Leilani Ito has wrestling in her blood. As a rookie she’s not expecting to win all of her fights, but she is willing to work hard and do her time to get to the top. What Leilani doesn’t realize is that there is more than just wrestling in her family history. There is also a curse that could end her wrestling career–maybe even her life–forever.
First of all, I just want to say that I know NOTHING about wrestling. I think if you have any sort of background or knowledge about wrestling that this book would instantly become more enjoyable. That being said, I thought this book was pretty good though it did have some flaws. I thought the overall plot was interesting. There was a lot of conflict and interesting relationships developed between characters. There are fights in the ring as well as fights out of it and that creates an unusual dynamic that I think really contributed to the overall story.
One thing that was hard for me was that sometimes the wrestling scenes got kind of technical. A wrestling move would be described and I could only guess at what was going on. That just made it a little hard to follow the story in those particular scenes. Another thing that made the story hard to follow was that there were a lot of characters and basically all of the characters went by several different names (first name, last name, wrestling name/nickname, and any combination). I had a hard time remembering who was who at times. Lastly, I think that the narration (especially during fight scenes) shouldn’t have come from one perspective. There are several moments when we’re following Leilani’s perspective but she’s also on the verge of blacking out so we have no idea where her opponent is. I think the fight scenes would have benefited from the reader being able to see the whole picture as if they were watching the fight on TV.
Overall, I think if you’re a fan of wrestling, you might enjoy this book. If not, the book is still enjoyable, but you may feel lost at times.
Overall Rating: 3
Language: Heavy. A lot of moderate language.
Sexual Content: None
Note: I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review.
4 thoughts on “The Opening Bell by J.B. Garner”
Reblogged this on J. B. Garner – Musings of a Starving Author and commented:
Another excellent honest review! Thanks to Ashley for the fine critique!
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Usually our pro wrestling prose is written by someone who does not know pro wrestling beyond “two people fighting in a ring”. So this was a pleasant change of pace. Mr. Garner has a great knowledge of the industry and sport. That said if you are not a fan, even in passing, then it could be like watching your first ball game. Most of the plot hinges on things that happen outside of that area though so you won’t be lost story wise.
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Very true! I felt like I still was following the overall story, but things inside got a little too technical for me. That being said, I really did appreciate all of that because it showed that Garner really knows what he’s talking about which was impressive to me.