Release Date: December 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Age Group: Young Adult
Buy: Fountain Bookstore / Amazon
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.
Catching Jordan is a hilariously fun book with a kick-ass heroine. Jordan Woods has always been the girl on the football team, and she’s good enough to be the quarterback of her high school team in Franklin, Tennessee. Her teammates (and the boys she’s grown up with) trust her and treat her like the captain she is, including her lifelong BFF Sam Henry. Suddenly, a new (and super-cute!) guy named Ty Green comes to town, and he’s looking to play QB too. She can’t have this, not while Alabama is talking about scouting her or before her NFL QB father, the great Donovan Woods, can finally come to see her play. Dealing with her feelings for Ty, her anxiety over the upcoming Alabama-scouting game, and some odd things she’s hearing about Henry’s more-than-friendly feelings for her, Jordan’s got an interesting couple of weeks ahead of her.
Honestly, I love Jordan Woods for tons of reasons. She is who she is, take it or leave it. She’s always the girl with all the boys, and she more than holds her own against them. I love how open she is about her sexual side and her slight pottymouth. I haven’t found another girl like her in the other books that I’ve read, and I find Jordan to be so refreshing in that way.
Working perfectly in Jordan’s favor is Miranda Kenneally’s no-frills writing style. It’s uncomplicated and straightforward, and it is excellent as Jordan’s voice. Occasionally, I wish there would have been more details and description about how she felt during important conversations with Ty or Henry, but the more I think about it, the less that makes sense for Jordan. She isn’t the type to get frivolous with her words; she says what she means, and she doesn’t feel the need to elaborate. One of my favorite scenes (and the best example of this style) is Jordan getting ready for school and trying to make herself “girly” so she impresses Ty. I think it’s great because it is the perfect snapshot of Jordan’s personality. The best part is that her interpretation of “girly”- Chapstick, shea butter lotion, a fitted tee, and actual brushed hair- is the average 17-year-old girl’s definition of “every day.” (I also love that Jordan’s girly look blows her teammates away!) Because this style fits Jordan so well, I am curious to read Kenneally’s next book. I am interested to see how her style will translate to a character that isn’t Jordan.
While football is definitely a major plot point of Catching Jordan, I don’t feel like I need to be an expert to understand the football scenes (though I am admittedly a football fan). There’s more to this story than football, and that shouldn’t scare readers away. The underlying themes are universal- a daughter striving to win her father’s attention, a girl struggling to achieve her dream, a teenager falling in love with her best friend. However, as a football fan, the similarities between Donovan Woods and Brett Favre never fail to make me smile.
Catching Jordan is a winner to me. I will always root for a genuinely strong female lead, and Jordan is exactly that. This book had me laughing out loud one minute, cheering out loud the next. It’s a great story about a bad-ass chick who isn’t scared to be herself, and that rocks.