Review: Catching Jordan

Review: Catching JordanCatching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #1
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on December 1, 2011
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 283
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Goodreads
four-stars

ONE OF THE BOYS

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?

First Sentence: “I once read that football was invented so people wouldn’t notice summer ending.”

Review:
You guys, you need to know just how much I hate football: A LOT. Seriously, I suffered through two years of marching band and those games bore me to tears. Also, it’s usually either really hot or really cold. Basically, it’s the worst sport in the world. Despite my utter loathing for the sport, Catching Jordan totally charmed me with its utter adorableness.

Jordan Woods comes off as a wholly believable character, partly because she would never, ever dress like the girl on the cover. Jordan feels really uncomfortable when she’s not wearing sweats or a football uniform or mesh shorts. When she tries to look nice, she changes from a t-shirt to a plain, fitted shirt. There is hardly a girly inclination in her body, but she’s still unquestionably a girl. I am so glad that Kenneally didn’t feel the need to make her fit more with the feminine ideal. Jordan actually reminds me a bit of one of my dear friends in a lot of ways.

Another thing that I loved was how freaking amazing Jordan is as QB. I really didn’t expect for everyone to take her so seriously, but they really did, and she was in no way a side show or the school laughing stock. The girl has mad skills. Her team clearly has crazy amounts of respect for her, and it’s obvious that she has earned that. Also, I love that she eats just as much as the boys. A heroine like Jordan is so refreshing at over 6′ tall and with a bottomless pit for a stomach after so many waifish, model-thin heroines.

Jordan’s family, though not the main focus of the book, really turned out to be a major highlight for me as well. YA, in general, does not tend to be the place to go to find strong family relationships, but the Woods really are a wonderful family. I mean, when Jordan develops her crush on Ty, she tells her brother and her mother, and they are both so incredibly supportive. Jordan does have major issues with her father, a star quarterback and her idol, but I still would not put him in the category of awful YA parents, even at his worst.

The best part, though, was Henry. Oh my goodness, Henry. I want to whap that boy upside the head for being a dumbass and then ruffle his hair for being so utterly charming. The relationship between Henry and Jordan is just so sweet. They are such good friends, and he has her back in everything. Actually, so do JJ and Cameron, two more of the football guys. There aren’t a ton of depictions of real male/female friendship, so I appreciated that so much. I mean, these boys will even talk about boys with her if that’s what she needs. So great!

Dealing with romantic feelings really does throw Jordan for a loop. She has never really been attracted to anyone strongly before and she doesn’t know how to handle it. Her attraction to Ty does come out of nowhere, and could have been disgusting and insta-lovey, but that Jordan handles it in a very realistic and Jordan-ish way. I totally appreciated how she was both terrified and excited about her romantic prospects, and how confused she was about her options. Also, girl really goes for things once she makes her mind up.

My least favorite part, actually, were Jordan’s poems. She gets into writing in a journal as a way of handling all of these new feelings she’s experiencing that she just can’t handle. I like this in theory, but I just really didn’t like most of her poems. However, I chose and excerpt from one as my favorite quote, so…yeah, they weren’t all bad.

This book makes an excellent summery, vacationy read, and I recommend it highly. The plot itself doesn’t carry many surprises, or at least I saw them from the beginning, but it does what I wanted it to do, so no complaints from me. I am so ready to read Stealing Parker, which, like a dummy, I left at home.

Favorite Quote:

“Henry was rightβ€”I let everyone else’s feelings affect my decisions.
Screw that.
I’m taking the ball and running with it.
Maybe they’re not my top choices, but they’re choices that are good for me, choices I can live with.
Some things I can’t control; but some things I can. And I’m going to.”

20 responses to “Review: Catching Jordan”

  1. Being 5’11” myself, I LOVED that Jordan was a tall ogre, just LIKE ME! I love Miranda’s writing, you’re right they are the perfect vacationey read and they are easily readable in a single sitting. I read Stealing Parker the other night and it is just as good, if not a little better, than Jordan’s story! Oh and Jordan and Henry are IN Stealing Parker from time to time! How fun right??! Great review!

  2. I have to admit…I wasn’t a fan of this one. πŸ™ I think I kept making internal comparisons to DAIRY QUEEN (have you read this, Christina?), which I loved.

