Girl at Heart Kindle Edition
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|Length: 264 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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About the Author
Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen-a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and loves to eat frosting by the spoonful.--This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- File size : 900 KB
- Print length : 264 pages
- Publication date : November 4, 2019
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Publisher : Bluefields (November 4, 2019)
- ASIN : B07YBJFHC2
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #22,618 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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“As the daughter of a successful Major League pitcher, Charlie Hastings has baseball in her blood.” This first line of the blurb says it all. Charlie is a catcher, top in her league as her team enters the playoffs. She’s happy with this life, but as a senior in high school, she knows the likelihood of playing in college is low. Baseball is a boys’ sport. She isn’t bitter about it, she accepts it. But she is now having a bit of an identity crisis. She’s always been just one of the boys, her three best friends are boys, and they treat her like a boy, not a girl. But Charlie is a girl, she just doesn’t have anyone to show her the girly things in life. When her secret crush on her best friend is (for lack of a better word) crushed, she’s ready to throw in the towel. Then enters the team captain Jace King.
Jace isn’t like Charlie’s friends. He’s kind and empathetic. As the older brother of four sisters (I think that’s the right number), he gets girls and understands Charlie’s dilemma. Not to mention he may be harboring his own crush. I love Jace. He is exactly what Charlie needs when her world seems to fall in on itself.
The plot of this one reminds me a lot of the movie She’s All That. Now Charlie isn’t the shy nerd from that movie, but the transformation and how her friends react to it are similar. Like all of Kelly Oram's books, Girl at Heart explores the emotions and struggles of the character in a realistic, natural way. I knew Charlie, she felt real. I cried with her, laughed with her, and shared her joy as she discovered herself. I may have even fell in love with the King boy. Shhh…don’t tell Brian 😉
Overall I love Girl at Heart. I read it in one sitting and really want to pick it up and read it again. Set in the same world as Robin Daniel’s One of the Girls, it makes for a fun tie-in to the others at Roosevelt High. Not only do you have a cameo from that series, there is at least one easter egg from Kellywood, and I may have squealed and giggled as Charlie learns to do in this one. What makes this book stand out above her others is the relationships that Charlie establishes. Not just with Jace, but with Leila and her dad. I love how well built and real they feel. If you enjoy YA contemporary or you’re looking for a fun, sweet romance, I highly recommend you grab a copy of Girl at Heart.
Maybe some plot spoilers.
In GIRL AT HEART, we run into Charlotte Hastings - but let's call her Charlie (everyone does). You eyeball her from afar, and you think Charlie's got it made in the shade. She's a senior at Roosevelt High and not at all your typical girly girl. Charlie is the starting catcher on her school's baseball team. Fact is, she boasts the best stats of any catcher in the state - she hasn't let anyone steal a base on her in two years - and is a phenom slugger in the division, the best hitter on her team. And maybe the most amazing thing is that she's the only girl on that team.
Her teammates treat Charlie like one of the guys, and that's normally what any outlier would want, right? To fit in? But here's what's up. Charlie is NOT a tomboy. Since forever, she's had feelings for her best friend, Eric Sullivan - and she's about to come clean. Damn prom's right around the corner. So there's an infatuated Charlie about to approach Eric to confess her almighty crush. Spoiler alert. It doesn't go well.
It kind of ticks me off that I even mentioned this guy Eric by name twice. He's the center of Charlie's universe only for so long before the narrative swerves to something infinitely more interesting. You get clued in soon enough - is this soon enough? - that the matter of Eric isn't what Charlie's genuinely struggling with. He's more of a, what, symptom?
Problem is this. Charlie's stuck in this one groove and doesn't quite know how to extricate herself. She's been in this rut where, all her life, all she's known is baseball - her dad is a baseball scout - and her baseball teammates, all dudes, constitute the makeup of her friends. Speaking of make-up, she's not even savvy with that. Her classmates call her Baseball Barbie, but only the first half of that nickname rings true.
