Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - The Next Level

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Book Review - The Next Level

About the Book (What they say)
The Next Level: A Game I Had To Play! is the candid account of Vernon M. Turner’s fascinating journey through life.  A life that has held many moments of pure joy but, for the most part, hidden behind the big smile it was filled with pain and regrets that will stay with him for the rest of his life.
From all outward appearances Vernon Turner is a man who has lived the American Dream; his lifestyle, his many accomplishments and awards –he has it all!  What he has never shown before are the hurt and remorse from events of his childhood that follow him through his days and haunt his nights.  This amazingly poignant story is about a young man who went up against some insurmountable odds to save his family and in the process achieve a childhood dream.

The Next Level gives a clear picture of what Turner’s life was like from age five to the present.  From growing up in the 70’s in Bedford Stuyvesant Brooklyn, a predominantly African-American neighborhood that was economically challenged and considered by most to be unsafe, to his school days and football where he was constantly challenged because of his stature – 5’6” and 98 lbs.  He recalls the good times he and his cousins spent at his grandmother’s house, and the bad times with his mother’s addiction.  He talks proudly of his ‘nana’ - a remarkably compassionate and principled woman who could become feisty if the need arose; a woman Turner loved deeply and who he describes as “his heart.”
The Next Level shows Turner as he really is – a deep thinker and fiercely private person – one who admits he dissects and over-analyzes everything in his life; a fact reflected by the words he chooses to best describe his life: “sadness, embarrassment, touching, heartbreaking, guilt, regret, anger, fear, determination and relief.”  It is the story of his decisions and choices, some good some bad, his family, and some of the amazing individuals who have crossed his path and were instrumental in his life’s journey.

Vernon Turner openly admits that writing his story was perhaps one of the most difficult things he has ever undertaken and is probably the reason it was seventeen years in the making.  It has forced him to remember things that were long buried in his mind and heart for over thirty years - things he was not too anxious to relive, but by sharing how he overcame obstacles, never missed an opportunity, and tried to never take anyone for granted, he hopes the messages in his book will connect with readers in a truly inspiring way and, in his words, ‘if it helps just one person it will all be worth it!’

My Take on the Book
This book is raw and provides you with an in-depth, in-your-face analysis of the highs and lows of one man's life. What I loved about the book was that it was completely open and self-defacing. I found the book to be a very introspective account to a man's life who was definitely in the limelight. You would think that living such a exciting life would bring happiness as well, and it seems that it did in some ways, but in others you are definitely shown some of the unglamorous side of life in the limelight as well.

I loved this book, not only because I am a sports fan, but due to the introspective nature of the book itself. You will be amazed and intrigued and will come away with a much better understanding and appreciation for this man and all of the things that he had to endure within his life.

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.
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