Series: Hundred Oaks #1
Author: Miranda Kenneally
I recently received Breathe, Annie Breathe for review, and I was really excited to read it, but then I realized that it’s actually book #5 in a series!! I know, I know, the books are able to be read as standalones, but I just can’t do it. I always feel like I’m missing out on something if I try. So, I went and got all of the previous books from the library. I’m really glad I started with this first book because I really enjoyed it – and this way I’m getting to know Hundred Oaks better – just like the rest of Kenneally’s dedicated fans!
- Jordan. I loved that Jordan was this tough girl who really did fit right in with the boys and could hold her own with them. Jordan was completely dedicated to football, even in the face of so many people who were making it hard for her (including her own father), and I definitely respected her for that. I was kind of in awe of her actual ability too. (Are there really girls that play that well? I want to know!)
- The poems. We get to see a different side of Jordan through her poetry. When things start to feel a bit out of control for Jordan, she decides to take her mom’s advice and write in a journal, including writing some poems. I loved that her poems were really funny and insightful and matched her personality so well (they certainly weren’t flowery).
- Realistic relationships. This book showed high school life as it really is – kind of messy and often hard to navigate. Jordan’s relationships aren’t easy and they don’t fall into place perfectly once she figures out what she wants. Both her friendships and her romantic life get complicated. It all felt very real – like something that could easily have happened to me or someone I knew in high school (okay, not the female football player part, but the relationship issues). I loved that Kenneally could make me relate to characters who are nothing like me as a high schooler.
- Aspects of the romance. Okay, I know it’s odd to say that the romance was a negative in a … well, romance … but there was a portion of the middle of the book where I was really concerned that the romance side of this book was a bit off-kilter. Everything righted itself pretty well, but there was a bit of the book that I just wasn’t enjoying quite as much because I wasn’t feeling the romance. Oh, and I also wasn’t all that thrilled with the focus on sex – I guess I’m just a bit naive, but it made me sad that the entire football team seemed to be having sex with any and every girl they could get their hands on. And even the characters who were in something resembling a relationship – it was pretty much expected that you would have sex after the first or second kiss (not even date!). What happened to the world where kids at least dated for a while first? Does that really not exist any more? Sigh.
- Football. Okay, I’m just not a fan of football. At all. So, I was definitely not as enthralled with the football aspect of the book as someone who really enjoys it would be. I still enjoyed the football atmosphere, though – if that makes any sense – and I appreciated Jordan’s love of the game and the way she fit into this guy-centric sport.
Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes, and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband.