Book 15 on My Book List 2020
„Easy, easy.” Andrew lifted his hands in a careless shrug. “Why bother? It’s a cruel world, right Neil? You wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t.”
“It’s not the world that’s cruel,” Neil said. “It’s the people in it.“
trigger warnings:drug abuse, a character being drugged against his will, physical child abuse, violence, emotional abuse, bullying, dysfunctional relationships, sexual assault
I don’t know why I waited three freaking years to read this, but I could really kick myself for procrastinating so long! Then again maybe it’s good I waited so long because I’m pretty sure my younger self would have gobbled this book down like nobody’s business and then would have regretted not giving it the attention it deserves! *lol*
So yes, I’m three years wiser now and even though I learned to savour books I still had a really tough time trying not to rush through this, because people! THIS IS SO GOOD!!!! Yes, I know, I know! It’s no Shakespear or Wilde, but even though there isn’t a lot of plot or background to go with this fictional world there is something it definitely has going for itself! Its amazing characters and Exy!!! And boy did I love both! XD It’s been a long time I got so consumed by a book and I think it’s mostly due to the super intriguing characters.
“The Foxhole Court” is nothing but character driven and ahh do I love books like that! *lol* I mean if you’re looking for logic or sophisticated words this most definitely isn’t the right book for you, but if you decide to leave your logic at the front door and dive into this without overthinking it too much instead: Well, then you’re in for a real treat! I guess to some degree you should actually read this book like it’s a game. Enjoy the rush of the moment, follow your instincts, trust your heart and thoroughly ignore the voice at the back of your mind. ;-P If you follow those instructions you might be able to enjoy it as much as I did. *lol*
And since I can’t wait to gush about all those lovely characters I’ll call it a day now and just jump into my character’s section instead! XD
You are now a student at Palmetto State University, so tread carefully and don’t enter the Foxes dorms. If you don’t head this well-intentioned advice you’ll be confronted with a bunch of spoilers that might ruin the fun for you! Coach Wymack says: Don’t say I didn’t warn you! ;-P
”This was the only thing he had left that was real. Now that he’d had a taste of it again, he didn’t know how to walk away from it.”
I swear Neil Josten is a precious baby bean and everyone who wants to hurt him will have to go through me first! <333 I mean it! This boy is so sweet and innocent and this even though so many horrible things happened to him. He needs to be protected at all costs and I’m ready to defend him with my life! I love Neil so, so much and I hated that he was so down and broken at the beginning of the book. I mean that boy didn’t even have any hope and then the Foxes found him and BAM his life took a 180 degree spin and never stopped moving ever since. Also his character development was amazing! At first he’s so very careful and guarded, he’s so afraid of taking a wrong step that he doesn’t even allow himself to breath. Well, and then he joins the Foxes and his true character gets a chance to come out. And boy, did I love the boy he hid inside!! Neil can be so sassy and vigorous! I had no idea! ❤ I want more of this Neil and to be entirely honest I can’t wait to pick up the next book! 😉 My kicked puppy is turning into a true
lion fox and I need that new Neil like I need air to breath! XD
”Keys meant Neil had explicit permission to be here and do what he liked. They meant he belonged.”
”Neil stepped over it and went to stand in front of Wymack: within arm’s reach but just barely. He’d perfected that trick as a kid. He could look at anyone’s arms and judge the safe distance from them in a heartbeat. If they had to move to hit him, he had enough time to dodge. Either way he wouldn’t catch the full intended force of their blow.”
Riko’s smile could have frozen hell. „I am not scared of Kevin. I know him.“
„You’re going to eat those words,“ Neil said. „You’re going to choke on them.“
”Oh,” Andrew said. “Oh, you might actually turn out to be interesting. For a little while, at least. I don’t think the amusement will last. It never does.”
