Locker Room by Amy Lane is an intense book; the tension never lets up from the first page. The novel follows the life of Xander Karcek and Christian Edwards from teens to young adulthood to the stardom of high-caliber professional basketball players. Both young men are passionate about each other and basketball and their passions are the focus of the story.
Much of Locker Room hangs on how two athletic young men cope with being gay in the homophobic world of professional athletes. In Xander Karcek, Lane creates a character that is larger than life, not only in his physical stature, but his personality. He is always looking out for everyone but himself. He takes care of his teammates, despite an obstructive coach. Xander also takes care of Christian; he puts him first in all things. Christian Edwards is a warm and open individual with a strong family supporting him. He worries that Xander doesn’t make any decisions with himself as the focus. Christian loves basketball as much as he loves Xander, but his life has been a gentler one, coming from a supportive home.
When circumstances force these two apart, it test the strength of their love. Lane adroitly handles their reactions to the separation. Locker Room paints a picture that is stark and vivid with its imagery. The on-court scenes are electric, while the day-to-day life of two men in love trying to hide in front of the entire nation is riveting. Locker Room is definitely worth 4.5 stars.