Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc., 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
If you’ve visited our intro page then you will have noticed that Judith claims we have “eerily similar opinions” about books. Well there is one area where we almost always disagree: books about sports. Specifically books about girls who play “boy” sports. I really enjoy them (so long as they’re written even slightly well). I don’t know if it’s the fact that I love sports, or that sports make me think of beer and beer makes me happy, or that as a teen I LOVED the movie “Quarterback Princess” where Helen Hunt (I KNOW!) plays a female quarterback. I find them to be highly enjoyable. And when the female character is pretty awesome and her best friend is my future husband (age difference, fictional status and Phillip aside) – well then I’m a very happy Ellen.
Jordan is an amazing quarterback – the best in the state of TN with a full ride to Alabama almost guaranteed. (ROLL TIDE!!!) What really sets Jordan apart is that she’s a girl. Granted she is a 6’ tall girl whose dad is an NFL QB and her brother is the starting QB for the Vols (that’s college, for those who don’t know). At the start of her senior year hottie hot hot QB Tyler moves up from Texas and Jordan worries that he’ll try to take her spot in the lineup. But there’s no need to worry as her coach and the entire team, led by her awesome group of best friends, fully support her over the admittedly very talented Ty.
I’d say this book is as much a love triangle as it is a football story. Jordan is completely flummoxed by Ty cause of his hotness, which is a real challenge because she’s always forced herself to see her teammates as friends, believing that if she started dating one then she would lose their hard-earned respect. But when she and Ty start a relationship and no one on the team treats her any different she has to wonder – has the perfect guy (her bff Sam) been staring her in the face her entire life and she’s just forced herself to overlook him? On the football side Jordan’s biggest challenges come from her dad and from her college prospects. Her dad loves her and keeps trying to connect with her and spend time together – so long as football is NOT involved. He fully supported her brother’s football career so why won’t he support Jordan’s? And what’s up with this ‘bama scholarship? They ask her to pose for “girl athlete” calendars but in their emails they never mention her on-field abilities – do they actually want her to play or are they recruiting her as a glamour player like her father alleges? But it’s Alabama! Even if they want her just as a name does she still go there for the chance to say she was on the Crimson Tide football team, knowing she’ll ride the pine for 4 years? It’s a conundrum you guys!
Review: Okay I really liked this book. Football, hot guys, awesome best friends, an amazing family and humor – this is so up my alley. Romantical stuff: her insta-love with Ty was a little sudden for me, I’m not going to lie. But I also think that this is the first guy who has come in to Jordan’s life and set her off kilter in quite a while, which helps make the romance more believable. And then when she beings to realize her feelings for Sam I was so happy since he sounded awesome from page 1. The scenes where Sam and Jordan have to act as parents to one of those scary sounding dolls for Home Ec and they name it Jerry Rice and Sam keeps getting mad at the rest of the players (and even Jordan’s mom!!) who aren’t holding Jerry Rice “correctly” – I literally died I was laughing so hard.
The football stuff was just as interesting. The college scenario was a toughie – does Jordan choose ‘bama where she probably won’t play at all (and the coach – NOT my love Nick Saban – is an ass) or admit they only want her for marketing purposes and go to a smaller school? And then there’s the situation at home, more specifically with her dad. Here’s a guy who makes his living playing football, as his son probably will too, and yet he won’t share this with his daughter. He’s an ass, right? But it’s not that simple because we learn one of his best friends died due to too many concussions sustained on the field. He really is someone trying to protect his daughter – which is something all parents want but then you get into the debate of goose vs. gander. It’s all balanced by her AWESOMESAUCE mother and brother, though, who have her back 10000% of the time. I can’t even express how wonderful they are. Mike (her brother) seriously thinks about missing UT training days to watch game film with Jordan. I love him.
But the best parts for me were between Jordan and her guy friends. On the field, hanging out, trying to “help” her with her love life – these interactions were all awesome. Especially the pre-game ritual bits where she and JJ would gorge themselves on spaghetti and “fill out” (seriously: used liberally. It’s hilarious) crossword puzzles together. For example: “What is a soothing plant?” “Weed”. ALOE people!!!
