OPINION: 4 STARS
The Short Version:
Fun and sexy, Catching Jordan does a remarkable job mixing a coming of age type story with raw lust in an explosive way. Though very sports focused, Jordan is the kind of character plenty of readers can get behind and understand, and the full scope of her journey is an enjoyable, grin inducing one. Hitting on some rough moments but staying light overall, and with some very droolworthy guys to round out the cast, Catching Jordan is a solid debut from a promising author.
The Extended Version:
Jordan is determined and talented, a tomboy in almost every sense of the word yet without being a cliché or stereotype. Her love of football is well portrayed, but the depth to her comes through as the story progresses. Caught in some ways in a battle of the sexes, so to speak, as a female quarterback, Jordan definitely goes through some trying times. Her view of the world is easy to follow, and her motivations in many ways is, overall, understandable and believable. The way she responds to certain situations, and her choices however swift or not, bring this character to life and her development has a steady course.
Ty is, first and foremost, hot eye candy, and while his development wasn’t as well scripted and honed as Jordan’s, his role in the plot was strong and clear. Carrying his own baggage and with a perspective that adds spark to the story, Ty seems like a great match for Jordan and will taunt readers. Definitely a lustworthy character, and reactive to Jordan in all the best ways, Ty leaves the readers with a lasting impression.
The remaining cast consists of three of the football team members, guys who Jordan considers her best friends. Though stereotypical jock in many ways, Henry, JJ and Carter are great guys, and have enough depth to bring them to life. Fiercely loyal and protective of Jordan, and bringing plenty of laughs to the table, the antics of these three are just as strong and enjoyable as any other part of the book. Henry, especially, has a fantastic role, and his emotions and motivations come through in a bold, mesmerizing way.
The plot of this one has a steady pace overall, balancing easily between an emotional and internal aspect, the hot romance, and the football angle. Front heavy on football technicalities, the book quickly shifts into something that will engage and entice readers. Though some parts aren’t as fleshed out as they could have been, the story itself has strong underlying tones without encroaching on the meat and fun of the book. The full ramifications of being a female in the football world are shown, and Kenneally weaves this element in perfectly.
Descriptive at all the right moments, but playing on the reader’s own imagination to add things in, the writing has a smooth flow to it that drives the book. Jordan’s voice does carry through, rounding out her character without letting the author flit in too often. Able to navigate both rough and emotional situations, as well as easy, fun ones, and throwing in plenty of lust-filled, make a reader squirm moments, Kenneally’s writing definitely shows her talent.
Sexier more often than not, with plenty of worth rereading passages, Catching Jordan is a new twist on the coming of age story. Well scripted and steadily paced, Catching Jordan will engage readers early on and keep them grasped with its good overall character development. Touching on some rough subjects but letting the fun and lust drive most things, this one will definitely work for readers who love romantic contemporary.
Source: ARC received from author in exchange for an honest review
Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: December 1, 2011