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It’s like what I told Carter. Sometimes you have to give something up to get something better,” Jordan Woods. –Catching Jordan
Hundred Oaks #1
by Miranda Kenneally
AR Test, Strong Female Character
As a quarterback, senior Jordan Woods dreams to play in the big leagues. The only problem? She’s a girl. That doesn’t stop her from pursuing a football scholarship to the University of Alabama. When a new quarterback comes to town, she realizes that she will have some competition for her position on the field—and for her heart. Ty Green, the new quarterback, is extremely good-looking. Jordan has an instant crush on her competition, but he isn’t her only problem.
Her father, a starting NFL quarterback, won’t come to her games, and she’s under the scrutiny of college recruiters. To make matters worse, her best friend, Sam Henry, is in love with her. But Jordan doesn’t know how Sam feels, and it soon becomes complicated when Sam reveals his feelings. Jordan must figure out how to stand out on the football field and how to navigate dating relationships and young love.
Catching Jordan is a story that pulls readers in with realistic struggles. All her life she has had to fight against the world telling her that a girl could never stand up and play at the college level. Her own dad, a former NFL player, doesn’t want her playing out of fear of injury. She also has trouble trying to navigate dating and love, something she has always avoided out of fear of losing the respect of her teammates.
Although the story has some cliches, Jordan’s character makes reading Catching Jordan worthwhile. Readers will fall in love with Jordan. Even though Jordan is considered “one of the guys,” she has the same emotions as any other girl. Whether she is venting about her father, or trying to figure out how to kiss, her voice comes across as real, honest, and funny. Readers will be able to connect with Jordan, who will take them on an emotional ride full of laughs and tears.
Even though the story features football, at the heart of the story is fun, flirty romance. However, the story isn’t just about love; it is also about overcoming obstacles and never giving up. Jordan isn’t afraid of standing up for what she believes in and she is willing to reach for her dream, even if it seems unattainable. The strong character development and interwoven football plays make Catching Jordan an excellent read for mature readers. Although the story appeals to sports fans, anyone who wants to read a fabulously fun story should pick up Catching Jordan.
- Henry speaks about a cheerleader saying, “I’d never fool around with Kristen—I have standards, you know.”
- While joking around with some of the players, Henry says, “We’re a package deal.” JJ responds jokingly, saying, “That’s ‘cause all you ever think about is your package.” Just after this joke, JJ starts kissing Lacey, a cheerleader. They “start kissing as if winning the state championship depends on it.”
- Jordan thinks about how she’s never had a boyfriend or even been kissed when her “friends are off hooking up with cheerleaders.”
- Jordan asks why Henry is so confused about who he wants to date. He says, “I dunno. . . the sex is okay. . .” She asks him, “Why do you keep sleeping with girls you aren’t dating?”
- Jordan says that JJ owed her because she covered for him once when “he’d been making out with Lacey and had lost track of time.” Later, Lacey asks Jordan if JJ has mentioned her. Jordan thinks to herself, “You mean, besides to tell me you guys slept together in the back of your mom’s car last night?”
- Mike’s best friend Jake makes an inappropriate joke, saying, “I can teach you math in bed, Jordan. You know, I’ll add the bed, you subtract the clothes, you divide the legs, and I’ll multiply.” Later, Jake makes another comment saying, “Damn, Jordan. You should play tight end because your ass is wound tighter than a baseball.”
- After Jordan tells her brother Mike about crushing on Ty, he says, “You might get hungry for his hunk of man meat.”
- Jordan spends extra time getting ready in the morning to impress Ty. She wears lace underwear saying, “Provided they stay the hell out of my butt crack, they might make me feel sexier later on today.” Speaking of her bra, she says, “It shows off my boobs.”
- Ty tells Jordan about the night he spent with Henry and some girls. “Henry and Marie made out for, like, an hour. . . Pretty soon I’m the only person still wearing clothes.” He does not describe anything that happened.
- JJ asks where the fake baby that Jordan and Henry are taking care of for school is, and she replies, “He’s with his father, who’s probably sleeping with Marie Baird right now.” JJ says, “She’s a damn nice piece of ass.” Jordan responds, “Don’t be such a pig.”
