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If you haven't noticed by some of the book
choices I make, I am a fan of soccer. I have played
it on-and-off my entire life. My dad was an avid soccer player. I meet my husband at a pick-up game of soccer. Even my son's bedroom has a ton of soccer items. So yes I enjoy the game. So if I find a book that has soccer as its main sport I am about 99.9% sure I will end up reading it.
Which brings us to our current book. Playing for Love by Dana Burkey. It is a YA sports contemporary novel. The protagonist female is a high school sophomore. Her tryout for the soccer team, and makes JV. She does it all for a boy. Not, just any boy, but her brother's best friend, Jordan. During one of her first games, Fiona gets hit in the face with the soccer ball and ends up with a broken nose. This situation is the push-that-gets-the-ball-rolling for Fiona to being discovering herself.
How many times do you end up choosing to do something for selfish reason or have alternative motives, but then your reason for continuing with the task has completely changed?
Fiona originally joined the soccer team for Jordan. According to Jordan's track recorder, he dates majority of the time girls that play soccer. Fiona, figured this was an important for her to become more appealing as a dateable candidate for Jordan. When she gets hits in the face with the soccer ball, Fiona has a totally meltdown and is about to quit the team. The girls on the team rallied with Fiona. Each girl, on JV and varsity, got her own nose guard mask and decorated them. They also stole Fiona’s of a night and decorated hers as well. It was so touching. I was glad the author showed how girls’ sports can be a positive influence.
Fiona’s self-esteem growth regarding her – appearance, athletic ability, social skills, and realization of her acceptance by the team - was some of my favorite parts. The story is true to the thoughts, feelings and interpretations of a young teenage-girl. Fiona reads too much into what people do or not do. She is trust worthy and naïve, but learns from her mistakes.
If you are looking for a fun
Sports YA story,
this may be up your alley.
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