Friday, June 29, 2012

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally (Review)

Genre:Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Drama
Publication.Date  December 1st 2011
Published By:  Sourcebooks Fire | 
WebsiteMiranda Kenneally 

Catching Jordan - Goodreads
My review copy:Finished copy purchased by me.
Where to get:

"Whoever said football and girls don't mix hasn't read Catching Jordan. I couldn't put it down " -- Simone Elkeles, New York Times bestselling author of the Perfect Chemistry series


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?

"A beautiful novel with a real and captivating depiction of high school relationships, Catching Jordan shows the same reverence for the human heart that it does for the game of football." --Karsten Knight, author of Wildefire (Goodreads)

“One thing I learned a long time ago is that even if you think you're meant to be with someone, that doesn't necessarily mean you get to be with them."
“When unrequited love is the most expensive thing on the menu, sometimes you settle for the daily special.”
“You know, there's no more dangerous creature on Earth than the teenage girl.”
“Sometimes friendship is just that, just being with someone.”
“But what happens when you don't find that right person? Do you just spend the rest of your life in a relationship where the conversation isn't great, everything isn't perfect, but it is nice and sweet?” 

     Catching Jordan is a complete break-away from your typical YA romantic novels. Not a single thing about this book could be called ordinary or predictable. Everything - from the characters that defy the usual romantic stereotypes to love story that is concluded in a totally unpredictable way, is fresh, crisp, and completely unputdownable. I went into reading it expecting something along the lines of "She's the man" - a cute, not necessarily ambitious, mildly entertaining romantic comedy packed to the brinks with cheesiness and cliches. What I got, though, exceeded all my expectations. See, Catching Jordan is not only entirely original and compulsively readable, it's also intelligent, gorgeously mood-lifting, and infused with energy so positive that by the time you reach its last page you'll be clapping, dancing, and performing various unpredictable stunts around the house. Or at least grinning like a maniac. How many books can give you such an awesome boost? The answer is: not many!

     The main character in this novel is a chick named Jordan. And she's not just any chick, but one that happens to be a kick-ass captain of a high school football team. Physically attractive, strong and athletic, she's a starting quarterback and a role model for her fellow team players. She's tough, persistent and supportive. All the guys on her team treat her with respect and adorable brotherly protectiveness. Jordan loves all the guys on her team but it's a sister-brother kind of love at the very best. Her dream is to get a football scholarship at the University of Alabama, and she's determined to make it happen. Love stories, dating, shaving legs for guys? Jordan is so not interested in all that! At least not until Ty moves to her school. He's a gorgeously handsome quarterback and Jordan can't keep her eyes off him. For the first time ever, she's falling for a boy. Can she stay focused on achieving her goals while dating the hottest guy at school? Or will Ty prove to be too much of a distraction for her? 

     This book was simply awesome. It rocked my world. I did not want to put it down - and I didn't, I actually read it in just one sitting. I don't know if it's the sweet taste of summer, refreshingly different way of approaching a YA romance, or the insanely cool characters and the fantastic relationship between them, but I absolutely couldn't get enough of this book. Miranda Kennneally pulled off something incredibly difficult - she wrote a beautiful and heart-warming tale of love and friendship, infused with vivid emotions, meaningful thoughts and inspirational messages, and set it against an incredibly unique and realistically drawn sports background. Aside from Stephen King's Blockade Billy, I don't think I ever enjoyed a sports-related novel that much (or at all). Thankfully, Catching Jordan offers a perfect blend of romance and action. Kenneally gives just enough football-related details to keep the reader interested and well-entertained, but not too much as to put them off. At the same time, though, football does play a very important role in her book, and I really appreciated the time and effort that Kenneally obviously must have put into researching the subject matter. She did a thorough job, exploring both the glamorous and exciting side of an athlete's life, as well as the darker side, filled with tears, sweat, frustration and struggles. The end result was stunning, and while she didn't exactly make me want to pick up a ball and run around the field with a bunch of jocks, I might actually watch some games on TV, and whenever I will, I will think of Catching Jordan.

     As much as I loved the great plot line and sweet romance, what I liked the most about this book was the in-depth characters and the way they interacted with each other. To me, Catching Jordan is not only a book about following your dreams and believing in yourself, fighting for your future and overcoming obstacles. It's also - or perhaps even most of all - a book about relationships and how they affect us, shaping our personalities, dictating our choices, putting us down and building us up. And this book is filled with wonderfully depicted relationships of all sorts, from friendships, romantic relationships, to the different flavours of relationships between family members. Kenneally talks about support, protecting each other, jealousy, rivalry, animosity, sacrifice, respect, and different kinds of love. And she does it with such skill and conviction, it's absolutely enthralling

     Catching Jordan is a book that has a lot to offer. If you like love stories that are just as sweet and charming as they are clever and memorable, you'll definitely appreciate this one. It's irresistibly compelling, funny, and it comes with a perfectly satisfying ending and surprising depth. I want more books like Catching Jordan, and can't wait for Miranda Kenneally's next novel -Stealing Parker -to be out!

Don't forget to stop by tomorrow for a chance to win Catching Jordan and other fabulous books from Raincoast Books!

This review is posted as part of the Contemporary Fiction Month feature!

Click on the picture for full schedule.

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About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed Catching Jordan, Evie. I loved the interaction between Jordan and the guys as well. They were a really fun bunch ! :) I agree that the book was a lot more than a sweet romance.
Lovely review, Evie. :)

Val said...

I agree it's so fresh and unique. Glad you enjoyed it.


Randi M said...

I'm not usually into "sports" books, but I LOVE football, and I think this sounds right up my alley. :) Thanks for reviewing this, because based on the cover alone, I probably would overlook this one!

roro said...

tnx 4 awesome review

Bookish in a Box said...

This sounds great. I was expecting something like "She's the Man" too, but I'd rather read something like this, with a heroine who breaks the mold.

Na said...

I really enjoyed this book and can't wait for more by this author. Jordan wasn't predictable and she really was one of the guys.

Veronika said...

I so agree with you! Catching Jordan is not an usual girl-meets-a hot-boy type love story!! I read this book right after it was released! At first I was a bit wary because of the football theme. But it was amazing! Can't wait for Stealing Parker!

candice (thecrjreviews) said...

I have been very close to picking this book up. I think your review has kicked my butt into gear. Very interested in the unpredictability of this book! Not a huge fan of football (even growing up in the south), but I can't wait for Stealing Parker! Baseball all the way!

Patricia's Particularity said...

I was completely taken back by how much I loved this book when I read it last year, especially since this is by a debut author. I am soooo glad that you loved this book too. Her characters are unique and amazing!!! Its weird because, like so many who have read this book, I do not like sports, let alone know anything about it, but delved into the book like lifelong sport fans. That is a real author!!

LisaILJ said...

I don't know if I know about HARD LOVE by Ellen Wittlinger. I will have to check that out.

Jaime Lester said...

I finally got this book. Today! I have a few books to go before I can read it, but I am so excited. I have really got to stop judging books by their covers, or I am going to keep missing out on good books. I should put myself in a book time out, to teach myself a lesson!!

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