Thursday, August 27, 2015
Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Published Date: 1 December 2011
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia
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? (summary from Goodreads)
There are some great ideas to Catching Fire that I figured I was sure to love, but as every one devolved into cliche the less I liked this book.
What drew me to Catching Jordan was Jordan's being the captain and quarterback of her high school's football (gridiron) team, which had me all "woohoo"! Plus I love contemporary romance. Catching Jordan started well. I really liked that Jordan was such a part of this team, that she loved it so much, was awesome at it, and determined to play in college no matter what. In that way Jordan and the book were kind of cool. It was great having a female playing what is so commonly a 'male sport' and is something literature - and the world - needs more of. At least, that's how I felt to begin with. Continuing with the likes, I also really enjoyed Jordan's relationship with her teammates. There's love and respect here, some serious loyalty, and it made me smile. In much the same way, Jordan's relationship with her family is a tick in the good box. The support of her mother and brother was so nice, and the tension between her and her father was heartbreaking. Every time they failed to communicate with each other hurt a little more. What kept me reading this book was wanting to know if Jordan and her father mended their relationship and if Jordan got to achieve her dream of playing football at college. Which is good, because unfortunately there was a lot that had me wanting to give up on this book.
Like the treatment of other female characters throughout the book! Mostly they're cheerleaders, and right away the stereotype starts. These girls only care about how they look, what the male football players think of them, and so on. Blah. Jordan treats them all with such derision and it annoyed me. Sure, some of the girls were rude and didn't deserve her regard, but to lump them all together? Most especially Jordan's shock at Marie's knowing and appreciating football got on my nerves. Because a girl liking football is so out there, right?! At times Jordan was even judgmental of her own mother! For a book about a female trying to fight stereotypes, the hypocrisy was too much. Added to this were the extreme characterisations of Jordan used to portray some sort of male versus female personality traits that were such cliches. No talking about feelings versus crying at the drop of a hat. Wearing baggy clothes versus ignoring instincts because a boy is just oh so hot. These tropes became a bit of a joke for me. At one point I wanted to start counting how many times Jordan suddenly started to cry - I wonder if I'd have made it into double figures? These sorts of things disadvantaged Catching Jordan and undermined Kenneally's having Jordan fight for a place in football in a big way. With every hypocritical cliche I took this book less seriously. And I haven't even mentioned the love triangle. New boy or best friend? Possessive controlling hottie or hottie who treats every other girl like a therapeutic sex doll because he can't have the girl he really wants? Choices, choices. Enough said, yes?
There was some depth to Catching Jordan that had me reading to the end, but it just wasn't enough to truly save this book. This one simply wasn't for me.