Book Review: Sidelined, Overcoming Odds through Unity, Passion, and Perseverance, by Chuck Pagano, with Bruce A. Tollner

Sidelined; Overcoming Odds through Unity, Passion, and Perseverance

by Chuck Pagano, with Bruce A. Tollner

Publisher: Zondervan (2014)

What’s it like to win your dream job, and then receive the news that you have cancer? Ask Chuck Pagano. The message is clear. Even on the darkest of days, those who remain faithful remain strong.

Shortly after reaching a lifelong goal of becoming a head coach in the National Football League, Pagano was given more life changing news. Diagnosed with leukemia during his first year with the Indianapolis Colts, Coach Pagano had to rely on his family and new team to help him overcome the potentially life threatening disease.

Unsure of the team’s reaction, he continued to coach from his hospital bed through phone calls, text messages, and emails. Chuck’s determination and drive were nothing new to the players on his team. As the effects of chemotherapy took their toll, Pagano’s team kept reminding him of his own words, “Trust, Loyalty, and Respect” – they would mean so much more by the end of the season.

While reading Sidelined, I was continually inspired by the “pep talks” of Pagano’s trusted friend, Kevin Elko. These nuggets of wisdom are expertly woven among the game day recaps and the updates on Pagano’s physical status during the course of the disease and the effects of its treatment. Elko’s (Elks as Pagano refers to him) ability to use scripture to inspire determination is essential in Pagano’s defensive lineup against leukemia.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a football fan, going through a rough patch in everyday life, or facing the unknown through illness. It’s a helpful reminder that one must not give in to one’s condition, and to use your faith as a guide for living.


I received this book for free from in exchange for my honest review.


Book Review: Jupiter Winds, by C.J. Darlington


Jupiter Winds, by C.J. Darlington

Mountainview Books

Seventeen year-old Grey Alexander and her younger sister, Orinda, learn to survive after the loss of their parents in this fast-passed sci-fi thriller. In 2160, North America is under the control of a dictatorship that uses technology to its advantage for controlling humans and their actions. Before their mysterious disappearance, Grey’s revolutionary parents take their children into hiding to avoid having them become electronically “connected”. Only Mrs. March, a trusted, elderly, family friend, knows the girls’ secret, and she will stop at nothing to protect them.

While reading Jupiter Winds, I couldn’t help but compare it to The Hunger Games. You have two sisters who draw on their courage and determination to survive through the loss of a parent; the government of the futuristic country has fallen into the hands of a dictatorship known as Mazdaar; and the girls are forced to smuggle and trade contraband in order to survive; however, that’s where the comparison stops.

Travel from Earth to Jupiter has been reduced to a few days journey. But who would want to go to Jupiter in the first place? Certainly not Grey and Rin, that is until Grey is abducted for questioning by Mazdaar’s General Evangeline Yurkutz. The General is determined to uncover the truth concerning the whereabouts of Grey’s parents.

Jupiter Winds is an excellent read. With each turn of a page, our heroines encounter life threatening situations that seem realistic and impossible to escape. The transitions in this novel keep the action flowing, and I especially liked the way the point of view switches from Grey to Rin throughout the story.

This is the first novel I’ve read from this author, but I will be looking to read her other novels and any in the future.

Rating: 5 Stars

I received this book for free from C.J. Darlington in exchange for my honest review.