Catching Jordan

Catching Jordan - Miranda Kenneally As you'd guess from the cover, this is a YA romance -- but not only that. Jordan, a senior in high school, has a lot on her mind -- she's captain of her football team, is working hard to earn a chance to play college ball, worries about her best friend and teammate Henry, who seems depressed, and is kind of depressed herself because her legendary father goes to all of her brother's games, but never to hers. When new kid Ty joins her team, she's really interested in a boy for the first time, but she's afraid that he's a threat to her goals -- both as a distraction, and as another really good quarterback. And then just when she decides to go with her attraction, she learns something about Henry that ruins everything.I was iffy about this book because I'm not that big on realistic YA, and the worldview turned me off at first. All of Jordan's teammate seemed to be stereotypical boys who use girls for sex, Jordan sneers at cheerleaders and throws the word "pansy" around a lot (though I don't think intending to be homophobic), and she's a very rich girl who thinks things like this: "Henry's father probably expects him to become some kind of bum, working in a factory, or hell, driving a truck too." Since when does honest work make someone a bum?What kept me reading was a mention of Jordan's weight -- 170 pounds. Jordan's is obviously not fat, but very tall and athletic. In almost any other book, she's be described as weighing maybe 130; I loved that bit of realism. And I cracked up at the scene of her eating with her family -- all football players who use vast amounts of energy, all so ravenous they're practically fighting each other off with forks. As I read, I liked the story more and more. I liked Jordan discovering she can be friends with girls (even the dreaded cheerleaders!) as well as boys, and discovering that attraction and physical pleasure don't necessarily equal love. And her relationship with her father, her growing interest in writing as a form of self-expression, and her difficulties as a woman who wants to play football are also important parts of her story.If you like YA and want a little more substance than, "I just met you, let's be together forever," give this a try.