ONE OF THE BOYS
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 of 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 everything she's ever worked for is threatened when Ty Green moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he's also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan's feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart's on the line?
It’s been weeks since I first read this book, and I still catch myself thinking back to the characters. Well, to Jordan in particular. Part of it is because I joined the 2013 Feminist Reads Challenge. Jordan certainly falls in the category of a strong female lead.
She was a high school quarterback and the best in her state, and her dream was to play college football. Except nobody wanted a female player, let alone a quarter back. One school offered her a full scholarship, but they never intended for her to play. They planned to use her for recruiting and advertising like a football pinup girl.
What absolutely amazed me about the writing on this was how the author gave Jordan weaknesses within her strengths. Okay, me saying that doesn’t make any sense, but if you read the book, you’ll probably know what I mean…
#1. Jordan always had to be the best. So afraid of being undervalued or made fun of because she was a girl, she turned everything into a competition. Sometimes when you are strong, you don’t really have to be the best.
Henry picks up an even bigger rock and throws it into the river. It makes a much larger splash than mine. Damn it.
I search for a bigger rock, find one and pick it up, launching it into the river. My splash totally kicks Henry’s splash’s ass.
#2. Jordan hid any of her softer side from others, like tears or her interest in creative writing and poetry.
After throwing the ball up and catching it for the thousandth time, I wedge the flashlight under my chin and begin to write:
The whole school knows about Saturday night
Saturday, disappearing with Ty was the right decision
Right as eating peanuts at a baseball game
Right as the sound of coffee grinding on a Saturday morning
Today? Confused as hell
I can’t believe how much I’m beginning to love writing. Not just getting thoughts out of my head, but the challenge of finding creative words and rhythms and fun descriptions.
Right as the smell of smoke following fireworks
Still, writing’s a weak thing to be doing. At least compared to playing quarterback. Or eating those scalding 911 wings that made me and Ty cry at the Titans game.
The door to the shed suddenly slams open and Henry crawls in next to me, watching as I hide my journal behind a watering can.
#3. Jordan did her best to hide her feminine side too. No makeup, didn’t even comb her hair some times, never wore dresses. As if she was ashamed of being a girl.
Instead of my usual ratty “Titans” and “Blue Buckle Moon Pie Ten-Mile Race” T-shirts, I pick out a plain black fitted tee. I know, I know—I’m wild. But seriously? For me, this fitted tee is totally dressing up, and it shows off my boobs. I don’t think too many people even realize I have boobs.
And the story arc brought her in touch with her deeper side. I loved, LOVED how Jordan changes throughout the course of the story. She finds her own place of strength as she brings the feminine side and the tomboy side together. She finds peace and contentment with herself.
But the best part is the relationship with her father. I’m a sucker for reconciliation stories! And the author is a MASTER at reconciliation. Jordan’s dad is a professional football player, and he supports Jordan’s older brother on his college football career but then won’t even go to Jordan’s high school games.
All because he watched his friend get killed in a game and was concerned about Jordan’s ability to handle the bigger guys. Jordan is tall for a girl, about 6 foot, and weighs 160 pounds or so. But 160 pounds against 250 is a big difference.
You’ll have to read for yourself how they resolved their issues, but let me just say it was awesome.
The romance is perfect. Jordan doesn’t always make the perfect choices, and that makes the story even better. She settles for the wrong guy and has to find her way to the right one!
My favorite quote:
“Okay,” Ms. Bonner says, going to a closet at the back of the room, “Now that we all have partners, all husbands should come pick up their projects.”
Pick up their projects? Shrugging, I stand up and stretch my arms. Henry also stands. “No way, dude,” I say. “I’m the man in this relationship.”
“Oh yeah, absolutely,” he says, grinning. He sits back down as I walk to the closet to see the project, which turns out to be one of those fake electronic babies. Oh good God. Ms. Bonner hands me a fake baby boy. The doll has those creepy glass eyes that look like they’re staring straight into my soul. I hold the doll out in front of me like it’s a flaming bag of poo and carry it back to Henry.
“Congratulations, Mommy,” I say, dropping the doll into his hands. “You could’ve told me I knocked you up.”
If you haven’t read it, you’ll really like this one. Check it out!
Read for the 2013 Feminist Reads Challenge