Customer Reviews: Catching Jordan (Hundred Oaks Book 1)
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on December 15, 2011
I've been wanting to read Catching Jordan since before they changed the name from Score. The cover was adorable and the blurb had me hankering to read it. Now, after having read it, I can totally confirm that Catching Jordan is an amazing book! :D

The characters of Catching Jordan were fantastic! Jordan was an amazing heroine, and she was so strong...physically and psychologically. Just in case you aren't sure about what I mean with psychologically there (and I don't blame you, I'm even a little unsure :P), I mean that she knows what she wants, and she has her mind made up. That being said, she also knows when it's time to change her mind and be open for those changes. Jordan's football teammates were awesome! I loved her relationship with the guys. They respected her, and they were her best friends. It was also pretty adorable when they would stand up for her. Her relationship with her brother was awesome, too. My brother and I are definitely not that close...and I think maybe that's a good thing. I don't really want to start talking about boys with him. :P Anyway, I loved Jordan, and her friends...and now onto her love interests. Oh, Ty, well Ty was gorgeous, sweet, and I liked how his relationship with Jordan changed. I won't tell you those changes, so you'll have to read about them. Then there was Henry. I loved him as her best friend, and again, I'll let you all read the book to see what happens there. :P

The story itself was...awesome. Honestly, it's hard to describe just how different this book is from others out there. Most YA books with sports, football in particular, are male-centric, or if there is a female lead, she's usually a cheerleader or an outcast who loves or pines after a football player. Catching Jordan was completely different. Jordan is the starting quarterback and captain on her high school's football team. It was so inspiring to have such a strong female character who was so determined to do what she loved and be seen as an equal. She also stood up for herself, which was fantastic. Another amazing was that this book didn't just focus on romance. I love stories that have relationships in their forefront that aren't just romantic ones, and Catching Jordan had familial and amicable relationships (minus the romance) in spades. One relationship in particular that stood out to me was Jordan's relationship with her father. It made me so sad because it was so strained at the beginning of the book, but I loved seeing their relationship change and seeing them grow closer.

One thing I will warn readers about is that there is sex in this book. It isn't vividly described, but it is mentioned a lot, and quite casually, so I'm not sure if that aspect of the book will appeal to everyone. The flippancy that the characters had for sex was one of the few things that kind of turned me off (no pun intended :P). It just seemed like no one really took it seriously. Maybe that's just my romantic side rearing its head, but it kind of stood out to me, so I wanted to mention it. Now, I will say that it didn't really change how I felt about the book. The characters and the story itself were still amazing, and I think that the book still carries a strong message. Actually several strong messages. It stressed equality, and how being one gender shouldn't stop you from doing what you love even if it isn't "normal" for you to be doing it. A girl can play football, and it shouldn't matter that she's a girl, only that she's skilled. It stresses equality, respect, and following your dreams. It stresses standing up for yourself, and realizing when you're letting other people control you.

Catching Jordan is amazing. It's a powerful story, and will stick with you long after you've read it. Okay, now here come the lame football jokes that I've been holding back. Just as you Remember the Titans (amazing movie, btw), you will remember Catching Jordan, and you can be sure this book will score a touchdown with you. Okay, maybe you can't be sure, but I hope that if you guys do check it out, you like it as much as I did. I definitely recommend Catching Jordan, especially if you're looking for a contemporary YA that's one of a kind. :)

So, have you read Catching Jordan yet?
Are you thinking about it?
Does it sound good?
Did my lame football jokes fumble? *haha I did it again*

***This review was originally posted on my blog, Burning.x.Impossibly.x.Bright.
---I was provided with an egalley of Catching Jordan through NetGalley in order to participate in the blog tour, this did not influence my review.
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on December 1, 2011
Meet Jordan, high school football captain, quarterback, and... girl. This book is about football the way Friday Night Lights is about football. Yes, it's there, and it's a big part of the characters' lives. But at its core, this book is about one girl standing up for her dreams and tackling any obstacle thrown in her path -- sometimes successfully, sometimes not. It's about expectations, family, friendships, love, and a healthy dose of straight-up girl power.

