Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Where did you get the book: Bought
Release date: Out now

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.

*blurb from goodreads*

This review contains spoilers.

Jordan Woods is the captain and Quarterback of the high-school team. Jordan commands the respect and friendship of the players, but Jordan has a lot to live up to. Jordan’s father is a NFL player of the Titans, and Jordan’s brother Mike as a star in college football who is looking to be drafted into the NFL. Jordan’s mother and brother, and best friend Sam Henry – who is also on the high school team — support Jordan. But there is one person who doesn’t and this is Jordan’s father, Donovan Wood. Donovan Wood does not want his youngest child playing and hasn’t been to a game which breaks Jordan’s heart. This is all because Jordan is a girl. Jordan desperately wants her Father’s approval, and she wants to get her scholarship to the Alabama University where they have a great football team. Problems arise though when a new kid arrives, Ty, who is a star Quarterback, and stirs up feelings and a crush in Jordan. But what will best friend Henry have to say whose been there for Jordan all ways, and is now acting strange with Jordan?

Catching Jordan was such a great way to end the year of 2011. I read it on NYE and it was only by chance that I saw the blurb of this book on Amazon. What I loved so much – apart from the heroine – is that this YA book felt the most natural in terms of teenage behaviour and their maturity. It felt so natural that not once did I roll my eyes at any over dramatic teenager angst. The characters didn’t feel forced to act in a way because they were teenagers.

Jordan I loved. She was blunt, she was forthright and she knew what she wanted and she went for it. She reminded me a little of Eve Dallas from the JD Robb books. She never gave up on her dream to play football, and I do love it when YA books feature stories that are not just all about the boy, but show how eager and how hard kids will work for their future.

Catching Jordan doesn’t have just one plot line to it. It deals with a variety of things, and it all flowed really well without being too busy. There is a love triangle in the book, and those who know me, know that I usually run screaming for the hills when I see one. But in Catching Jordan, it didn’t bother me because it was a pretty loose triangle. When Ty arrives, Jordan is immediately flustered around him which is a first for her. Her group of friends are all males, and she has a great relationship with them — especially her best friend Sam Henry. Jordan is not what I would call a tomboy. She’s feminine when she wants to be, but she’s not like other girls who wear dresses, flirt, and do girly stuff.

Whilst Jordan was a great heroine, the person I most adored in the book was Sam Henry, Jordan’s best friend who is also on the football team. When it wasn’t apparent that he was going to be a love interest, I kept thinking Sam Henry, you adoring and lovely young man. I didn’t like Ty, and I was so worried that Ty would be the hero because to me he just seemed to be the new hot guy that moved to a new school. But then I noticed that Henry was playing a much more active role in the book and in Jordan’s life than Ty. And then I though, oh gosh, is Henry in for a chance here?

Jordan does have sex with Ty, but it’s not done in a I will love you forever kind of way. She knows she doesn’t love him, but enjoys him and yes, enjoys having sex with him. And it was so refreshing to have a YA that deals with sex in a natural way. Ty didn’t inspire a lot of emotion from me and we didn’t get to see a lot of him, and it was a clever way for Sam Henry to be the star. And he was. Ty was wet behind the ears and quite controlling for someone his age. He wasn’t a bad person — at times he was quite sweet, but I never felt the connection between him and Jordan.

I did think that when it’s revealed that Sam Henry loves Jordan, Jordan’s reaction was a little too accepting and she wanted him straight away which surprised me as she had no romantic  thoughts in the book in that way about him. Henry was a darling though. He was her best friend and he supported and loved her for who she was, and their friendship was so strong. When they had their sleepovers and they would snuggle, it was so cute. I was very content how the love triangle played out, though there is some teenager angst before it’s resolved.

Jordan’s relationship with her Dad is also given a lot of attention. In a way, I understood where Donovan was coming from in not wanting his daughter to play football. Whilst she was a great player, the team made sure she didn’t get a lot of hits, and even though she is a great player, the fact that the team have to shield her so she doesn’t get hit in games  shows how weaker she is in regards to strength. So whilst I can understand her dad not wanting her to be football player where the level goes up a notch, how he ignored her and her talent was a crappy thing to do. I was happy with how their relationship was resolved, and in fact I was pretty happy with how all the plots were tied up together.

All in all, I was so happy I found this book by total accident. It was a fun read with characters that I feel are very memorable. I give Chasing Jordan an A.

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