    I did like the family parts, though, and you’re right, the football stuff didn’t make me want to hurl either. I’m glad you enjoyed it, though! Great review as always.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  3. Alex says:

    Wow, this sounds really good! Nice quote btw and awesome review πŸ™‚
    Alex @ Possession of Books

  4. Anya says:

    Ooh, another fabulous heroine; another four-star book! As I am 5’2.5 (yes, the extra half inch does make me a LITTLE taller) I’ve never had that problem; rather, as a girl who hangs out with guys, who are not QB’s but wonderfully terrific nerds, my problem is shortness. But that is honestly how male female friendship works. To all the girls who think that they will be lusted after and pampered: no. True friendship β‰  steamy summer romance.

    I’ve read one other story (unpublished, authored by a friend) about a girl QB. I’m not very football-oriented but it is refreshing to see a change of gender! For some reason, all the awesome families of YA heroines that I’ve read about die in the first four chapters. Usually.

    Realistic heroines are magnificent. However, reading mediocre poems does not make for an exceptionally entertaining read. I’m not opposed to reading poems. As long as they’re not awful.

    Sometimes, I just want to settle down with a lighthearted romance book…will keep this in mind for a feature read.

    • Christina says:

      Haha, it’s true. I’ve had my share of guy friends, and I don’t have any extra dating to show for it. Sadly. Of course, I wouldn’t want to date my good friends, so…yeah.

      Oh cool. I do like seeing girls out there making it with the guys. They may be stronger or whatever on average, but it’s not universal!

      Yeah, some of the poems were okay, but I’m really picky when it comes to poems, and it seemed slightly odd for Jordan to do that.

      You should. Very fun for a lighter read.

  5. Keertana says:

    Yayy! I am so glad you enjoyed this one! I hate football as well, but this one charmed the socks off of me and I was SO pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it! I can’t wait for Stealing Parker to release now!(: Wonderful review!

    ~Keertana
    Ivy Book Bindings

  6. Aww, another adorable book I need to read! *off it goes into my TBR* Thanks for a fab review, girl! πŸ™‚

  7. Aly says:

    Yay, I’m so glad you liked it! I totally can’t wait to hear what you think about Stealing Parker <3

    Aly
    My Heart Hearts Books

  8. I’m going to have to add this to my TBR pile now based from your review. I was so wary in thinking of picking it up before, but I think you’ve just convinced me. I loathe football with a passion myself (I’m a tennis geek though) because my oldest girl has been a cheerleader for a few years. I’m constantly stuck at these annoying games during the season. So I sort of relate with you there on hating the sport. Haha. But it is getting common to see females play in football, especially here in Texas where we’ve had a few well known HS female players over the last few years. It would be a bit awesome to see some in the pros one day–and I’m not talking that “pro lingerie football” crap.

    This does sound like a lovely read though. I’ve found myself enjoying more and more contemps in the last year because of the realism. From your description, Jordan kind of reminds me of one of my old friends from high school. Tall, tom-boyish, fun. I’m a shorty at only 5 ft. tall, but I like that the author created a character there outside of the usual stereotype like you pointed out as well. πŸ™‚ Plus, that first sentence already got my attention.

    Yeah, I’m going to have to add this to my TBR now. Fantastic review! ^^

    <3
    Pixie

    • Christina says:

      Yay! The football is present enough to show she does like football and all, but not SO present that I wanted to barf on it. πŸ™‚ That pro lingerie football worries me greatly.

      Yes, it’s so exciting to read characters that differ from the norm and I think contemporaries are getting way more realistic, showing the dark ugly parts, not just shiny happy or tearjerking.

  9. KM says:

    It’s so sad all my bookish and bloggie buddies hate sports – I’m beginning to feel like the only person who likes both reading and sporty things. lol This book sorta annoyed me, though. I just totally didn’t buy that her parents would let her sleep with her BFF, like even literally. My parents would have laughed in my face, then grounded me.

    I do agree with you about the cover, though. Like…really? That girl is so thin! No way she could play football. Lame cover award.

  10. Kat Balcombe says:

    I read this one a few weeks ago (my review is somewhere in the next few weeks I think), and I know NOTHING about American football so I was a little lost in some places, but it’s definitely a fun read and I can see why so many people enjoyed it.

    Henry is such a doofus, bless him.

    • Christina says:

      Ha, I probably don’t know THAT much more than you do about football, haha.

      He is a bit. He made me want to facepalm at various points. JUST USE YOUR WORDS.

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