Sunday, February 23, 2014

Series #REVIEW: Waiting On The Sidelines @TheGingerScott

Waiting on the Sidelines (Waiting on the Sidelines #1) by Ginger Scott 

Nolan Lennox had things figured out. Named after a baseball legend, she enjoyed being the Tomboy, her closet filled with her brother’s hand-me-downs, cut-off jeans and soccer shorts. But when her first trip to high school results in a broken heart from the first boy to ever make her heart flutter and cruel words from an older girl she once thought a family friend, Nolan starts to question the very person she thought she was and wonders if her humble upbringing can compete with the afforded luxuries of her privileged peers.

Throughout the next four years, Nolan struggles to maintain herself throughout her path of discovery, learning just how cruel teenagers can be through the pressures of underage drinking, sexuality and class. And despite how life seems to continue to work against her, she still manages to listen to her heart, falling deeper and deeper for the guy the entire town adores, even if he only sees her as a friend. Can Nolan strike a compromise between her own integrity and the boy she loves? And can she make him notice her before it’s too late?

Reed Johnson came to Coolidge High School with a lot of fanfare. The son of a hometown football legend and the brother of a local football hero, Reed wore all the pressures of carrying a town without hope into the spotlight. Thankfully, he had the talent to back it up. But when he meets a girl who makes him think twice about exactly what being a hero means, he starts to wonder if following in his brother’s footsteps might be all wrong.

Nolan Lennox was everything that was opposite of expected. She didn’t flirt, she didn’t drink and she didn’t sleep around. Nothing about her was easy, but something about her made Reed want to try harder. Though she didn’t look the part, she seemed to be spending a lot of time in Reed’s thoughts, and he wondered if she could be the one who made it all worthwhile. But could Reed handle letting her down? And would breaking her heart break him beyond repair?

REVIEW
Waiting on the Sidelines explores young love to its fullest, exposing how real young heartbreak and passion is and how important it is to discover yourself and hold onto your own identity. The story follows two young characters as they deal with mature situations, including the prevalence of bullying and promiscuity in today’s high school setting. Ultimately, Waiting on the Sidelines is a story of hope, honesty and those powerful, first true loves—the ones worth holding onto at any cost.

A coming-of-age novel by a debut author that doesn't disappoint. Though a bit of a sleeper start, the foundation is laid out honestly for readers as we embark on the love story of Nolan and Reed. It's not over angsty but deals with realistic situations in a straightforward manner.  Incorporating their families and friends built a complex world that established the motivations for their actions. I knew I was completely taken with the couple when I had to read the next book right away.

RATING
4 Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries
This book was given to us by the author through NetGalley. Many thanks.

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Going Long (Waiting on the Sidelines #2) by Ginger Scott

They fell in love in high school and found their way back to one another despite the odds. But can first loves really be forever? For Reed Johnson, the dream was always football. But then Nolan Lennox took over his heart. Is he willing to give up his first love just to keep his true love? Or will he be too late?

Reed and Nolan’s story continues in "Going Long," sequel to "Waiting on the Sidelines."

REVIEW
I picked up this second book in the series the very next morning after finishing book one. If you haven't read Waiting on the Sidelines, you must read that book first! 

While I enjoyed meeting Nolan and Reed in book one, I completely fell in love with them in this book. The maturity of their decisions -despite their communication problems- was affirming. The author showed the growth in her characters as they moved on to college, each independent in their own pursuits while still finding a place for their relationship. They struggled and there was no unrealistically easy solutions as they faced life's trials. Both characters were resilient and would serve as strong role models for young adults.

So, while I enjoyed the first book, it was truly the second book that drew me in and made it all seem so very perfect. Nolan and Reed have a fan in me. And I was so pleased with the epilogue.

RATING
5 Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries
This book was given to us by the author through NetGalley. Many thanks.
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