A very good YA romance audiobook
I’m normally not a big fan of Young Adult books but I’ve heard great things about this book and as I’m a fan of both narrators, I’ve decided to give it a go. I’m happy that I did as I’ve enjoyed it a lot.
Amber McCloud wants to be cheerleader captain next year but it’s hard to keep the spirits up when the team quarterback has died in a car accident and the new replacement is a girl. Even if the girl in question is a hot one. Jaclyn “Jack” Walsh has always dreamed of playing football and now her wish has come true, if only her teammates would accept her and the cheerleaders wouldn’t be so stuck to their traditions. Only Amber seems to be friendly and as an attraction between them grows they might need to choose between their hearts or their dreams…
This is an enemies to lovers romance with a huge amount of teenage drama and a small side of sports (American Football). You don’t need to be a fan or even understand the sport to enjoy the few, but very relevant, football scenes. The sports scenes are very exciting to read/listen to and they add a component of action to the plot.
Set in a high school in Florida, the story focuses a lot on the homophobic and misogynist reactions towards the “simple” fact that the new quarterback is female. While I agree with other reviews that the author might have emphasized too much the negative reactions towards a female trailblazer, to be honest, after the state of Florida ‘Don’t Say LGBTQ’ law and the US Supreme Court’s latest rulings which erase basic human rights, I think this book couldn’t be more current and even necessary. Is the ingrained homophobia and misogyny hard to read? Yes. Is it unrealistic? Hell, no.
Apart from the bit depressing outlook on gay and female rights, the romance itself is very sweet and both characters are lovely to root for. The main characters sound realistic as teenagers, sometimes immature or full of themselves, but that’s what makes them feel real. Amber’s bisexual mother is a breath of fresh air among all the secondary characters’ aggravating attitudes.
The book is written in first person from the point of view of both main characters. The audiobook version is read by two narrators, Natalie Naudus, who performs the chapters from Amber’s point of view and Lori Prince who performs from Jack’s. I’m getting more used to audiobooks with two narrators and these two are absolute stars who always bring stories to life in an outstanding way. Both narrators did justice to the story and made me enjoy the book even more. If you can put up with teenage drama and a lot of homophobia and misogyny, I’d recommend this one a lot. 5 stars.
Length: 7 hrs and 7 mins