I know about half of the people who will read this will be like WTH?! But I’ll still say it anyway: I LOVE AND ADORE ANDREW MINYARD THAT LITTLE SHIT!!!! *lol* Yes, his character is problematic and shady af but I don’t care! XD That controlling, bitchy and crazy bastard won over my heart the moment he appeared on page and even though I hated that he drugged Neil I still kind of get why he did it?! Most people will say he’s a psycho and even though that might be true, he’s still a psycho with a big heart. Andrew loves his family and he would do anything for them! Yes, he’d even go to the length of drugging a person he sees as a threat just to make sure that she/he isn’t. Andrew is fiercely protective of the people he loves and cares about and I can relate to that. So you might say I understand the person that’s hidden behind all those carefully crafted layers of craziness. His character is very intriguing and I’m sure there is so much more to him than initially meets the eye. Is it totally illogical and unrealistic that a person that’s so small (5ft, we’re talking 5ft here, people) is as intimidating and dangerous as Andrew? Yes, but it’s fun nevertheless and we all know that even the smallest person can pack a punch. ;-P I want more of him. Period!!! ❤
”Let Andrew give you things if he wants to. He’s not normally the gifting type, so it’s kind of fun.”
„Oh, he made it,“ Andrew said. „That’s interesting.“
He pressed two fingers to Neil’s throat,checking his pulse. When Neil tried to bat him away, Andrew caught his wrist with his free hand. His smile was small and fierce as he leaned forward into Neil’s space.
„Remember this feeling. This is the moment you stop being the rabbit.“
”Did you think I made the team the way it is because I thought it would be a good publicity stunt? It’s about second chances, Neil. Second, third, fourth, whatever, as long as you get at least one more than what anyone else wanted to give you.”
I really liked Coach Wymack because even though his players don’t seem to see it, it’s obvious that he has a big heart! This man cares for his team and he’s providing them with a safe environment to spread their wings. Something tells me that someone gave him a second, third or even fourth chance when he was younger and that he’s trying to do the same for the members of his team. I hope we’ll find out more about his past in the other books and I’m definitely ready to dive into his background story. =) Coach Wymack is the best!
”Tetsuji took Kevin in and took over his training, but he also gave Kevin to Riko – literally. Kevin isn’t human to them. He’s a project. He’s a pet, and it’s Riko’s name on his leash. The fact he ran away is a miracle. If Tetsuji called tomorrow and told him to come home, Keven would. He knows what Tetsuji would do to him if he refused. He’d be too afraid to say no.”
I’m going to be honest here: Kevin is still an enigma to me and even though he’s an integral part of the story because of his connection to Neil I still didn’t get a feel for his character. If you ask me that’s mostly due to the fact that he rarely talks and that he lives in his own world. Exy is everything for him and everything else that’s around him isn’t important if it doesn’t have to do with the sport. *lol* So yep, all I know is that Exy is Kevin’s life and that he was raised as Riko’s peronal toy. Maybe that’s even the reason why his character is so bland. He never got a chance to do what HE wanted to do and therefore never was able to develop his own character. Guess I’ll have to continue with the series to see some of his true self. 😉
”If you won’t play with me, you’ll play for me,” Kevin said. “You’re never going to get there on your own, so give your game to me.”
Riko jerked back a bit in surprise, started to school his expression into something more civil, and gave up when he realized who had joined them.
„We were just talking about you,“ Riko said.
„With your fists, it seems,“ Andrew said. „Don’t touch my things, Riko, I don’t share.“
Now here’s a character I instantly disliked! XD Riko is so smug and full of himself that I just wanted to punch him in his face! Thankfully Neil already did that for me. Verbally but still! *lol* I can’t believe Kevin was raised with Riko and I feel very sorry for him. To be in the shadow of such a guy must have hurt and the fact that he broke his hand… *shakes head* Some part of me really hopes that Riko will be put in his place and I’m about a 100% sure we’ll say way more of him in those other books than we actually want to. >_<
Neil & Andrew:
„Your loose ends aren’t adding up.“
„I’m not a math problem.“
„But I’ll still solve you.“
THOSE TWO!!!! I SHIP THEM SO HARD AND I SHIP THEM LIKE THERE’LL BE NO TOMORROW!! *lol* I mean honestly!! Their chemistry! The way they interact, all those little subtle nuances in their conversations, those seemingly insignificant and infinitesimal touches. I saw it between Ronan and Adam and I’m seeing it here!!! This ship is going to sail and BURNNN BRIGHT!!! And I’m so here to see it! <333 Also I kind of love how Andrew always seems to be pulled towards Neil when he’s in his orbit!! Did anyone realize how often he’s leaning closer to him because I certainly did!!! I want those two to give into their feelings … badly… very badly! *lol* And I hope that Andrew will let Neil in as much as Neil let him in. I mean at the end of the book he basically entrusted him with his life and I want … no actually I NEED Andrew to open up to Neil! Gosh I just need more of them and I’m beginning to realize that I’m total Neil & Andrew trash! *LOL*
Neil tensed as Andrew’s fingers wrapped around the back of his neck, but Andrew only wanted to pull Neil’s head down. Neil focused on Andrew’s cheekbone so as not to go cross-eyed and let Andrew study his eyes.
