Genres: Contemporary, High School, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Sport
Reaction Upon Reading: Sometimes you fall for the boy you least expect
“The wrong boy will bore you or annoy you,” Mom said. “But the right one? He’ll make you laugh, make you feel special.”
The day Andrew Levin arrives at Washington High, Harper O’Malley knows he’ll make the perfect starter boyfriend. The school’s newest band geek is totally in Harper’s league, yet completely out of this late bloomer’s reach. Between fitting in with a new family, scoring the first chair in band, and rescuing dogs for the local animal shelter, Harper’s never had the opportunity to hone her dating skills. But even though Harper’s love life is far from perfect, she’s got the perfect plan.
Harper knows she’s insane to agree to tutor Ridley Estes, a notorious heartbreaker and the star of her high school’s football team—but in exchange, he’s offered to school her in the game of love. Just when she sees promise with her crush, a football scandal rocks her family, her town, and Ridley’s entire future. Harper suddenly has everything to lose—her family, friends, and even her heart. When the dust of the scandal settles, nothing will be the same. Including the girl who asked the most popular jock to teach her about love.
“I smiled at my champion, but he just shook his head and muttered more words in Spanish. I was pretty sure he either called me a beautiful tropical flower or a raving lunatic. Sometimes I get my nouns mixed up.”
Harper O’Malley has no idea how to talk to boys. Which is a stark contrast from her life as the football coaches daughter, where her house is often full of players. She is finally ready to learn how to make a move on the new boy Andrew Levin. He ticks all of her ‘perfect boyfriend’ boxes. He’s a band geek, just like her, but she doesn’t even know how to talk to him.
Ridley Estes is the star of the high school football team and he’s been given a verbal offer to the college of his dreams, but only if he can get his grades up and get out of trouble. He’s got his heart set on Harper’s dad’s team for reasons that no one else knows. Ridley offers lessons in ‘love’ in exchange for tutoring from Harper. Harper steps into Ridley’s world and learns there is more to him than meets the eye.
I am a sucker for a contemporary romance and this book takes on some important heavy issues: abuse, neglect, family and trust.
Harper’s character is complex and well developed. She is dealing with some horrific trauma at the hands of her biological mother. Her distrust of people and love of dogs was my favourite character trait. Her voice and personality rang through and felt very true. She was sassy, kind and vulnerable. I loved the way she opened up more and more throughout the novel.
Ridley was such a swoon-worthy character! He is easily one of my favourite contemporary book boyfriends. I loved the way he treated Harper, their banter was hilarious. His lessons on helping her to be ‘girlfriend’ material were gorgeous and sweet. He never once made fun of her and took every question she had in stride. When he finally kisses her, it’s magical.
- The cover. It even has little football formations surrounding the title.
- The perfect combination of humour and drama.
- Harper being a foster child adopted into her family as an older child is a story that isn’t often told.
- Ridley doesn’t lead the life or have the persona that he leads people to believe. This adds more depth to his character.
- Coach through all of his faults and mistakes was still so likeable. It was easy to forgive him when you could feel his remorse oozing from the page.
- Reminds me of one of my all time favourite teen movies ‘A Cinderella Story’.
This is my first Jenny B. Jones book. I will definitely be looking at what else she has to offer.
“He framed my face now, and I met his stare in the dark of the car. “I think you’re beautiful.” My heart folded like an origami swan.”
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