After The Shot Drops

After The Shot Drops

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 pee...

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Title:After The Shot Drops
Author:Randy Ribay
Rating:
Edition Language:English

After The Shot Drops Reviews

  • Kelly Gilbert

    A gripping, heart-pounding story with incredible characters who were complex and funny and heartbreaking and real. I wanted to underline so many lines, and I wanted to stay in Bunny and Nasir's world forever. Suspenseful, powerful, complicated and deeply moving.

  • Jenny Bruesewitz

    A sports book with such complexity. One of the best I’ve read in awhile!

  • Amy

    I can’t remember exactly how I heard of this book, but I vaguely remember it being described as YA Ghost, which is a fast way to get me to pick up anything. And with blurbs from Jeff Zentner and Carl Deuker? Now we’re talking. I don’t think I heard a ton about this on social media, either, but with starred reviews left and right and a Colby Sharp shout out, I am not the only person who is like, yeah this book is a good purchase for a high school or mature middle school audience.

    The plot contain

    I can’t remember exactly how I heard of this book, but I vaguely remember it being described as YA Ghost, which is a fast way to get me to pick up anything. And with blurbs from Jeff Zentner and Carl Deuker? Now we’re talking. I don’t think I heard a ton about this on social media, either, but with starred reviews left and right and a Colby Sharp shout out, I am not the only person who is like, yeah this book is a good purchase for a high school or mature middle school audience.

    The plot contains a lot of tried, tested, and true YA tropes: there’s Bunny, who leaves Whitman High for a scholarship at a prep school; Nasir, Bunny’s best friend who feels abandoned by Bunny’s decision to leave; a soft love triangle; Wallace, Nasir’s friend who can’t seem to make any good decisions; and a case of a Black student at a prep school that can only loosely gesture towards welcoming outsiders. Adult readers might yawn here, as they may yawn over the moral quandaries that bug Bunny (how do I reconcile what’s good for me with what’s good for my friend?) and Nasir (how do I be a good friend?), but I believe these questions and issues will be compelling to teens.

    What made this book special for me was how much I cared about these characters. I’m not in it for the sports nor for dual narrators, but Ribay got me to buy in. Nasir’s a book-smart underachiever and his chapters have more rhetorical flourish than Bunny’s, whose are much more straightforward. Additionally, I found the girlfriends and love interests somewhat well-drawn, even if they were the moral foils and the Voices of Reason that Bunny and Nasir needed.

    This story was lovingly edited, too: the plot clips along beautifully, the chapters are crisp, and no part is extraneous to the story. I don’t want to give too much away here, but I just want to appreciate that teen readers are less likely to find a story like this “boring” because the building up of a moment is well-done.

    Comps: Jason Reynolds’ When I Was The Greatest meets Carl Deuker’s Gutless.

  • Dan

    Have they read Slam, The Hate U Give, Hooper, All American Boys, or The Crossover? After the Shot Drops by Randy Ribay brings an amazing cast of complex characters together and tackles important topics like friendship, loyalty, identity, and privilege in a way that will be sure to resonate with readers. Basketball may be the hook; there are some great hoop scenes, but the relationships, for me, were the fire that kept this story burning to the very last shot.

  • Ricky

    Paired pretty closely with my first reading of

    , this book is very similar in style, though centered on slightly different themes. There's not so much to do with police brutality here, and the two narrators are far more closely connected than Reynolds and Kiley's, being lifelong best friends...until now, when Bunny's transferred to a high-end Catholic private school and Nasir feels left behind. And that's just the beginning of the chips Nasir has on his shoulder when it comes to

    Paired pretty closely with my first reading of

    , this book is very similar in style, though centered on slightly different themes. There's not so much to do with police brutality here, and the two narrators are far more closely connected than Reynolds and Kiley's, being lifelong best friends...until now, when Bunny's transferred to a high-end Catholic private school and Nasir feels left behind. And that's just the beginning of the chips Nasir has on his shoulder when it comes to Bunny - he also feels like Bunny took "his" girl away from him when Keyona was, of course, never "his" in the first place. And then when Nasir's cousin Wallace gets in trouble and Bunny's involved, like it or not...well, I won't spoil you, but the ending, in particular, will leave you GASPING.

    is my first, and certainly not my last, taste of Randy Ribay's talent. There are a lot of characters with which he populates this book, and a lot of thoughts provoked. St. Sebastian's school may have some level of diversity - it put a smile on my face to know there's an out gay dude on the basketball team - but still, Bunny feels very much unwelcome there as a black boy, and even further, he gets a lot of people looking at him like he's a sellout trying to break away from his community. (Nas included.)

    The best part of this book is that Ribay doesn't try to paint either of his protagonists as total angels. Both Nasir and Bunny are flawed in their own ways - deeply so, even - and yet, they both deserve everything to go right for them in the end. Which, of course, is easier said than done.

    Whenever Ribay comes out with a new book, you'll be sure I'll get ahold of it as soon as possible. Until then, I'll have to see if my library happens to carry

    .

  • Laura (bbliophile)

    This books was really, really good. I didn't know much about it going into it, other than the fact that it featured basketball in some way, but it completely blew me away. I'd totally recommend this.

  • Eilonwy

    I picked this up at the beginning of the NBA finals. Then they were over all too soon for my tea

    I picked this up at the beginning of the NBA finals. Then they were over all too soon for my team (Cleveland Cavaliers), and I lost my enthusiasm for reading a basketball book. But I am really glad I finally did read this!

    Randy Ribay has written a boy-book that's awesomely intersectional. The teen male characters get emotional story arcs; the adult male characters encourage the boys to acknowledge their emotions and cope with them. It throws sexism and stereotypes on their heads -- Nasir's Filipina mom is a civil engineer; his black dad is a kindergarten teacher. Bunny's dad owns a bookstore; his older sister is a solid nerd (and a girl after my own heart; when Nasir asks her "What kind of book are you reading?", she replies, "The kind with words," and goes right back to reading). Both Bunny and Nasir are college-bound due to good grades, not just basketball skills. The female characters are whole people with their own goals and interests who demand respect, and the male characters are occasionally chastened when they realize they've been trying to view women as possessions or extensions of themselves. This whole book showed ways that people can be, and can treat each other and see each other, beyond the ways society and culture so often dictate.

    This all sounds preachy, but it's really well done. The conversations nearly all sounded organic, not like they were delivering messages. It all felt natural.

    Bunny and Nasir are empathetic and relatable, even as their friendship is strained and Nasir, in particular, feels utterly torn by divided loyalties and tough choices, all of which might be "right" and justifiable, but are also clearly wrong. The stakes in the story are high, the tension tight. I could barely breathe from the middle of the book right up to the end. I was really surprised by how good this book turned out to be, especially considering how little buzz it seems to have gotten.

    You don't need to care about basketball a bit to appreciate this book. If you want to read a strong YA contemporary with a touch of grit but not too much, give this one a shot.

  • Randy

    Hey, I wrote this book, too!

  • Bee {Quite the Novel Idea}

    I want it. I want it noooow.

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