And don't even get me started on all those cute football boys. Competitive drive and sexual tension for the win! ;-)

I devoured this book. Anyone who's ever questioned her path in life will connect with Jordan's struggles, missteps, and ultimate triumphs.
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on May 21, 2012
I'd read a lot of hype about this book and was really looking forward to reading it. I think the premise is great (though it strains credulity, frankly.) But the execution was weak. Overall the characters and treatment of the various issues were annoyingly superficial.Jordan comes off as incredibly self-absorbed and rather vapid as well, which struck me as ironic as she's relentlessly critical in the book of a particular brainless/sex-crazed cheerleader who's as stereotypical as they get. I also had a lot of trouble buying the love triangle (seriously, does every YA have to have a love triangle????? It's getting old...) The writing is also fairly pedestrian. Here's a sample: "How did I never realize that girls can have just as much fun, and have the same kind of fun, as guys do?" This is when she realizes that she can be friends with girls in addition to guys. Oh my. What a revelation (and again, I really had trouble buying this, that she had never had female friends.)

Spoiler alert: I found Jordan's willingness to go from never having kissed a guy to hooking up with someone within a few days--and continuing to have sex with him once she realizes she has no real interest in him--really distasteful. Overall, I found her a character I couldn't relate to. The pathetic attempts to have her be less one-dimensional by "writing" in her journal didn't work for me at all.

Hey, two things I did like--I thought the dialogue felt very natural. And I loved that Jordan was a girl who could EAT! It makes sense given her size and how much she works out, but I did enjoy hearing about how she satisfied her massive appetite. But then she goes and has a Diet Coke? Really, of any girl who's going to drink a full-sugar coke, it'd be Jordan.

Anyway, if you want a very breezy, beach kind of read, this might work for you. I was just expecting more--and think it's a shame there wasn't.
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on July 7, 2013
I wasn't sure if Catching Jordan was going to be for me, since I couldn't care less about sports. The very beginning reinforced this with all of the football talk. Everything went right over my head. However, I was hoping that the story would grab me. Jordan is passionate about football despite her father's lack of support, and she's determined to get a scholarship and go on to play collegiate football. Of course there's also a boy in the picture, who may pose as a distraction to Jordan and her goals. She's also never had a boyfriend before so she's completely out of her element. Unfortunately, I didn't like Jordan so it was hard for me to cheer for her.

I appreciated the author creating a female character that's so far from the feminine norm. While it is mentioned that Jordan isn't as big or strong as her male teammates, she's just as capable as them, and I don't doubt that. I can also understand her not wanting to behave in certain "girly" ways so that her team continues to take her seriously. What I'm not okay with is Jordan putting down feminine interests as somehow inferior to her out-of-the-box ones. I would be fine if she didn't want to put in the effort to paint her nails because she didn't like to (not all girls do!) or because it would just get ruined at practice, or not wearing tight/short/pretty clothes because it's not comfortable, but she refers to it all as "whatever shit [girls] are into" (pg 49). Excuse me?

It's almost as if she thinks putting on a fitted t-shirt and a real bra will suck out her football talent! It also seemed like she didn't even realize that her teammates know that she's girl, so it's okay for her to accept being a girl. At no point do her teammates make any negative comments about her being a girl! Being a girl or girly is not bad. It doesn't make you less smart, or respectable, or less whatever. If you don't like girly stuff, that's fine! But referring to it as "shit" and snubbing other girls is not acceptable! I might also add that pretty early on she does start to obsess over--and change--her look for a guy. She even puts on uncomfortable, sexy underwear! She actually spends a couple of pages worrying about what kind of undies she has on. She also says that she wants Ty to see her as a girl and hopes that she doesn't think she's fat (32%). Hypocrite much?

Another thing that ticked me off about Jordan was when she discovers that she likes writing poetry in the journal her mother bought her. She enjoys it and it's helpful to her to get her feelings out, but it's "a weak thing to be doing" (pg 132). Just because she's not getting all sweaty doing it doesn't mean it's a weak activity. It's good outlet for her, and yet she puts it down as something bad. I actually liked her poems that were included. They're not earth moving or anything, but they were honest, and the only part where I actually liked her.

Now for the portrayal of sex and sexual relationships of Catching Jordan. Casual sex is fine. People have sex, including teenagers. There's a ton of lockerroom chit chat about who's doing who, and basically everyone is sleeping with everyone. You don't need to be in love to have sex, but I do not understand Jordan thinking that she'll be called a slut for dating Ty after never having even kissed a boy before. Dating makes you slut? But not even five minutes after pondering this question with her BFF, she jumps into bed with Ty--whom she's known for only 2 weeks--with absolutely no conversation with him in between. Then after the deed is done, he becomes her boyfriend. Literally right after. I guess that's kind of cute in a way, but what about that whole slut thing Jordan was worried about? She even calls another girl a skank for wanting to date someone new after dumping Jordan's BFF. What is this nonsense?

