**This is an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This title releases on 7/29.
I have only read one other book by Lisa Schroeder, Chasing Brooklyn, because it was a Gateway Award nominee here in Missouri my first year as a high school librarian. I struggle with reading novels in verse, but have become more accustomed to it and really enjoyed that particular story. I decided I wanted to read this advanced copy, even though I knew I was probably going to go ahead and order it, because I have many students who like her books and that fact that novels in verse are quick reads, which most of her books are. This book seems to be a mixture of both formats, regular and in verse, but still a quick read. I would like as many of them to recommend to my students as possible and to be able to say that I have read and enjoyed them. That is true with this title as well. I am not normally one that finds stories about football intriguing, but since that was not the whole premise of the story, I was able to manage! 🙂 This is the story of Lauren, the new girl in town her senior year, and Colby, the star football player in a small town. Though this does have the troubled boy/troubled girl relationship aspect, it is not overdone and does make their relationship excessively difficult. In fact, in my opinion, Colby and Lauren have a fairly easy relationship from the beginning….if you exclude their parents from the picture. That’s where it gets complicated and what most of the story revolves around. Through friendship first, Colby and Lauren are able to help each other through some tough times and tough decisions before becoming a couple. This was a nice take on a teenage romance/drama and was nice to see a couple that started out as friends. The two are dealing with different kinds of issues with their parents, but still issues that are common amongst all teenagers: abandonment, instability, pressure to be perfect, etc. I think this is a story that can appeal to many of my readers and I will gladly recommend and share what I liked about it.
Who would I recommend this to? Any of my high school readers who need a quick, interesting read or that just enjoy novels in verse in general. I think I can pull male students in with the football storyline.
My rating: 3.5/5
Language: Not really an issue, can’t recall anything out of the ordinary actually
Drugs/Alcohol: There is some talk of drinking at parties, but it is not the focus of the book by any means.
Sex: Nothing that I would be fearful of a student reading, some kissing scenes are all that stand out, which is no big deal.