April 9, 2014

Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Title: Catching Jordan (Hundred Oaks #1)
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Release Date: December 1st, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Page Count: 283
Source: Purchased
First Reaction: A football book that brought the feels.

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 Greeen 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?

[Summary Source: Goodreads]


Jordan's the girl who doesn't really get all of the girly stuff. She's more focused on her football team - which makes sense, since she's the starting Quarterback. And that's exactly the position she wants to be in, even if it means she's seen as "one of the guys." But when a new Quarterback moves to town and Jordan begins to realize playing college football is going to be a lot harder and more political than she thought, things start to get tricky.

Let's break this down:

I feel like our main character, Jordan, has a couple of major obstacles in this book.

1. The Football Stuff
Jordan wants to go to Alabama to play ball. That's all she's ever wanted. But when she finds out they're more interested in having a girl on the team for promotional stuff than actually letting her play, Jordan has to decide what's really important.

2. The Family Stuff
Jordan and her dad don't really see eye to eye. Her father doesn't want her to play football for a whole host of reasons. Jordan has a hard time dealing with this because a) her older brother plays b) her father was this big football player c) parents should support their children's hobbies, not completely ignore them and pretend they don't exist - and if they can't support them, at least acknowledge them. Thank goodness for Jordan's mom, though. She's great.

3. The Girl Stuff
Jordan is NOT good at being a girl, so watching her navigate the social-waters in this book is really entertaining. Especially when it comes to her dealing with other females. Her relationships with Carrie and Marie are fantastic and they really help erase the stereotypical lines of what makes someone "feminine" or "manly". I also really enjoy Jordan's relationships with her teammates. Those friendships also break down gender preconceptions and I love 'em.

4. The Boy Stuff
When Ty comes to town, Jordan's hormones go wild. She can't help but chase after him. But then her best friend, Sam Henry, changes everything by being honest with her about his feelings and he makes everything that much worse. It's not that Jordan doesn't like him back. The opposite, really. But Henry doesn't really know how to deal with any of this and a whole big mess ensues - a mess no girl could really get around since Henry starts making decisions for Jordan (and Ty does too, which is double suck-town). Oh, and Ty goes from being really hot and awesome to something else entirely and that's when you learn a pretty face and a crazy good throwing arm are not necessarily everything you need in a guy.

This book is really a book about control. Jordan, at the start of the book, thinks she has it all figured out. But then, over the course of this little book, everything comes undone and she has to figure out if she's going to take the reigns and make a new path for herself or let the people and circumstances and her own stubbornness ruin her chance for happiness. And when Jordan does decide it's okay to move away from the path she was on at the start of the book, magical things happen.

The long and short of it?

Plot: Pretty straightforward but lovable for just that reason.
World Building: I don't know anything about football or the south, but it sound right to me? Don't take my word on any of this.
Character Development: I love the way Jordan changes in this book. Her personality shifts are so natural and perfect. Henry, Jordan's dad, and most everyone else in this book (except maybe Ty - his plot line got kind of dull and obvious at the end) also have pretty great character development.
Prose: Nothing particularly special, although I do like the usage of swear words. It might put some people out but it felt very authentic.
Would I Recommend This Book?: Love sports? Swoony boys? Breaking gender stereotypes? Then you should probably give this book a read.

Have you read CATCHING JORDAN? Did you like it? Maybe you've already read some of the other books in the series. Do you think I'd like them? I'd say talk to me about sports in the comments below, but I know nothing so... pick pretty much anything else about this book and have at it!