Friday, May 24, 2019

YA Book #Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally .@Mirandakenealy .@SourcebooksFire

Book Title: Catching Jordan (Hundred Oaks 1)
Author:  Miranda Kenneally |WebsiteTwitterFacebook
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Romance, Sports Romance, Young Adult Romance, Young Adult
Series/Standalone: Book 1
Format: Trade paperback, ebook
Cost: $8.99
Pages: 288
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Publication Date: December 01, 2011
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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 of 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 everything she's ever worked for is threatened when Ty Green moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he's also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan's feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart's on the line?
I have been reading Miranda's Hundred Oaks series out of order for a while and have caught glimpses of Jordan throughout, she's especially mentioned in the final book Coming Up For Air, Having read and loved the finale I wanted to see what started it all. I grabbed Jordan's book and just loved diving in. Right from the start, we see the dedication Jordan has to her craft and her need to prove to not just herself but everyone that she takes the game seriously.

Jordan Woods is the starting QB for the Hundred Oaks team, she's the daughter of a famous football player and the sister of a top collegiate football player, football is in her DNA. She's best friends with Sam Henry who also is her go-to guy on the field. She's been playing and kicking butt for years and this is her senior year, she's taking the team to the state championships so she can prove to her favorite school Alabama that she's worth having on their team.

For a book that's only 288 pages, Miranda packs quite a punch taking on the inherent misogyny within sports and how athletes are viewed. Jordan is good at the game and while her teammates and her high school coach take her seriously no one else seems to be doing the same. She wants to go to Alabama because it's her dream school and while it appears they are interested, there is a chance the opportunity isn't all it appears to be.  Miranda writes great likable characters and even the ones who seem to be the worst are even more nuanced once Jordan starts to pay attention.

For her senior year, Jordan wants to concentrate on getting that perfect season and getting into Alabama.  Then one day at practice a new guy appears and makes her knees weak, for the first time ever Jordan is noticing a guy, and this one could be a threat to her perfectly ordered life. Tyler Green is beautiful and someone she's happy to look at and get to know, he makes her nervous, uncertain and remembers that she's a girl. Jordan knows that she wants to explore these feeling she's having for the first time and while she's confident on the field she's not so sure anywhere else.  I loved the exploration of what makes girls feminine. Jordan discounted a few of the characters who eventually because good friends and sounding boards for her because she considered them "silly girls" because they embraced being 'girly'.  She believed and worked with the idea that she couldn't be taken seriously if she embraced her feminine side and as the story progressed she had to learn to balance the two.  Jordan's decision to explore with Tyler opens up a whole new world for her, and at the same time becomes a source of great upheaval, it makes her question friendships, and what she believes about relationships.

As the story progressed with Jordan having so many lessons to learn, she's growing out of the idea that football is all she needs to be about, as she and her friends embrace the season and she explores her feelings she realizes that her friends are nuanced and have so many more facets to themselves than what they do on the field and that it's all acceptable. There are many lessons for Jordan, and for the people around her. I loved that she had so many different kinds of friends and friendships they were great friends and some were quite hilarious.  Her relationship with her brother is fantastic and I loved that even though her father didn't seem to care about her playing football, he still tried to reach her even if it was with things that she no longer liked. I loved the familial relationships because while her parents fundamentally didn't agree on football for Jordan they still had a great relationship, one where her mom wasn't afraid to call him out.

I loved the discussion of familial expectation and how it impacted each of the players on the team differently. What they wanted vs what their parents desired was a great source of stress for a few of the team and as Jordan realized it wasn't just her father's issues with her playing that she had to deal with as Captain.

I loved the overall lesson that what you once planned doesn't have to be the only way. Your dreams are allowed to change and sometimes embracing change can bring an even better outcome.  This was a fantastic start to this series and I can't wait to get to the others and share my thoughts with you.
Happy Reading my loves, 

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