Catching Jordan is a book that caught me by surprise. I very rarely read contemporary YA because as a genre it usually doesn't appeal to me, but ironically it was a naughty story from Tiffany Reisz who borrowed a character from Miranda Kenneally's book for her erotic shorts which made me buy a novel by this author in the first place.
Weird and wonderful ways, right?
Miranda's writing strikes me as incredibly honest and refreshing.
Jordan Woods is a girl quarterback which is already pretty unusual and daring. Not only that, but she is a captain of her team of teen boys who respect her and love her and treat her the way they treat each other.
Her dad is a famous football player, her brother is following in his steps, and that's what she wants to do too, but what she gets is silent disapproval and a cold shoulder from her dad who deep down is really scared of her injuring herself in the field because she physically simply is not as tough as the boys.
Jordan also has her best friend, Henry, a member of her team, with whom she literally has been joined at the hip since they were little. He is wonderful and goofy and warm. he is a joy to read about. “Congratulations, Mommy," I say, dropping the doll into his hands. "You could've told me I knocked you up."
"My bad. I thought you'd force me to get an abortion," Henry replies, taking the baby and cradling it as if it's real. "He has your eyes, Woods."
"And your hair." The doll is bald. "Can we name him Joe Montana?"
"Hells no, his name is Jerry Rice."
"No, his name is Joe Montana."
"I was in labor with him for fourteen hours!" Henry exclaims as he rocks the baby back and forth. “His name is Jerry Rice."
I grin. "Fine.”
As you can guess from the synopsis though, it's the new boy on her team and in her school that attracts her attention, and it's her dilemmas and solutions and slow realisation of what she really wants from her life is what's so interesting about this book.
First of all, sex. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to read about a girl who doesn't make it a huge deal, doesn't get what the fuss is about and doesn't think that if she had sex with her boyfriend this is it - he is her Prince Charming and she has to please him any way she can. Jordan is independent, strong and doesn't take shit from anyone. When her boyfriend behaves like a jerk, she tells him to back off and when she realises he is not what she wants for herself she calmly and rationally breaks up with him. She is honest and uses her head despite feeling emotional as all teens do.
I couldn't help but cheer for Woods and her friends and family, because this is a book about appreciation for what you have and realisation of what you need, it's wise and humorous and emotional. And I wish to see more books like that published in the future. Highly recommended.