Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Review: Waiting on the Sidelines

Nolan Lennox had things figured out. Named after a baseball legend, she enjoyed being the Tomboy, her closet filled with her brother’s hand-me-downs, cut-off jeans and soccer shorts. But when her first trip to high school results in a broken heart from the first boy to ever make her heart flutter and cruel words from an older girl she once thought a family friend, Nolan starts to question the very person she thought she was and wonders if her humble upbringing can compete with the afforded luxuries of her privileged peers.

Throughout the next four years, Nolan struggles to maintain herself throughout her path of discovery, learning just how cruel teenagers can be through the pressures of underage drinking, sexuality and class. And despite how life seems to continue to work against her, she still manages to listen to her heart, falling deeper and deeper for the guy the entire town adores, even if he only sees her as a friend. Can Nolan strike a compromise between her own integrity and the boy she loves? And can she make him notice her before it’s too late?

Reed Johnson came to Coolidge High School with a lot of fanfare. The son of a hometown football legend and the brother of a local football hero, Reed wore all the pressures of carrying a town without hope into the spotlight. Thankfully, he had the talent to back it up. But when he meets a girl who makes him think twice about exactly what being a hero means, he starts to wonder if following in his brother’s footsteps might be all wrong. 

Nolan Lennox was everything that was opposite of expected. She didn’t flirt, she didn’t drink and she didn’t sleep around. Nothing about her was easy, but something about her made Reed want to try harder. Though she didn’t look the part, she seemed to be spending a lot of time in Reed’s thoughts, and he wondered if she could be the one who made it all worthwhile. But could Reed handle letting her down? And would breaking her heart break him beyond repair?

Waiting on the Sidelines explores young love to its fullest, exposing how real young heartbreak and passion is and how important it is to discover yourself and hold onto your own identity. The story follows two young characters as they deal with mature situations, including the prevalence of bullying and promiscuity in today’s high school setting. Ultimately, Waiting on the Sidelines is a story of hope, honesty and those powerful, first true loves—the ones worth holding onto at any cost.

My Review:

Let me tell you something about this book that I totally loved. Neither the hero, nor the heroine had neglectful or abusive parents. So many of the YA/New Adult books now have that as a major catalyst. Not that there is anything wrong with it, it was just refreshing to have two characters that both have good relationships with their parents. I kept reading thinking that something was going to pop up. Maybe Reed’s Dad was going to be a major douche or something, but no. Reed’s Dad was pretty cool and one of my favorite secondary characters.

This book was just a joy to read. I was shocked that it spanned four years, but it really worked. I didn’t race through it (and not because it wasn’t interesting), nor did it take forever for me to read (because it was boring). I just kept reading and reading and it was so engrossing, then suddenly I was done. I actually spent more time on the machines in the gym because I got so into the story that I lost track of time. (My legs did not thank me *g*)

There was so much going on in this book. I mean, we are taking a journey with Reed and Nolan as they start 9th grade and move on through graduation and into college. It was a lot of ups and downs and there were numerous (and I mean numerous) times I wanted to strangle Reed. Nolan really grew, matured and it was awesome getting to see that progression. I loved that we got to see how her interest grew into something she wanted to go to college for and make a career out of. Nolan was definitely my favorite character in the book. I empathized with her, sympathized with her and definitely wanted to kick a particular skank hoe’s ass with her!

I really enjoyed this book and would love to see where Nolan and Reed end up in the future. Of course that would be a whole different kind of book. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

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