But let's talk about Ty for a moment aka the boy with zero personality. He's the quiet type of love interest with a tragic past, but he's not very interesting. He doesn't say a whole lot, so I never felt like we got to know him very well. Yes, he spills his entire sob story early on but that's it. Later on I had to roll my eyes because he mentioned that his family is struggling to cover some very important medical bills, and yet he turns down help when it's offered because he doesn't need money, just his girlfriend? Um, what? That makes absolutely no sense. Of course his blandness is a coverup for something, and there's a nice trail of red flags, which lead nowhere! I was waiting for some kind of confrontation and nothing happens! Boring relationship is boring.

The only part of Catching Jordan I actually liked was her relationship with Henry. They've been best friends since they were kids and he's super supportive of her. He's even allowed to spend the night at her her bed! He's like a brother to her, and their relationship was really sweet and funny. Henry is responsible for a quite a few laughs and that helped keep me from completely hating this book in the beginning. Unfortunately, it all goes down hill once his feelings for Jordan become her. It was super obvious that he felt more than friendly toward her, but Jordan is so caught up in the gorgeousness that is Ty that she doesn't have time to think about his feelings at all. Then Henry starts being stupid and I didn't like him anymore either.

Clearly I was right in thinking that Catching Jordan wouldn't be for me, but I wasn't expecting the reason to be Jordan herself rather than the football theme. She is truly one of the most awful characters I've had the displeasure of reading about. She's a walking, talking hypocrite. She's more judgmental than the girls she think are shallow and judgmental. She says horribly stupid things and her reactions don't make sense half of the time. I'm really having a hard time seeing what everyone thought was so great about this book other than it being about a girl who plays football.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon June 29, 2012
Catching Jordan is a complete break-away from your typical YA romantic novels. Not a single thing about this book could be called ordinary or predictable. Everything - from the characters that defy the usual romantic stereotypes to love story that is concluded in a totally unpredictable way, is fresh, crisp, and completely unputdownable. I went into reading it expecting something along the lines of "She's the man" - a cute, not necessarily ambitious, mildly entertaining romantic comedy packed to the brinks with cheesiness and cliches. What I got, though, exceeded all my expectations. See, Catching Jordan is not only entirely original and impulsively readable, it's also intelligent, gorgeously mood-lifting, and infused with energy so positive that by the time you reach its last page you'll be clapping, dancing, and performing various unpredictable stunts around the house. Or at least grinning like a maniac. How many books can give you such an awesome boost? The answer is: not many!

The main character in this novel is a chick named Jordan. And she's not just any chick, but one that happens to be a kick-ass captain of a high school football team. Physically attractive, strong and athletic, she's a starting quarterback and a role model for her fellow team players. She's tough, persistent and supportive. All the guys on her team treat her with respect and adorable brotherly protectiveness. Jordan loves all the guys on her team but it's a sister-brother kind of love at the very best. Her dream is to get a football scholarship at the University of Alabama, and she's determined to make it happen. Love stories, dating, shaving legs for guys? Jordan is so not interested in all that! At least not until Ty moves to her school. He's a gorgeously handsome quarterback and Jordan can't keep her eyes off him. For the first time ever, she's falling for a boy. Can she stay focused on achieving her goals while dating the hottest guy at school? Or will Ty prove to be too much of a distraction for her?

This book was simply awesome. It rocked my world. I did not want to put it down - and I didn't, I actually read it in just one sitting. I don't know if it's the sweet taste of summer, refreshingly different way of approaching a YA romance, or the insanely cool characters and the fantastic relationship between them, but I absolutely couldn't get enough of this book. Miranda Kennneally pulled off something incredibly difficult - she wrote a beautiful and heart-warming tale of love and friendship, infused with vivid emotions, meaningful thoughts and inspirational messages, and set it against an incredibly unique and realistically drawn sports background. Aside from Stephen King's Blockade Billy, I don't think I ever enjoyed a sports-related novel that much (or at all). Thankfully, Catching Jordan offers a perfect blend of romance and action. Kenneally gives just enough football-related details to keep the reader interested and well-entertained, but not too much as to put them off. At the same time, though, football does play a very important role in her book, and I really appreciated the time and effort that Kenneally obviously must have put into researching the subject matter. She did a thorough job, exploring both the glamorous and exciting side of an athlete's life, as well as the darker side, filled with tears, sweat, frustration and struggles. The end result was stunning, and while she didn't exactly make me want to pick up a ball and run around the field with a bunch of jocks, I might actually watch some games on TV, and whenever I will, I will think of Catching Jordan.