“Another bit of unexpected honesty,” Andrew said. “Any particular reason?”
“Nicky asked nicely. You might try it sometime.”
“We already talked about this. I don’t ask.” Andrew gave Neil another slow once-over and let go.
”What would it take to make you stay?”
The question was so unexpected Neil had to turn back. “What?”
Andrew laughed quietly at his shock and leaned forward. “Name it and it’s yours. It doesn’t matter what it is so long as you stand your ground here with us.”
“You can. You have everything you need to survive. You’re just too afraid to see it.“
”He knows what it’s like to hate every day of his life, to wake up afraid every day, but he’s got you at his back telling him everything’s going to be okay. He has everything, even when he’s lost everything, and I’m – “ Neil didn’t want to say it, but the word was already there, broken and pathetic between them, “nothing. I’ll always have and be nothing.”
Andrew reached up and forcibly uncurled Neil’s fingers from his mouth. He pushed Neil’s hand out of the way and stared Neil down with nothing between them. Neil didn’t understand the look on his face. There was no censure over Neil’s crooked parents or pity for their deaths, no triumph over having backed Neil into admitting so much, and no obvious skepticism for such an outlandish story. Whatever this look was, it was dark and intense enough to swallow Neil whole.
”A group of people shouldered their way up to the bar counter at Neil’s back, pushing him into Andrew. Andrew didn’t budge beneath his weight. He was something solid to lean against, something violent and fierce and unmoving. Neil couldn’t remember what it felt like to have someone hold him up. It was terrifying and liberating all at once. His life was out of his control now; he was giving it to Andrew and hoping Andrew would keep it safe.”
Kevin & Andrew:
”Help me,” Kevin said, almost a whisper.
Andrew clucked his tongue and cocked his head to one side. “Help you? Help a man who lies to my face for a month? How?”
“I want to stay,” Kevin said. “I’ll ask you again: don’t let him take me away.”
“You’re the one who would tell him yes,” Andrew said. “Maybe you forgot.”
Those two have such an intriguing dynamic! I really don’t know what’s going on between them and why Kevin trusts Andrew so much but I’m more than just ready to solve that mystery! Also I hope one day it will be explained why everyone has so much respect of Andrew. Even Riko has respect and considering he’s the baddie of the story this is interesting! What did Andrew do??!! And what exactly is his deal with Kevin?! Because they definitely made some sort of deal, I just have no idea what it might entail. I need answers. XD
Neil & Riko:
”I will ask you only once to tone down that animosity.”
“I can’t,” Neil said. “I have a bit of an attitude problem.”
Riko’s smile was all ice. “A bit?”
And here comes my favourite part of the entire book! I LOVED how Neil put Riko into his place during the TV interview!!! GOSH! That scene was EVERYTHING and if that’s Neil’s true self I’m really desperate to see more of him! ❤ I swear Neil giving Riko a run for his money is my new aesthetic! *lol* I, for my part, wouldn’t mind to read more about Neil’s “attitude problem”, yet at the same time I’m kind of afraid what Riko will do. He won’t accept this and some part of me is worried that he’ll hurt my precious baby bean. >_< Ahh! I really need to read book two!
I never expected to love this so much but right from the very first sentence this world drew me in, locked the door and threw the key away. In short: I’ve been a goner the moment I started to read this and I’m afraid my addiction will only get even worse. XD Yes, this sometimes reads like fan fiction and yes, the mental health rep in this is more than just a little sketchy (if not completely unrealistic, weird and – I’m no expert – wrong) but as I already pointed out earlier in my review: This is not a book to read with your mind, this is a book you’ll have to read following your gut instinct. So all told this book is problematic af, kind of unrealistic and definitely politically incorrect in so many different ways and on so many levels… but I still loved it!? On to the next one! *lol*