Book Reviews

[review] Catching Jordan – Miranda Kenneally

Release Date: December 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 281
Format: Paperback
Source: Finished copy received from publisher

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 now there’s a new guy in town who threatens her starting position… suddenly she’s hoping he’ll see her as more than just a teammate.

Tell Me More: For about five or six weeks, I debated whether to even pick this book up. While there isn’t a lot of contemporary YA that I won’t read, the premise just didn’t strike me as anything impressive or unique. (The tagline made me choke on air.) Then the reviews started pouring in. Friends whose tastes in books are similar to mine were practically pushing Catching Jordan into my hands and insisting I would love it. What can I say? I’m a graceful loser, and it’s all because of Miranda Kenneally’s prose.

Jordan’s story is rather predictable, and I winced several times because of her obvious attempts at being one of the boys. After the first few chapters, however, I stopped reading for the story. Kenneally’s real talent lies in her dialogue and description. I found myself laughing so hard I collapsed onto my pillows at some of the one-liners she gives her characters. Where John Green throws witty, intellectual banter, Kenneally is a master at gritty locker-room teasing. There is an honesty about her characters that makes you hope for them, even if you can guess where everything’s headed.

Part of that hope lies in the romance. While I didn’t swoon, I did giggle at the comedy of errors in which Jordan finds herself. I was impressed with the way Kenneally handled the theme  of trust and what it means for boys and girls alike. She lets her characters ask questions of each other and of themselves that I think many YA writers shy away from. She gives them space to breathe, to make mistakes and find the courage to admit to those flaws and weaknesses. Again, there aren’t many surprises in this book, but I don’t think readers will mind that. If anything, I think this new take on a romantic comedy will leave them seeing familiar love stories in a new light.

The Final Say: For a truly enjoyable and smart romance, Catching Jordan should be your first pick.

Be sure to visit Miranda Kenneally at her website and follow her on Twitter @mirandakennealy.

You can check out Catching Jordan on Goodreads and order it from The Book Depository.

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