Top critical review
Reviewed in the United States on August 2, 2012
Heat is a book about two brothers, Carlos and Michael, and the challenges they have to conquer in order to succeed. The story is a drama about both friendship and baseball.
There are many things I liked and I didn't like in the book. First of all, I enjoyed how the book did not let you know what would happen next. I had no idea if any of the plans to stay together as a family after their dad died would work. When it came to the main characters, I really liked them. I was glad the book was not written from Justin's point of view, who was a mean kid Michael played against. I liked how the storyline was original and bold in that it was did not have a regular fairytale ending.
I did not like how the writer did not talk about the boys' mother very much. It seemed like their mother was a ghost, and I wanted to know more about her. I found the beginning of the book confusing to figure out what was happening. The author did not give a lot of detail to the locations of the baseball games and exactly who some of the characters they mentioned were to the boys. I have some lingering questions about the book, like: How did Papi, Michael, and Carlos arrive in New York City? How come the government did not figure out the main characters were illegal immigrants? How did El Grande's family successfully make it to the USA if they were being tailed by the police so closely?
Heat was fascinating to me because it book is cannot be compared to any book or movie that I have read or seen before. There a lot of little league baseball movies and books but none compare to this book. The storyline of Heat sets it apart from other baseball books because you really see where the characters are coming from.
I have three favorite quotes from Heat. The first is from page 143, when Manny's uncle, Uncle Tio, says, "Silencio, no hay que gritas, no se vaya a despectar." This is funny because Uncle Tio is telling Michael not to scream and wake up the cat. Michael is glad Mr. Gibbs does not speak Spanish because Mr. Gibbs may realize that Uncle Tio is not the boy's dead father. Another good quote is when Michael and Uncle Tio hug when Uncle Tio is faking being Papi. They are both acting like father and son in front of Mr. Gibbs. Uncle Tio says, "My son," then whispered in Michael's ear saying, "Top that, dude." The best quote of all is when Manny and Michael are in the security check area of Yankee Stadium with El Grande and Ellie, who is El Grande's daughter and Michael's crush. Then Ellie asks Manny and Michael, "Are you ready?," asking them about playing in a tournament at Yankee Stadium. Manny says, "Are you kidding? We were born ready."
I would almost definitely recommend this book to all ages, from little league to big league baseball players, to anyone person from any sport because it helps all athletes realize what they are playing for.