Book Review: The Moonballers
Reviewed by Manik Chaturmutha
A captivating story about human friendships and love
Jeffrey Sotto’s novel, The Moonballers, invokes mixed emotions—from laughing out loud to holding back tears. With a steady pace and a smooth writing style, this novel tells compelling stories about beautiful people who capture us and keep us hooked.
The novel revolves around the Torpedo Valley Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Two-Spirited Tennis team. It opens with the forming of the organization in a wannabe-downtown suburb. I love this immediate establishment of the group, showing us we’re going to meet the gang and get started on the fun from the very beginning.
The team’s President, Stefan “Steffi” Porsche, it turns out, is a proud tennis player and believes strongly in his abilities. But that confidence is threatened when someone new, Khalid, defeats him in a practice match. And what irks him most? Khalid is straight.
Khalid’s entry sets off a competitive streak in Stefan. But his distaste is not shared by other members of the team. Instead, they welcome Khalid with open arms.
The Moonballers is filled with humor, love, friendships, and quirky and sarcastic people. With a group like this, you’re bound to have a good time reading.
This is a lucid and funny satirical novel with distinctive characters who all have their own way of dealing with things like bullying, grief, racism, and tennis. The characters’ humor is crude and dry but it works. Leave it to Sotto to make the prose both compelling and funny.
Above all, seeing the team members form such an indestructible bond is what fascinates me the most. They all have to deal with their own insecurities and problems, but the tone offers a sense of self-reflection and a positive outlook. The poems included invoke warm and fuzzy feelings too. I love that I can spend time reading something positive and funny with Moonballers. That’s what I want most out of humor novels, so I feel glad I came.
Significant character interaction? Check. A fantastic found-family trope? Check. Humor? You betcha. And coming to terms with yourself? Absolutely. This is an excellent story of making the most out of your time together with the people you care about most.
If you love great friendships—if you love love—if you love dealing with the viciousness of yourself—you’ll really enjoy this book.
Genre: Literary & General Fiction / LGBTQ+ / Humor
Print Length: 288 pages
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