Head Fake

We rated this book:

Head Fake, a novel written by Scott Gordon, follows the protagonist, Mikey, as he navigates his new job at an alternative high school for kids who are experiencing mental health issues, many having a history of violent acts. Mikey starts off by getting a job as a school bus driver. Even within his first few moments of entering the school’s property, Mikey witnesses a fight between two students. Despite warnings about violence from other staff members and even students themselves, Mikey carries on with becoming the bus driver. He notes that he needs this job, as he struggles with dealing with his depression and ADHD.

Mikey is then met with the opportunity to become the school’s basketball coach. This is an offer he accepts, as the school mentions they don’t have any other option. The novel explores Mikey’s growing appreciation for the students and staff, as well as his complicated relationship with his father.

Readers will absolutely enjoy this novel. Though there are many serious topics included in the novel, such as psychosis, suicide, and strangling, Gordon uses strategic ways of presenting these issues in a way that feels fairly light-hearted and digestible. He does a thorough job of exemplifying what it means to have mental health conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). As the reader, I found myself appreciating this because many times mental health is portrayed inaccurately in books and movies. There are small jokes along the way, which add great humor to the book and make the storyline engaging.

Mikey is a fascinating character because his flaws are explicitly shown throughout the book. His symptoms of ADHD are often exemplified by the fact he is constantly fidgeting and highly distracted during conversations. Despite his weaknesses, he also has a compassionate and empathetic side to him. For example, in one scene one of the students, Donnie, is crying. Mikey approaches Donnie and works him through his overwhelming emotions by offering him empathy. Mikey truly is a likable character.

Other characters also experience development. For example, Gonzalo starts off as the kid who hustled Mikey for money on his first day on the job. After some time, he turns into Mikey’s copilot. Gordon has a creative way of making each character lovable, despite their past history. This makes the book an easy read as it will make any reader appreciate the storyline and characters.

Reviewed By:

Author Scott Gordon
Star Count 5/5
Format eBook
Page Count 331 pages
Publisher Maxwell Street Books
Publish Date 27-May-2024
ISBN 9798990103504 Buy this Book
Issue May 2024
Category Popular Fiction