What girl doesn’t want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn’t just surrounded by hot guys, though – she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that’s just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there’s a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team… and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate.
Jordan Woods is Captain and starting Quarterback of her high school’s football team. Football is and always has been her entire life. She has dreams of playing football for the University of Alabama, the best college team in the entire country. All she has to do is keep playing like she’s been playing and they’ll give her a full ride, for sure. Enter transfer student and Chace Crawford look-a-like Tyler Green. From the very first moment he steps onto her field, Jordan knows he’s a distraction. Even worse? He may just be gunning for her position.
I liked the setup and unique premise of this book, at first. Jordan is very serious about football. She plays well, better than most guys, and she’s respected. She’s just one of the guys and instead of her teammates constantly berating and ostracizing her, as you might expect, they accept and defend her. Jordan’s teammates are her friends and Sam Henry, in particular, is her best friend. He eats dinner with her family several times a week and often sleeps over, even sharing a bed with Jordan like they have since they were little. Jordan’s so focused on football and friends from the team that she doesn’t really have much time to think about boys or even consider having girl friends. But Ty changes everything. She finds herself falling for them and while she feels like she can confide in her guy friends, it soon becomes clear that she needs a little female insight.
Basically, I liked this book up until Ty showed up. Ty sucks. And I have a hard time believing that someone as smart and independent as Jordan can just fall for Ty so easily. One look at his Chace Crawford-esque good looks and Jordan’s a limp noodle. But his looks and football skills are really all he has going for him. He’s controlling, rude, and he and Jordan have virtually nothing in common. He freaks out about every aspect of Jordan’s life that he can’t control, even when they’ve only been dating for five days. Then he blames his neurosis on the fact that his parents died in a car crash, which evokes our sympathy, but doesn’t excuse his behavior. At least, I wouldn’t excuse his behavior. Jordan’s just so happy to be dating a male model that she overlooks all his flaws.
But sometimes people are blind to warning signs right in front of their faces, so I can forgive Jordan for that. What I can’t forgive her for is how annoying she becomes throughout the book. She starts off as this fun, strong character who won’t take crap from anyone. By the end of the book, she’s a sobbing mess. Literally, each chapter has her breaking down and crying about something. It’s exhausting. And it quickly becomes apparent that she’s not just blind to the fact that Ty isn’t right for her, but she’s blind to everything: Henry’s true feelings, her future at the University of Alabama, the motivation behind her father’s actions. She’s just completely oblivious and this becomes increasingly frustrating as the story progresses.
Despite my major problems with Jordan, there were a lot of aspects of Catching Jordan that I liked. For instance, Sam Henry. He’s adorable and lovable and the kind of guy I want for my best friend/secret crush. I also liked the way Kenneally worked in Jordan’s poetry. While she’s not the greatest poet, that’s kind of the point, and it’s nice that other, hidden layer of Jordan. It was also nice to see Jordan grow into her friendships with Carrie and Marie (though the similarity between the two names is awfully confusing), demonstrating that not all cheerleaders are stereotypes.
Basically, there were things I loved and things I hated about Catching Jordan. It’s a light, quick read so if you’re interested, don’t hesitate to pick it up. This book will definitely appeal to sports lovers. I’ve never been interested in football, but I found myself intrigued by all the descriptions and thorough explanations of the game, so much so that I think I’ll actually understand and care about the next game I watch. And while Jordan may not be the most likable or relatable main character, there are a ton of interesting secondary characters to keep your attention.
Publication Date : December 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Rating [rating: 3]
Teaser Quote: “Ty’s eyes seem to fill with pain, and he looks down at the ground. I’ve never seen a QB act like this before. Most are cocky, full of attitude. Leaders. I can’t imagine following a guy whose eyes give so much away.“