Thursday, April 5, 2012

Book Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Catching Jordan
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publication: Sourcebooks Fire (December 1, 2011)

Description: ONE OF THE BOYS

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?

My Thoughts: This was an interesting contemporary sports story about a girl whose first love is football. She is the quarterback of her high school team and all of her best friends are boys. Her father is a current professional quarterback who has never been to one of her games. He is constantly supporting and encouraging her older brother Mike who is playing for Tennessee but Jordan feels like she gets no support.

Things are going just fine as Jordan enters her senior year. The team is playing well. But then Ty Green shows up and Jordan remembers that she is a girl. She sees him and has trouble focusing on football. To add to the problems, Ty is from Texas where he was a star football quarterback. He is in Tennessee because his father was killed and his mother was paralyzed in a car accident. He has moved to stay with his grandfather but feels that he needs to support and care for his mother and his younger sister. He is looking at this year of football as his last before he has to find a job. They begin dating which her teammates are OK with though they have given Ty the third degree about the proper way to treat Jordan.

Senior year brings a lot of adjustments for all the players. Jordan is concerned for her best friend Sam Henry who has been dumped by his girlfriend and who is now hooking up with a wide variety of girls. They have been best friends since they were seven. He still spends a lot of time with her including sleepovers during which they share the same bed (and her parents seem to be OK with this!) After Jordan talks with his ex-girlfriend and finds out she dumped him because he was in love with another girl and the girl is Jordan, Jordan needs to reassess the relationship. This causes a lot of conflict between Jordan and Henry.

Between the conflicts with her father about football and Henry about their relationship and Ty and their relationship, Jordan has a very stress-filled football season. I liked Jordan. I liked that she had a plan and was willing to work for it. I also liked how the friendships in the story were well-developed. I liked the strong relationship she had with her mother.

Some of the other situations seemed rather problematic to me though. Parents allowing 17-year-olds of opposite sexes to have sleepovers seemed unlikely no matter how obtuse Jordan was about Sam's feelings. Some of the athletic stuff seemed questionable too. Jordan is asked to pose for an Alabama athletic department calendar wearing a jersey and not much else before she had been accepted at the school and without apparent parent input. Isn't she a minor?

Most problematic of all was the amount of sexual activity that went on in the story. All of the adolescent main characters were sexually active. There was nothing really blatant or overt but the whole attitude was that this was OK and normal. Because of this aspect, I would be reluctant to share this story with my middle schoolers. I will be recommending this one to my high school students though.

Favorite Quote:
So. My friends are off hooking up with cheerleaders.

My dad cares more about sunflowers reaching a state of Zen than my feelings.

At least I've got football.It's been my life since I was seven, but sometimes Henry says I need to spend less time focusing and start "living life like I'm going to hell tomorrow."

But I feel like a normal teenager. Well, as normal as I can be. Obviously I think Justin Timberlake is a mega-hunk, but I'm also over six feet tall and can launch a football fifty yards.
I bought this one for my Kindle. You can get your copy here.

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