Catching Jordan, by Miranda Kenneally (2011)

Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Interest Level: 14-18
Catching JordanJordan Woods is a senior in a Tennessee high school, and is both captain and quarterback of the high school football team. Jordan is hoping to be drafted by Alabama for its famed football program. The only snag in Jordan’s life is Dad, a famous quarterback himself who never comes to Jordan’s games, and largely ignores her budding football career. Yes, her. Jordan is a girl, and football is her life. At over six feet and 170, she can throw a perfect spiral nearly 50 yards across a small lake in her backyard (Dad’s a football player, after all). Her best friends are her teammates, and she takes her job as captain seriously, making sure wide receivers are chastised for missing routes or touchdown antics. She’s never kissed a boy, forgets to shave her legs, and hates wearing dresses or make-up. Then Ty Green shows up on the field, with an eye on her position, and her heart. This is Kenneally’s first novel and it’s a pretty good effort, though Catherine Murdoch’s Dairy Queen is better, I think. Jordan’s character is both endearing and annoying at times, as she tentatively reaches for pretty underwear and a form-fitting tee in one scene, and then worries Ty will think she’s fat in another. Kenneally does a good job with the characterization, though the school dynamics stretch belief at times (all the girls are idiots to Jordan, and all the guys on her team love a chick QB). Most of the action is off the field, but when a game is on, Kenneally gets it right. Still, more a romance than a sports novel. Not a touchdown, but definitely a field goal.
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