Look, honestly, Charlie's been cool being treated like one of the guys. Until she has an epiphany. Or panic attack? No, let's be nice and call it epiphany. With only a few weeks of school left, our girl realizes that her life is about to change irrevocably. While scouts flock to see her best friend play - he's the star lefty pitcher - no scouts are about to go look at a girl playing at baseball. No baseball scholarship for her. It dawns on a horrified Charlie that, once high school is over, she'll have to live a normal life.
Only, she doesn't know how. She's led a sheltered life. She inhabits a sprawling mansion (yep, our girl is loaded) but has never once invited her teammates over. She doesn't know how to relate to people unless it's about baseball. Heck, she doesn't know how to be a proper regular girl. Hence, pani- er, epiphany.
I did say plot spoilers, right?
GIRL AT HEART is a fantastic YA read dealing with a girl's search for identity, with a whiff of PYGMALION tossed in. Man, Oram is so good. The story really takes off when it's exit Eric, enter Jace King, the team captain. Jace is a stand-up hombre whom other hombres follow instinctively because he's genuinely a good dude. But you can't blame Jace if he has an ulterior motive. Unlike with Eric, no one's been clamoring to scout Jace's play on the field. Still, Jace is hoping for a scholarship, and the team's got a real shot at winning the state championship. But not if the team's best slugger quits on account of she's all in her feelings.
We get to the good part. It's the premise that hooked me in, much like how that '80s teen movie, CAN'T BUY ME LOVE, hooked me in. Only, unlike Patrick Dempsey, Charlie doesn't want to be popular. She wants to be a normal girl. Jace makes her a deal. If she stays on the team, he'll ask his twin sister, Leila, one of the most popular girls in school, to take Charlie under her wing, show her the ropes on how to be a girl. And so begins what I consider to be the best relationship in this story.
No, not the one between Charlie and Jace. That's your typical teen romance folderol, and I was over that in moments. Honestly, Jace is such a goody-goody that he's a bit boring. But the friendship that quickly develops between Charlie and Leila? That's gold, son. That it quickly develops isn't courtesy of Charlie's efforts. She's clumsy and awkward as a newborn foal. But Leila, who may be my favorite character in all this, is a natural and so sunny and upbeat, someone who lights up a room when she walks into it. She soon enough puts Charlie at ease. I guess I could go on and on about how stellar Leila is. I mean, Eric Clapton himself wrote a song about her (but misspelled her name). I'll leave it by saying I appreciated how supportive Leila is, how there isn't a mean bone in her body, and this with her going with the quarterback to the prom, so if anyone has a right to crow... Oh, don't get it wrong, there IS a mean girl in the story and she does end up hassling Charlie...
Anyway, I recommend this one. On the surface, the premise seems far-fetched, even frivolous. But Oram documents Charlie's uncommon circumstance with surprising sensitivity and gravitas enough that you buy that this is a real situation that Charlie's going thru. As ever Oram writes with insight and with delicacy and wit and good humor. Her words are good, son. I would love for this to get adapted into a movie.
And if you're champing at the bit for further goings-on at Roosevelt High, check out Robin Daniels' ONE OF THE GIRLS for the scoop on Nick Moody - he makes a cameo in GIRL AT HEART - the guy who quit the football team to become the first male cheerleader in Roosevelt High's history.
Top reviews from other countries
Dennoch hat mir das Buch gefallen und ich habe es fast in einem Rutsch gelesen, weil ich generell ein Fan von weiblichen Figuren bin, die sich in männerdominierten Sportarten durchsetzen können und weil die Protagonistin mit all ihren Unsicherheiten und Selbstzweifeln ein gewisses Identifikationspotenzial bot (trotz verstörend reichem Elternhaus).
Es ist schon ein rosarotes Kitsch-Buch, aber es macht zugleich auch Mut.