First & Then by Emma Mills

Book Description:

Published: October 13, 2015

Format: Audio

Devon Tennyson wouldn’t change a thing. She’s happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon’s cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn’t want them: first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.

Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights in this contemporary novel about falling in love with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself.

Review –

“Senior Devon Tennyson assumes college is next but isn’t so clear on why. Her longtime friend and crush, Cas Kincaid, isn’t interested in her romantically, alas. While she is part of his football crew, Devon has other friends who are as individual, though not as average, as she is.

The wide-ranging cast provides background to Devon’s struggles with her future, exemplified by her boring college essay. Add in the long-delayed and dreaded phys-ed requirement to make her unhappiness complete. It’s mostly freshmen except for Devon and an All-American football player and transfer student, Ezra. Also in the class is Foster, a freshman and a cousin who recently joined her household after his mother asked her parents to take him on full-time. Devon’s clearly not impressed with his irrepressible presence and knowing observations. However, her protective instincts go on high alert when socially inept and scrawny Foster’s great ability to kick a football is discovered by Ezra. When Ezra takes Foster under his wing, Devon isn’t sure if it’s a setup or real, given Ezra’s low popularity quotient. With sporadic references to Jane Austen’s famous characters and wickedly inventive language, Mills closely observes the social milieu of an American high school obsessed with our favorite sport and makes readers care what happens.

A fresh, smart, inventive, and altogether impressive debut. (Romance. 11-16)” Kirkus Review

A totally sweet young adult romance mixed with football.  Love it!

 

 

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Until Friday Night (The Field Party #1) By Abbi Glines

Book Description:

Published: August 25, 2015

To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.

Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.

As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.

West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…

Review –

This was the first book I have read/listened to ( I had the audio version)  by author, Abbi Glines and I found it very realistic for a YA romance.

We are not drawn to people because they are perfect and both Maggie and West (love that name, by the way) are far from perfect,especially West.

Maggie stopped speaking after her father murdered her mother and when this story starts it has been two years and she has come to live with her aunt, uncle and cousin, after having been staying with her god-mother. She is smart,strong-willed,but also kind and compassionate.

West is putting on an act for his friends and teachers as if nothing is wrong, but inside he is full of rage. His father, who means the world to him, is dying of cancer and West survives by using girls for his own pleasure and by being as a**hole.

He sees Maggie at a field party and walks right up to her and being his hateful self,  roughly kisses her and then walks off. Little does he know that it is Maggie’s first ever kiss.

Later he finds out that she is his best friends cousin and has been put “off limits” and he doesn’t have a problem with that at all because girls line up to be with him anyway.

One day he finally breaks down and tells Maggie what is wrong and why he is eaten up inside and because he realizes  she doesn’t talk he knows she won’t be telling anyone. She surprises him by using her voice and speaking to him, but tells him she will only talk to him. From then on he uses her as a crutch to survive the illness of his father and later his death. He wants her with him all the time and while he sees her as a friend Maggie’s feeling grow deeper for him.

Maggie decides to let her aunt, uncle and cousin know that she wants to start talking again but will not answer any questions about her father.

He gets overly jealous when other boys talk to her and very possessive, so much so, that Maggie decides they need a break. This almost puts West in a tail spin, but he still is there to protect Maggie from the snipes of old girlfriends. His friends tell him he’d better change his ways and or say good-bye to her for good.

He finally tells her that he loves her and understands that he used her and was too possessive and they are together at the end of the story.

The ending was the only part of the story that I had a problem with because people usually do not change their behavior.  If a teenage boy is domineering and possessive or abusive to girls, he will most likely still be that way when he is a man. Girls shouldn’t be so quick to take a boy back just because he seems to have changed his ways because only time will tell and better safe than sorry I say.

The second book in the series won’t be out til sometimes next year but I can’t wait.

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Playing for Pizza by John Grisham

Book Description

Publication Date:  September 2007
Rick Dockery was the third-string quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. In the deciding game at the climax of the season, to the surprise and dismay of virtually everyone, Rick actually got into the game. With a 17-point lead and just minutes to go, Rick provided what was arguably the worst single performance in the history of the NFL. Overnight, he became a national laughing stock and, of course, was immediately dropped by the Browns and shunned by all other teams. But all Rick knows is football, and he insists that his agent, Arnie, finds a team that needs him. Against enormous odds, Arnie finally locates just such a team and informs Rick that, miraculously, he can in fact now be a starting quarterback. Great says Rick – for which team? The mighty Panthers of Parma, Italy. Yes, Italians do play American football, to one degree or another, and the Parma Panthers desperately want a player from the home of American footballat their helm. So Rick reluctantly agrees to play for the Panthers – at least until a better offer comes along – and heads off to Italy. He knows nothing about Parma (not even where it is), has never been to Europe, and doesn’t speak or understand a word of Italian. To say that Italy – the land of opera, fine wines, extremely small cars, romance and football americano – holds a few surprises for Rick Dockery would be something of an understatement.
 Review –
An easy read for summer time pleasure. The plot is light, the characters likeable and quirky and the description of the Italian countryside is breathtaking.   Read this for pure fun.