Author: Miranda Keneally
Classification: YA Fiction, Contemporary
Would I recommend it?
Summary (from Goodreads):
What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though - she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team... and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate.
I had a veritable love/hate relationship with this book.
There were awesomely funny, sexy, and surprising moments that made me flip through the pages... only to be stopped in my tracks by a contrived situation or cheesy dialogue.
I think that one of the major success of this book is that it showcases the life of a serious female athlete. I grew up playing high school and club volleyball my entire life, later playing at a Division I school. I liked how Kenneally portrayed Jordan as focused and driven. She took her sport seriously, almost too seriously, and she made a conscious effort to train, take care of her body, and be a good captain to her teammates.
However, because I am often forced to listen to college football games while reading or making jewelry on Saturdays, I literally cringed every time that Jordan mentioned playing football for Alabama. The complete impossibility of this had me frustrated from the start of the novel, because while I am willing to suspend my slight disbelief that a girl can become the best quarterback in the entire state of Tennessee, there is simply no way to even hope that a girl can earn a full-ride football scholarship to play for the Crimson Tide.
Seriously. There's no way.
Because this novel is part of the contemporary genre, one would expect the situations in the book to be realistic... a story that people can imagine actually playing out in their own lives today or tomorrow. I think this is the reason why I ended up feeling disappointed with this book. Because the situation itself was a bit riduculous, that of Jordan actually thinking she could start at quarterback for a top-ranked football team, the dialogue between her and her teammates felt stilted and cheesy.
However, despite this major problem I had with the book, I was pleasantly surprised by the romance story! Kenneally did a great job at keeping the relationships realistic, complicated, and surprising. Although there is a near case of insta-love between Jordan and Ty, the way that their relationship progresses is not typical of YA lit these days. And I have to say, I am very happy with how the story ended.
That being said, I think that Catching Jordan would have been much more successful had Kenneally opted to make the sports angle of the story more believable. This would have better served the story by not turning around the general stereotype of football as a man's sport into a situation that is just as equally ridiculous and frustrating.
All in all, an entertaining, albeit somewhat cheesy, contemporary read that will appeal to athletes and sports lovers!
Would I recommend it?
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