I’m going to give the book an 8/10. I liked it a
lot but it didn’t get to that AMAZING level for me.
Based on the following criteria:
How much did I like the heroine: 8. I really liked Jordan. Granted I grew frustrated with her about the whole Alabama thing but I think that’s because I really don’t believe it’s the worst thing ever if you don’t get in to your #1 college choice. But I loved that she was confident in her own abilities both on and off the field and the first time she walked up to Ty and said “this is MY team not yours, I will deal with the players” (paraphrase) I think I shouted out loud I was so proud. Jordan also grew a lot as a person throughout the book –letting go of dreams that would hurt her in the end, opening herself up to the relationship with her dad, starting friendships with girls and admitting that just because a girl isn’t on the field doesn’t mean she doesn’t know what a flea flicker is, and especially discovering that she’s not just a football player – she is also a talented writer. Jordan is definitely someone I want to go to Chili’s and drink some beers with (when she’s legal, of course) while enjoying boneless buffalo wings – high praise indeed in EllenLand
How much did I like the love interest: 8. For me the most difficult part about reviewing books is telling you what happens without spoiling it and with a love triangle it’s especially challenging but I’m going to try to be all Switzerlandy. Tyler. Okay first of all I LOVE the name Tyler. It’s just SO Southern. It makes me want a Sweet Tea (with vodka obvs). I was fully prepared to hate Tyler who of course was moving to town all JD McCoy style ready to push aside Jordan and take over as head QB. And yet that’s not what he wanted!!! Tyler is literally just a guy trying to do the best for his sister by moving them to live with his grandfather after a terrible tragedy left them parentless. Now he was overly controlling at times – which I didn’t like but is a bit understandable – but I really do think he’s a great guy. And then there’s Sam. I’ve already mentioned how much I love baby Jerry Rice (and the irony of someone not cradling Jerry Rice like he would a football) but he’s kinda a jerk throughout most of the book. Granted high school boys in real life are often complete jerks who don’t want to deal with their emotions but wow. You can’t tell someone to go date someone else and then get mad when the first someone doesn’t realize that you’ve secretly been in live with her your entire life. JUST TELL HER!!! (I think I yelled this at my Kindle about 7 times)
How believable is the plot: 5. As much as it pains me let’s be honest – a girl QB? And one who is respected throughout her entire state and much of the country? I really REALLY want someone to send me material that will
prove me wrong on this one but I just don’t see it happening. A kicker I can see. Hell even in that awesome film (no irony cause I love Scott Bakula) “Necessary Roughness” from like 20 years ago Cathy Ireland (Again: I KNOW!!!) played a college kicker.
How much did I like the writing style/editing/etc: Yeah I got nothing. I do have to admit I skipped the poetry parts but that’s cause I have terrible flashbacks of 11th grade English every time I see poetry. So I’ll give it a 10.
How much did I want to keep reading: 7. I enjoyed myself a lot but no death threats were issued for distracting me from reading (hahaha, not that this would ever happen. That’s just crazy)
Glasses of wine I drank while reading: About 3. But that’s cause I didn’t have any beer in the house and you can’t read about sports (or at least I can’t) without drinking! I’d be like spending a College Football Saturday sober – not happening!
Final Score: 8/10. I really did like this book a lot but I just can’t get to love – even though I want to. Honestly I think what’s keeping me from raising this higher than an 8 is the fact that I’ve read it 3 times and each time I’ve immediately thought “this book was awesome!” but then gone on Amazon the next day and almost bought it again because I’d forgotten I read it. But at the end of the day I think if you’re someone who enjoys books about sports then you’ll find this enjoyable. Unless you’re Judith who will get halfway through and then quit and NEVER KNOW THE AWESOMENESS THAT IS SAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As always let me know if you agree/disagree/think my rating is too high because I drank too much. Oh and I now have a twitter so if you don’t want to comment here you can always shout me out at @Ellen4YA