Friday Night Lights meets Morgan Matson’s The Unexpected Everything in this contemporary debut where swoonworthy romance meets underdog sports story.
When softball star Liv Rodinsky throws one ill-advised punch during the most important game of the year, she loses her scholarship to her fancy private school, her boyfriend, and her teammates all in one fell swoop. With no other options, Liv is forced to transfer to the nearest public school, Northland, where she’ll have to convince their coach she deserves a spot on the softball team, all while facing both her ex and the teammates of the girl she punched… Every. Single. Day.
Enter Grey, the injured star quarterback with amazing hair and a foolproof plan: if Liv joins the football team as his temporary replacement, he’ll make sure she gets a spot on the softball team in the Spring. But it will take more than the perfect spiral for Liv to find acceptance in Northland’s halls, and behind that charming smile, Grey may not be so perfect after all.
With well-drawn characters and a charming quarterback love interest who’s got brains as well as brawn, Throw Like a Girl will have readers swooning from the very first page.
|CW: homophobia, cancer, fights |
Black, lesbian, other ethnicities
3.5 stars for Throw Like A Girl.
Football, new beginnings and love; Throw Like A Girl is a cute book.
Normally I don’t readily pick YA novels set in high school with sports in them because they’re usually riddled with 99 different cliches, and while Throw Like A Girl might have a few cliches, I enjoyed it.
Throw Like A Girl is a soft, cute book about Liv Rodinsky who joins the football team at her new school as the a quarterback and the only female player on the team, to show the softball coach she can be a team player and get a spot on the school team.
I liked the plot and concept, it might not exactly be new, but I loved the execution. I loved how the ‘only girl on the football team’ theme was mostly free of sexist elements (there were a few, but not from the people who mattered). I loved how the football aspects wasn’t downplayed for the romance. The play, the training and the risk that comes with playing the sport was as much, if not even more, a part of the plot as the romance. I really liked it and how knowledgeable Henning is about the sport, the terminologies, the play techniques, the rush, I felt like I was in the stadium and actually watching the game. As a non-American who doesn’t know much about the sport, I actually feel interested in the sport now.
I also loved how apart from being sport centred, it was also centred around family, friendships and other non romantic relationships. I loved the relationship between Liv and her family, especially her siblings. I loved the closeness of the siblings, as well as the bond between the teammates and Liv’s relationship with her best friend, romance, all of these made the book enjoyable.
The characters were pretty ok…
Like I said before, the characters and their relationships were one of the things I enjoyed about the book.
I liked how the teenage cast were actually teenagers. They were messy, rash, emotional and not always rational — not a group of adults in disguise.
I liked Liv, the main character, she was determined, focused and endearingly chaotic. Grey, the love interest was also really likeable. I loved how he wasn’t the usual YA Asshole Bad Boy™, but was actually soft. And I also really liked Liv’s best friend, she was supportive, sweet and soft.
While I loved the relationship between the best friends, there were times I couldn’t help but feel that it was another case of black best friend syndrome, even though it mostly wasn’t.
The romance seemed to rushed, and there were some cliches…
While Liv’s and Grey’s relationship was cute, it felt to hurried. It was like they went from 0-100 too fast. One minute they just met and the next they were attached at the hip?
And the cliches…Throw Like A Girl might not have been a big bundle of cliches, but it had some and I wasn’t a fan of most of them.
Overall, it was an entertaining read…
From the really good writing, equally good characters and relationships, I really enjoyed Throw Like A Girl.
If you like sport romance, some high school drama (very little actually), cute couples, tight families and friendships, and non asshole boys; you’ll like Throw Like A Girl.
“Standing up for yourself doesn’t mean walking away.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah Henning is a recovering journalist who has worked for the Palm Beach Post, Kansas City Star and Associated Press, among others. While in South Florida, Sarah lived and worked through five hurricanes, which gave her an extreme respect for the ocean. When not writing, she runs ultramarathons, hits the playground with her two kids and hangs out with her husband Justin, who doubles as her long-suffering IT department. Sarah lives in Lawrence, Kansas, which, despite being extremely far from the beach, happens to be pretty cool.