Thursday, November 5, 2015

Book Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Release date: November 18, 2011
Author links: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 283 (paperback)
Purchase links: Amazon - Book Depository

Description (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 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?

As someone who is obsessed with a particular sport (ice-hockey), I am always interested about YA books that center around sport teams. Unfortunately there are way too few hockey books compared to books about football. But since I've had awesome experiences with football books (CORA CARMACK'S RUSK UNIVERSITY SERIES!!!!!) I was definitely excited to pick up Catching Jordan when I found it from the shelves of the local library of my new city.

Catching Jordan starts well. Jordan is the captain of her high school football team. She is a senior and planning to play college football once she graduates. The kickbutt awesomeness lasts for a short time, because after a new guy, Ty, shows up and joins the team, the book quickly turns into a very generic high school crush/love drama. And as it processes, a love triangle pops up and makes things even more generic and predictable and sappy. 

Jordan is a cool character in the beginning. She is friends with the guys on her team, she is passionate about football and sure about what she wants to do with her future. She is also determined not to let any guys come between herself and her dreams. But then Ty shows up and the reader is welcomed to INSTALOVE EXPRESS... NEXT STOP LOVE TRIANGLE STATION. Ty is first portrayed as this perfect and handsome and sensitive football star, where as Jordan's best friend Sam Henry and the other guys in the team are shows as fun and loyal, but also as playboys who sleep around with every single girl in the school. It almost feels like the author decides in the middle of the novel that HEY, MAYBE I SHOULD INCLUDE ANOTHER LOVE INTEREST AFTER ALL THAN GO WITH TY, which is kind of annoying, because it turns the book into an even more generic read.

Though Jordan is 17, her narrative voice makes it seem like she is 14. There are moments when I liked her as the novel progressed, but in general, I did not feel any sort of connection towards her, which made it difficult for me to care what happened to her. The relationship between Jordan and her football star father would have been interesting approach to emphasize in the novel rather than the whole love triangle thing, but unfortunately Kenneally just scratches the surface of that dynamic. There's also a story line about Jordan's growing passion for writing, shown through her occasional poems which are mixed into the narrative, but unfortunately this aspect of the story feels very underdeveloped as well. 

I have a feeling I would have liked this novel a bit more a couple of years ago when I still wasn't that active of a YA reader. But now when YA is pretty much the only thing I read, I have started to look for more special and unique reads, which this one, unfortunately, wasn't for me.

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