Title: Catching Jordan
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Release Date: December 2011
Published By: Sourcebooks
Goodreads Rating: 4.00 stars
Review: Jordan Woods isn't your average girl. After all, she's the captain and quarterback of her school's football team, and she's not even close to being distracted by the presence of hot jocks. To them, she's just one of the guys, and that's fine with her, so long as she gets an athletic scholarship to college. But suddenly, there's a new guy, and he might just claim her starting position... and her heart.
CATCHING JORDAN, just like Jordan Woods herself, isn't your average young adult book. Sure, there's a girl and a hot jock, but that jock isn't the quarterback - she is. I loved that this novel broke all the typical clichés and left something bright and new in its wake. I'm about as far from athletic as you can get, but I was still able to relate to Jordan, and I suspect anyone can, because while she's not your average teen girl, she still shares many of the same insecurities and flaws that everyone does.
I also appreciate that the author didn't try to sugar-coat what it's like to be in a position like Jordan's. She wasn't actively discriminated against by most people in her life, but she still faced many saddening situations, such as when it came time to get athletic scholarships. Her dream college, University of Alabama, intended only to keep her a poster girl without giving her any play time, and while something like this absolutely shouldn't ever happen, it was realistic. Jordan faced obstacles that allowed her to grow and mature as a character.
That said, she wasn't always the perfect protagonist, and there were quite a few places where she was acting a bit on the thick side. She couldn't pick up on very obvious things, and it definitely started to grate on my nerves after a while. There were several points in the story when I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake her until she started to see the obvious.
All in all, CATCHING JORDAN is an enticing read with a unique premise and a rich cast of characters. It unabashedly explores important themes without skimping on character development, even if Jordan occasionally acted stupidly to the point of irritation, resulting in a fun read with an important message. I'd recommend this to anyone, especially if they don't usually enjoy sports stories, as was the case for me.