Sunday, April 21, 2013

REVIEW: CATCHING JORDAN (Hundred Oaks, #1) by Miranda Kenneally

Title: Catching Jordan
Series: Hundred Oaks, #1
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: December 1, 2011
Genres: YA, Sports, Romance
Reviewed by: Books4Tomorrow
Source: Purchased
My star rating: 5/5


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?


What first drew my attention to this book was the lovely cover. Everyone who knows me know that I have a weakness for eye-catching covers and that I hardly ever read blurbs. Not surprisingly, Catching Jordan turned out to be even better than I expected it would be. Honestly, I’m so tired of sentimental romance in YA books, not to mention love triangles, but this story wasn’t like that all. It has romance and a hint of a love triangle – if you can even call it that – but it was well-written, engaging and different. Also, apart from Jordan falling in love for the first time, there is so much more to this story. 

This is what I loved about the book. Let’s start with Jordan. She is nowhere near your typical YA female protagonist and I could relate to her in many ways. She’s not into all the girly stuff like make-up, hairdos, shoes, clothes, boys…you know, all the things seventeen-year-old girls are usually about in YA novels. Jordan is happy being one of the guys on her football team. Her best friends are the rest of her football teammates and her bff is Henry, the wide receiver on her team. In many ways Jordan reminded me of Sally from the nineties tv series Third Rock from the Sun. She doesn’t even have girl friends, and her life revolves around football. See how different all this makes her from the cutout YA protagonist? I liked Jordan right from the start.

Okay, so Jordan’s bff is Henry, right? They’ve known each other since they were yay high and Jordan’s home is like a second home to Henry. Henry is the type of friend we all secretly wish we could have. It would take me quite a while to describe the awesomeness that is Henry, but it would take forever. But trust me; I’m sure you’ll love him as much as I did. The rest of the guys on Jordan’s team (of which she is the quarterback and captain) are all loveable, and they obviously care about Jordan in a brotherly way. I must say, the author does a great job making the reader feel part of Jordan’s football team. Including the two cheerleaders, Marie and Carrie, and Jordan’s parents and her brother, I pretty much adored all the characters in this story and they felt very real to me.

Apart from fabulous characters, the story was beautiful and heartwarming. No suspense or complicated plot, just a straightforward story of an ordinary girl who falls in love for the first and who has to make a tough decision about her future. At the same time the story also focuses on Jordan’s relationship with her father who is a major league football hero that dotes on his son who is following in his footsteps, but who doesn’t want his daughter to play football. At first I didn’t much like Jordan’s dad (really, you should hear the things he said to her at the dinner table), but as the story progresses, Jordan and her dad’s relationship evolves.

I loved the ending and although Jordan falls in love with two guys, I’m really happy about the one she chose at the end. He was my choice from the start anyway. I’m super impressed with the way the author kept the story simple and moving at an easy pace, yet she manages to draw the reader squarely into the lives of these magnificent characters without using overused techniques and clich├ęs, but purely by introducing simple characters with sincere motives. The only thing that irked me slightly was that Jordan was at times a little too weepy. Also, I would’ve liked the author to make a bigger deal about the break-up between Jordan and the first person she fell in love with, mainly because that character doted on Jordan and I don’t think he would’ve accepted her breaking up with him so easily.

Catching Jordan is a five star read all the way. I enjoyed this book immensely and judging by this first book, I’m going to love the entire Hundred Oaks series. I’m so glad I have books two and three, Stealing Parker and Things I Can’t Forget, which I’m looking forward to reading soon. If you’re into books about sports with strong female characters who can hold their own and romance that makes you sigh with contentment, don’t hesitate to grab a copy of this book. It is without a doubt a superb read!



Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally has 1666 reviews on Goodreads. Read it here.



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