“Chase Potter!” I yell. Frustration make my voice gruff.

“What the hell? Who’s that?” Tim asks. He looks up from the book he reads next to me.

“Ugh,” I say. “He’s the author of this book. His characters, this story, it’s… Daniel, he won’t, ugh, well, so far he hasn’t…” I try a different angle. “Ethan, the main character, he isn’t able to…” I shake my head. There’s nothing I can say that wouldn’t be a spoiler of some form. “You’ll just have to read this book next,” I say.

Tim blinks and goes back to his book. “Okaaay.” he says.

Oh my five stars! Chase Potter’s début novel, The Race for Second, is:

  • Wonderful – it’s an original story immersed in real-life situations that is effortlessly mixed with fiction, drama, and the human experience.
  • Emotionally provocative – I quickly connected with, Ethan, the main character. As I learned more about the secondary character, Daniel, I felt a different set of emotions responding to him. My emotional response was surprisingly strong.
  • Exasperating – I continuously demanded the story move along the way I wanted it to, but it refused to comply.

Let’s dive a little deeper, shall we?


I am in awe over Chase’s ability to create and maintain realistic characters that develop with the story and make you fall in love with them and cheer them on. As you follow Ethan through his year abroad in Germany, you can’t help but empathize with the feelings and situations he encounters. His love interest, Daniel, brings a unique tension to the story. Daniel’s stoic and mysterious presence in Ethan’s life drives the story forward. I absolutely love how I was rooting for Ethan as the story went along, and pulling my hair out in exasperation at other moments in the story.

Emotionally Provocative

As the story moved along, I found my empathy growing for Ethan. At times he was overwhelmed and I felt bad for him, and other times he was just a dick. I wanted to slap him and tell him to get over himself and move on. And Daniel, what a jerk! At least, he was at first. Even though he softened as the story progressed, he seemed to revert back to this awkward place. I responded very differently to both characters for different reasons. This is key element I want to remember as I write book(s).

Here’s a non-spoiler example: After Ethan and Daniel’s brief kiss on the Schlossberg, I hard a time falling asleep because my brain was arguing with itself about what just happened and what would happen next. I wanted to pick up my Kindle and keep reading, but I needed sleep.


And finally, the plot. One of the things that irks me about movies and stories is that one magical point when my brain, all on its own, calculates the ending of the movie. I’m usually right, and it’s a let-down when the movie doesn’t deviate. I read somewhere that there are only 8 basic plots that all stories and movies start from. I have no idea if that’s true or not.

Just as with a movie, at one point in the story my brain calculated the ending and I was not happy. Oh my gosh, I thought, is he really going to do that? That is not how I wanted the story to end. As the story moved on, my exasperation grew (pleasantly!). I did not want the story to progress along my calculated path. But it had sucked me in, and I had to keep reading. Thank you, Chase, for doing that. It was great!

If you haven’t figured it out yet, The Race for Second is a fun and engaging story that I highly recommend. You can check it out on here.