That was a good and pleasant read. I didn't expect that I'd appreciate Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally this much especially since a.) I don't watch football; b.) I don't know the terms and stuff used in football; c.) I really don't watch football. Thankfully, one doesn't need to be familiar with the sport to read this book, and honestly, I did learn a lot from it (sports-wise, anyway).
Let's start with Jordan. I liked how the author wrote and portrayed Jordan's personality, as well as her worries and reflections. She's an easy character to relate with, and we could probably see a bit of our high school selves in her. She has played football ever since she was small, and have guys as her main friends not just because she plays the sport but also because she wanted to distance herself from girls who she believed would only hurt her with their gossiping. So, ok, she decided to be a tomboy, instead, and when she finally encounters a guy she likes, she feels absolutely confused and worried. "How do I kiss a boy?" "How do I officially go out without making myself look like a slut?" "Why do I feel this way, especially close to the games?" these are her questions and she encounters many more as she learns about herself and the girl within. Now, unlike other heroines, Jordan isn't stupid - she has common sense, has goals, has initiative and has a drive. She just spent too much time being friends and a sister and a football captain to a bunch of hot, sexy men that when she finally feels herself attracted to one, she feels lost. This makes her, in my opinion, more endearing and adorable. When I was in High School, I was a bit tomboy-ish, too, and it didn't help that I was in an all-girls school and had absolutely no experience with boys, so I was able to relate to her when it came to her problems regarding opening up to the opposite sex.
The story, of course, is told in Jordan's perspective. We get to read and feel her fears as a football captain and a football player in general, her hopes, and her dreams. Thankfully, the internal dialogue and the interactions between the characters are very light and easy to read, and has a comedic touch to it. These are some of them that made me guffaw out loud:I would never let myself date guys on my team and I'm not interested in any of them anyway. Riding buses to and from games for years has turned me off to all of them 'cause one bus ride with my team produce more gas than a landfill.
"Don't tell Mom and Dad about Ty," I warned Mike.
"But they'll be so glad to hear you aren't gay!"
The synopsis is very, very misleading, though. It makes one think that it's going to be a romance between two people only - Ty and Jordan, so I totally didn't expect the love triangle that came later on! I love Love Triangles, especially if they're done correctly, and if the men in it are not sexist, chauvinist pigs. The LT here was very pleasant, and maybe even heart-warming, because the moment Jordan realized the other person loving her was someone very close to her, everything had changed - the way she played, the way she thought about herself, the way she looked at other people, and many more. The thing here is, unlike other novels, the love triangle wasn't the story - it was a tool or an instrument for Jordan's growth as a woman and as a person who's finally realizing her capability to love and be loved in return.
Does that mean, however, the other characters were not important? Of course not! The football team, especially JJ, Carter and Henry were a joy to read. I definitely feel uncomfortable reading about them sleeping around with a lot of girls and the their casual talks of sex (because damn, they're in High School! I've never even thought of sex when I was in High School, LOL), but despite all that, they were colorful characters. Even the cheerleaders, with their glares and stares, were also fun to read. What I appreciated the least was Ty. I thought that he was a flat character and could have been explored and developed more. I felt as if his background story regarding his parents, sister, and grandfather was just put there as an attempt to make him emotional (and without it, he'd just be a shell, if you ask me...). I wish there was more to him to make the love triangle more effective... because once I found out that someone else loved Jordan, I stopped caring about this dude, and he just floated by...
Why I didn't give this a 5 stars out of 5 is because of these two encounters that made me feel a bit dismayed:
1.) The Baby Project. That was very, very unoriginal. I've seen it countless times before - give baby toys to the students, make them pretend to be parents, and put chips in the bodies to record data. Heck, I even used it in a fanfic of mine at least twice! I was really let down that this was their project, and the explanation that chips were inserted made me roll my eyes a lot.
2.) Jordan's first sex. That was too quick. I thought your first sex is supposed to be memorable and everything? I felt as if Jordan lost all of her common sense and gave her virginity to Ty just like that, and that was it. Maybe I'm romanticizing it too much, but still, it was too fast for me and it felt really superficial.
To wrap it all up, I ask the question: Would I recommend this to others? Heck, yes! I'd recommend it in a heartbeat. It's a good read, quick and pleasant, and it may pull some heartstrings here and there. Is it better than Easy? I can't say, they're way too different to be compared. I love them both, though!