Book Review // The Football Girl by Thatcher Heldring

Book Review // The Football Girl by Thatcher HeldringThe Football Girl by Thatcher Heldring
Published by Random House Children's Books on April 4th 2017
Rating: three-half-stars
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Sports & Recreation, Football, Social Themes, Friendship, New Experience
Pages: 208
Buy: Hardback/Paperback

For every athlete or sports fanatic who knows she's just as good as the guys. This is for fans of The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen, Grace, Gold, and Glory by Gabrielle Douglass and Breakaway: Beyond the Goal by Alex Morgan.   The summer before Caleb and Tessa enter high school, friendship has blossomed into a relationship . . . and their playful sports days are coming to an end. Caleb is getting ready to try out for the football team, and Tessa is training for cross-country.   But all their structured plans derail in the final flag game when they lose. Tessa doesn’t want to end her career as a loser. She really enjoys playing, and if she’s being honest, she likes it even more than running cross-country. So what if she decided to play football instead? What would happen between her and Caleb? Or between her two best friends, who are counting on her to try out for cross-country with them? And will her parents be upset that she’s decided to take her hobby to the next level? This summer Caleb and Tessa figure out just what it means to be a boyfriend, girlfriend, teammate, best friend, and someone worth cheering for.

Oh. boy! The Football Girl is one of the most adorable books I’ve ever read, but not only that, it’s so, so important that every single girl who has ever doubted they can do anything should read this book. This is the ultimate girls-can-do-anything book and who cares what anyone else thinks? It’s the kind of book that makes me so incredibly happy, because GIRLS CAN DO WHATEVER THE HELL THEY WANT TO DO. Whether that’s Tessa playing football (the American kind, not soccer) or something you’ve been wanting to do, but people say it isn’t something a girl can do, JUST GO AND DO IT. Read this book, first, because Tessa’s will and strength and inability to just give in despite what everyone says will properly roar you on in your own endeavours, I swear.

I know zero about American football, nada, zip. The first chapter made literally no sense to me, with the football plays and none of the football plays AT ALL made sense to me. I don’t know what a scrimmage is, or why they have second downs and I still loved this book, so don’t see the title The Football Girl and think this isn’t the book for you. Yes, it’s about football; no, it won’t always make sense, but it’s worth reading for Tessa alone. Tessa is like a human tazmanian devil and her determination to go to football camp is worthy of a standing ovation, it honestly made me so ridiculously super happy. Like YES GIRL. SLAY. Show them boys who’s boss.

I loved Tessa and I loved Caleb. Caleb could be a bit dense at times, but I mean he’s 14, and he was never intentionally mean to Tessa in any way. As a whole the two of them were just adorable. I liked that the book wasn’t about their romance – they were friends, they played football, they decided to be girlfriend and boyfriend and that was pretty much that. Yes, there were slight issues, but the book was about the football above all else, including Tessa’s incredibly absent parents, who needed a severe shake to get their heads out of their asses.

The Football Girl was such a quick, but important read. It made me happy to be a girl, to know that girls go out there and break down barriers that men set up for them for no reason at all. I was cheering Tessa on the whole time and I just thoroughly enjoyed the book. This was a book about more than just football and I loved it.


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