Title: Catching Jordan
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release date: December 1st 2011
Genre: Contemporary YA; romance
Find out more: Amazon | 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 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.
I once read that football was invented so people wouldn't notice summer ending.
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I know you're probably sick of all the gushing 5-star reviews Catching Jordan has been getting, but I have no choice but to write another one of them - Catching Jordan is amazing!
Despite the great reviews it's been getting, I'd been wary of reading Catching Jordan. I don't know the first things about football - I'm a girly girl, the type Jordan would roll her eyes at. That wasn't a problem at all, though. There are descriptions of practice and matches where I thought I'd have no idea what's going on, but Miranda Kenneally managed to work around that - she explains everything you need to know, without it seeming like she's explaining anything. The way Jordan talks makes it clear whether what's happening on the field is good or bad so that even I got what was going on, at least enough to to get the main point, and Jordan's voice still seems authentic, as if she were talking to someone who knows football - she manages to make those explanations a part of the story, without seeming obvious.
Jordan is what makes this whole thing work. We're as different as can be, but I had no trouble relating to her. Her voice is great, so real and hilarious. I love how she can pig out with the guys one moment and talk about her feelings next, with revelations like "Oh crap. I sound like a girl!" at the end of an emotional scene to make sure it never gets sappy. I love how blunt she is. I can't even explain it, she's just so, so lovable. All the little things make Jordan a great character. The way she talks is unique, hilarious, and while she'd beat the crap out of me for saying this, adorable. How can you not love someone who says "My rock's splash kicked his rock's splash's ass." ? (That might not be the exact quote, I'm too lazy to look it up, but she says something along those lines.) Jordan is strong and in control, but she's vulnerable too, and the different sides of her are portrayed really well and make for a realistic, dynamic main character. The only thing I didn't like is that she's just a little too confident about her football-skills, in my opinion.
The plot is perfectly-paced, with just the right complexity of storylines and secondary characters to be entertaining without getting confusing or too out there. Almost every book has a storyline I don't like as much as the others, but I loved every scene in Catching Jordan! I thought Catching Jordan would be mainly romance, and while there's definitely some swooning in order, that's not the only thing going on - Catching Jordan is a richly layered coming-of-age story. The relationships between Jordan and her parents are portrayed realistically, and Jordan's relationship with her brother Mike is adorable. I appreciate how the issue of sexism is addressed, especially with the dad's character, without that being the main issue or the tone getting preachy. The teammates are great characters too - I loved the scenes with JJ and Carter. How they interact with Jordan is hilarious and so sweet. I even liked Carrie and Marie and how they showed Jordan that girls don't all suck. All the characters are fully-developed and so vivid - I could easily imagine each and every one of them, even the small, inconsequential ones like Ty's little sister Vanessa.
The romance is everything you can hope for and more. I don't want to say too much about the romance because it turned out to be very different than I'd originally thought and I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but wow. Ty is a great character, and I liked reading about him and his family-issues. And while I liked him, my heart was with Henry from the beginning on. He's the classic boy-next-door, and he's so sweet to Jordan. The way these two interact is hilarious and plain adorable. I found myself hoping Jordan and Henry would turn into more than friends, and I'm glad Miranda Kenneally ended up exploring that option, too. For once, the dreaded love triangle works.
I loved Catching Jordan so, so much. It's the kind of book that reminds me of why I love reading. With one of the most unique and lovable main characters I've read in a long time, a fully-developed cast of secondary characters, and vivid writing, Catching Jordan is a sweet and hilarious story of finding your place in this world. I can't wait to read more by this immensely talented debut author!
If you've read this book, what did you think?
I did a this or that interview with Miranda Kenneally a while ago for the Catching Jordan blog tour, which you can check out here!