- Jordan is dared to jump in the lake in her underwear. She does, and Ty follows suit and jumps in with her in only his underwear. They start to kiss and become physical. “He drags his hands across my stomach, dipping a fingertip into my belly button, and I feel his mouth on my shoulder. . . I inch my fingertips across his shoulders and elbows as I move my mouth to his throat. . . I shiver when he runs a finger across my bare stomach, right above the elastic of my boy shorts, before exploring my body with his lips.” The scene lasts two pages.
- Two girls talk badly about Jordan in the bathroom, upset and confused about why Ty would want to be with Jordan instead of them. They say, “Maybe he just wants to screw her because she’s a virgin.” They go on to say, “Maybe she’s a slut.”
- Jordan is nervous that people will think badly of her when they find out she and Ty are dating. She tells Henry she’s afraid people will call her a “slut.” He responds saying, “Of course not. . . because I think you have to sleep with more than one person, possibly several, to be considered a slut.”
- Jordan and Ty sleep together. It does not go into any detail. “And I just have to have him. Every bit of him. Now. . . A little while later, we’re still clinging to each other under the covers.”
- Jordan talks to JJ about how she feels conflicted about dating Ty when she doesn’t know if she loves him. JJ says, “Hey, if the sex is good, what else do you need, eh?” She replies, “Well, um, I bet sex might be better if you’re actually in love.”
- Jordan and Henry finally decide to become girlfriend and boyfriend. They make out in their hotel room, but don’t do anything else. The scene is not detailed. “We make out for what seems like hours, pausing only for cookies and champagne.”
- Jordan gets sacked during a football practice. “I fly backward, slamming to the ground, my head rattling around inside my helmet. Ow.”
- Jordan says that last year after a game, “JJ punched a guy from Northgate High for grabbing my butt after a game. ‘Show Woods some respect! Or I’ll kick your ass.’”
Drugs and Alcohol
- Henry and Carter go to a party. The next morning Henry texts Jordan saying, “Carter got trashed and made out with the freshman from lunch.”
- A cheerleader brings drinks to a hangout at Jordan’s house. “‘Who wants a drink?’ Lacey asks, pulling these lame piña colada wine coolers out of her bag and passing them out to the other girls.”
- Jordan and Henry drink champagne the night they finally become official. They are underage. “He opens his wallet and pulls out a fake ID, showing it off for me.”
- There is an extreme amount of foul language in this book. Jordan, the main character and narrator, uses “hell” and “shit” regularly.
- Profanity is used in extreme. Profanity includes: “hell,” “asshole,” “ass,” “badass,” “idiot,” “shit,” “bullshit,” “shitload,” “damn,” “damned,” “fucking,” “fucked,” “fuck,” “bitch,” “whore,” “tool,” “slut,” “man-slut,” “dyke,” and “skank.” For example, someone says, “If I lose my confidence, I’m going to play like shit, and shitty players don’t get offered spots on Division 1 teams like Alabama.”
- “Oh my God” and “Jesus” are both used as exclamations.
- One of the cheerleaders and an opposing player both call Jordan a “dyke.”
- Jordan calls some of the cheerleaders the “local bimbos” and one of them a “floozy.”
- Jordan is thinking about the cheerleaders’ lack of knowledge about football. “Especially since he’s been spending time with girls who think a Hail Mary is a prayer to Jesus’s mom.”
- Henry likes to say that Jordan should start “living life like I’m going to hell tomorrow.”
- Jordan is thinking about Ty and how he is from Texas. “Texans take their football seriously. It’s practically a religion down there.” Later on, she says, “A Texas football player who doesn’t kneel down and pray to the Cowboys every Sunday?”
- Jordan and Henry remember when they were younger and they went to Carter’s church Halloween bazaar. “It’s been nine years since Carter invited us to that Halloween bazaar at his church. . . all the booths were Bible-themed. The church had converted this long dark hallway into a replica of the inside of a whale’s stomach, so people could experience what it was like for Jonah after he was swallowed.”
- Jordan plays poorly at a football game while a scout is watching. She says that she will “pray to the football gods to give” her another chance.
by Hannah Neeley