As much as I loved the great plot line and sweet romance, what I liked the most about this book was the in-depth characters and the way they interacted with each other. To me, Catching Jordan is not only a book about following your dreams and believing in yourself, fighting for your future and overcoming obstacles. It's also - or perhaps even most of all - a book about relationships and how they affect us, shaping our personalities, dictating our choices, putting us down and building us up. And this book is filled with wonderfully depicted relationship of all sorts, from friendships, romantic relationships, to the different flavours of relationships between family members. Kenneally talks about support, protecting each other, jealousy, rivalry, animosity, sacrifice, respect, and different kinds of love. And she does it with such skill and conviction, it's absolutely enthralling.

Catching Jordan is a book that has a lot to offer. If you like love stories that are just as sweet and charming as they are clever and memorable, you'll definitely appreciate this one. It's irresistibly compelling, funny, and it comes with a perfectly satisfying ending and surprising depth. I want more books like Catching Jordan, and can't wait for Miranda Kenneally's next novel -Stealing Parker -to be out!
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on December 29, 2011
I had really high hopes for Catching Jordan. The premise sounded cleaver: a girl who's the quarterback on her high school football team? Yes please! Falling in love with the guy that plays her same position? I'll take some of that! And just look at that adorable cover!

I have to say, I have really mixed feelings about Catching Jordan. Jordan is a compelling character, she's tough and can hold her own, but she's still a girl who has very girl-ish feelings. She gets confused by her feelings and doesn't know how to deal with things.

But I kind of felt like Jordan was a player. What I didn't expect from this book was the major love triangle. I really don't mind love triangles, I usually love them, I just like to know when to expect them. I was really thrown by it, not really sure who it was that I was supposed to route for.

Parental alert: There is a LOT of swearing in this book. It does kind of make sense, considering these are all football players, but there is a lot of it. And sex is dealt with very casually.

Overall I did enjoy the book. It was compelling and I did finish it in about two days.

3 out of 5 stars.
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on March 16, 2012
3.5 Stars - rounding down as the more I think about this book, the more it bugs me.

At its heart (and all other central organs), this book is a romance. And it's a romance that works really, really well. Half-way through the story I thought I had things all figured out. Then I started getting small, niggling doubts which I thought were an error on the author's part. But no. My doubts led up to a brilliant, fun, perfect twist that brought the story together. (I wish I could tell you what it was, but I don't want to ruin it for anyone else.) Either way, I LOVED it.

The writing overall was good an engaging, although every once in awhile I'd run into a page that seemed much less so - like it had been skipped on editing. Which was weird, it felt like reading swiss cheese. I'm not sure I've ever had that experience before.

It's the story of a female high-school quarterback, her drive to play college football, her male team-mates (in all their crude, obnoxious male glory), and her attraction to one of them.

I loved the heroine for most of the book. She's a tomboy who not only holds her own in a male dominated world, but takes command of that world. But then toward the end of the book it felt like she was bursting into tears in EVERY scene. Which (a) got old and (b) didn't jive so much with what I knew of her.

I accept that male jocks (stereotypically) have filthy mouths, are crude, party a lot, don't care about their academic education, and sleep around. I knew what I was getting into with this book (which is probably why it took me so long to read - `cause I've been hearing good things about it since the day it debuted). I recognize that the author likely portrayed real life for kids in similar situations.

But there was one big aspect of it that not only didn't work for me, it kind of took things downhill. The author glorified the kids' life choices rather than showing the pros and cons. The jocks are almost universally engaged in terrible, damaging relationships (or lack of relationships if they are simply hooking up), but not a single one of them faces any consequences. It's true that in real life, not every kid ends up pregnant, with and STD, emotionally damaged, or an addicted. But enough of them do that showing only the `we're kings (queens) of the world' aspect just seems wrong.

The sole character who appears genuinely damaged by her choices is the heroine's female arch-enemy - and thus painted as stupid and worthy of what she gets.

The area of this that hit me most strongly was their education. As talented jocks, they all take bone-head classes (Music! HomeEc! AutoRepair! (There is nothing inherently wrong with any of the previous. A person with a passion for music, sewing, cars, should of course take classes in their passion (We need MORE of these where I live.). But the jocks aren't passionate, they're academically lazy.). Then they count on football scholarships to gloss over their academic failings (again - true to life). But the story implies that they all get the scholarships. (`We're kings (queens) of the world!')

