23 December 2011

Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Title: Catching Jordan
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Published: 1st December 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: Own Kindle Copy

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. - From Goodreads

I absolutely adore Friday Night Lights!! Even though I have very little interest in sport I had a massive emotional investment in the show and it made me feel like I would love Friday night football if I could just give it a chance (it might help if I didn't live in Scotland!!). So when I saw that this book was about a girl football player I was sold before I even finished reading the synopsis. I managed to avoid all reviews and discussions about this book before reading it as I wanted no spoilers. Oh it was so worth it!!

Jordan Woods is the captain of the school football team who has the respect of all the players. The unusual thing is that Jordan is a girl. All Jordan has ever wanted all her life is to play football and, with an NFL father and a collage star brother, she has big shoes to fill. When a new team mate threatens to take everything she has worked for from her, Jordan begins to see her relationships for what they really are. Will her Dad ever support her football dreams? Why is her best Friend, Sam Henry, being so weird? Will she still be respected if she dates one of her team mates? And will she ever get to play football for the university of her dreams?

At the start of this story Jordan Woods is a very simple character who is so focused on getting a scholarship to play football at university she is not completely aware of the relationships around her. When --- turns up he flips her life on it's head. This seems to be the first time that she has found a boy so attractive that she gets completely blind sided* and distracted. Slowly we get introduced to Jordan's slightly crazy and neurotic side (this includes writing poetry, hiding in her shed and crying every five minutes). All of this made me love Jordan as a character, I thought she was a joy to read and quite funny!

There were a great number of additional characters which helped make the book a really good read. I thought Jordan's family were well written and had a good family dynamic. Jordan's dad is totally disapproving of her love of football as he wants to protect her and her mother and brother just seemed really warm and supportive. I think too often in YA books the family gets dismissed as something that must exist but is not worth mentioning, in this book however they are an important and lovely aspect to the story.

Jordan's friends. I can't not comment on them. I loved them!! Jordan has never really had any friends who were girls, they have always been boys, and I thought that they had amazing relationships. You can see very clearly why the adorable Sam Henry is her best friend. he is such a great character and I felt he was a very human character with all of his man-whoring. We see Jordan's friendship with 2 girls also grow through the book as she realises that it is OK to be herself sometimes and it is OK to talk about your feelings!

I thought this was a very emotional book with the emotions written into every page. It made the book an absolute pleasure to read and you could really feel what Jordan was feeling! The pace of this book was great and I was never bored, even when reading about the football games, I'm not up to speed on my terminology and thought I might get lost, but it was fine! The only other thing I want to mention is how much Jordan reminded me of P.J. from My Boys**. Am I the only one who thought this? I am excited to see what Miranda Kenneally does in the future.

*see my use of sports terminology? Whoop!!
** Such a brilliant TV show. So sad when it finished!

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