at the mall.
A new school promises a fresh start. Except Eaganville isn’t exactly like other high schools. It’s ruled with an iron fist by a speech team that embodies the most extreme winner-takes-all philosophy.
Sydney is befriended by a group of fellow misfits, each of whom has been personally victimized by the speech team. It turns out Sydney is the perfect plant to take down the speech team from within.
With the help of her co-conspirators, Sydney throws herself into making Nationals in speech, where she will be poised to topple the corrupt regime. But what happens when Sydney realizes she actually has a shot at . . . winning? Sydney lost everything because of her dad’s obsession with being on top. Winning at speech might just be her ticket out of a life of loserdom. Can she really walk away from that?
Sydney’s life has been turned upside down when her dad gets sent to prison for tax fraud and must start at a new school, Eaganville School of the Arts. Things are different her as the speech and debate team rule the school and athletes are looked down upon. Sydney has a bad run in with some members of the team and their head coach so with her new friends she decides to join the team and destroy it from the inside. I really enjoyed the writing style of this book and thought the dialogue and banter was great. What I had a small problem with was how mean all the characters were, not just the speech team but also Sydney and her friends. I did enjoy how the story progressed and that in the end Sydney had grown and was able to talk to her parents about how she was felling about the imprisonment. The friendships in this book were also a lot of fun to read about. This was a fun read and I loved all the insights into speech competitions. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you Netgalley and Little Brown Books. 3.5 but rounded up to 4 Stars.
Thank you Fantastic Flying Bookclub for letting me be a part of the tour!
Don Zolidis grew up in Wisconsin, went to college in Minnesota, and is mostly known for being a really funny playwright. For the past five years, he’s been the most-produced playwright in American schools. His more than one hundred published plays have been performed tens of thousands of times, and have appeared in sixty-four different countries. He currently splits his time between New York and Texas, and has two adorable boys who will someday read this book and have a lot of questions. He aspires to owning a dog. His first novel was The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig.
Prize: Win a copy of WAR AND SPEECH by Don Zolidis (US Only)
Starts: April 29th 2020
Ends: May 13th 2020