You know what I wanted to see? What happens to the kid who doesn't get picked for football and doesn't have a rich daddy to get them into college. I want to see the negative consequences right along with the positive. I want depth and truth rather than golden crowns. I want realism and contrast.

Which brings me to the ending. The romance ends satisfactorily (even fantastically). But the heroine's struggles do not. Because her big moment of football/life falling apart has nothing to do with her or her choices (and the one choice she makes - think the calendar shoot - has no negative consequences at all), but rather the stupidity of someone else. And then...


she runs to her daddy, and he steps in to solves the problem. Her consequence is that she has to settle for what daddy can provide for her (`I'm daddy's little princess of the world!') rather than facing the mess she herself made and cleaning it up herself. Ugh.

And yet it was still a good romance. So I guess I'd say go into it knowing what you'll get back.
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on May 30, 2012
Jordan seems to be dying for her famous father's attention and feels that playing football is the way to accomplish this. Her father is a famous NFL player who heaps praise on her quarterback brother, but will not give her the time of day. All of Jordan's friends are boys from the football team where she is the quarterback and captain. Her best friend is Henry, a man-whore who is in love with her and occupies himself by fooling around with all the other girls. Yes, he is a real winner you hope she ends up with.

Trying to prove herself in a man's game and get her father's praise, Jordan pretty much acts like a boy. She curses, bumps fists, hits and pushes the other boys, has sleepovers and game days, and can out eat most of the team. She is 6 foot and weighs 170 lbs yet is considered a beauty. When a new guy, Ty comes and competes with her for her quarterback spot and her heart, she witnesses discrimination from college scouts who pay attention to Ty's small playing time, and ignore her aspirations of playing college ball.

The love triangle is predictably between Jordan, Ty and Henry when Jordan is finally told that Henry has always loved her but never told her because he didn't want anything to change between them. Henry can't stand seeing her with Ty, though, so their relationship does end up changing anyways. Jordan gets to see Henry all over a lot of other girls including her arch enemy Kristin, and yet, she still wants him. Yes, he loves her so much, he is having sex with other girls. Quality. Of course, Jordan goes from kissing her first boyfriend one day to giving him her virginity the next day, apparently thinking of sex in the same terms as the guys do. That seems believable.

I got this book from the library after downloading the free chapters and not convinced I wanted to pay for it for my kindle. The tone and attitude of the story really reminded me of Shut Out by Kody Keplinger. Both Miranda Kenneally and Kody Keplinger use their books to address what they see as the unfair standards that girls face in society. Kody Keplinger thinks that girls who love a lot of premarital sex should not be considered sluts, but studs like the boys. They shouldn't be slandered because they are getting as much action as the boys are. Miranda Kenneally thinks that 6 foot, 170 lb girls should be able to play ball with the boys and be respected by them for their abilities. Equality does not mean girls have to become boys.

Maybe Studs should be considered man-whores and not admired for it and girls should allow guys to have one sport they can call their own. When you have to look and talk like a guy to play his sport, maybe the issue is not equality. When boys behave like dogs, girls shouldn't want to/be encouraged to join them.

Both books use hurting families and amoral friends to demand a change in societal views on sex. What is not revealed is what women give up when they are treated like men.

Would I/Did I buy it? No. Public Library
Would I read it again? No
Would I recommend it to friends? Not Really
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on July 6, 2014
So, let me just say I looooved everything about this book. I love that Jordan was the quarter back of her high school football team and that she was a girl... I love the characters chemistry. They all fit in so well together. Girls can play sports too and Jordan totally proved that. I loved that this book showed how some people don't appreciate a woman's talents as much as others. I learned that first hand playing baseball in school. I was better than a lot of the other boys but because I was a girl I was only allowed to try out. I know not all people feel that way and I'm so glad that this book showed that side of things too.
Jordan was awesome. She was just like one of he guys which I can totally relate too. She also found out that not all girls are rumor spreading witches. Some are actually good friends to have around.
Everything from the football games to the hot guys in tight pants was awesome. Yeah I said it... I don't get football but I can appreciate a nice tight end when I see one.
This was definitely a great read for all ages. Full of everything. I found myself laughing out loud on more than one occasion. Total great read.
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on August 13, 2013
You'd think that as the only girl on the football team, and the quarterback and team captain to boot, that Jordan would be a very strong female character that girls could look up to, but I don't think that was the case at all. As soon as this new guy comes along, she falls apart and falls into the stereotypical girl caught between two boys that I see way too much in books.
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