The Football Girl

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.

Thatcher Heldring has written a book with a strong female lead who shows that when you really want something and are willing to work hard for it then gender boundaries begin to dissipate.

Don’t let it fool you. Although this is the perfect junk food book, as in one to read to just to pass the time and not expect life changing mantras from, there is still a good bit to glean from it.

 It’s not a bad book but I can see this being for a very niche audience. There’s a lot of play by play football scenes so if you’re not into football or not into reading about football you’re probably going to get bored easily. But if you’re into women exploding across gender boundaries and succeeding at it, even if you don’t like football, then you’ll be able to find something worthy about using your time to check this book out.

 There is more than football though. There’s the obligatory romance since it is after all a YA novel. There’s also the prototypical parents who don’t seem to care about anything other than themselves. As an adult reading this, although I didn’t care about the romance aspect, seeing the parent-child relationship was eye opening because I think as adults you do get too wrapped up in your own life and forget how that can appear to your kid particularly if it seems your child has become more of a tool to further your image than a human being in need of your love.

 It’s a very short book, with very short chapters and is written with a quick pace so you have no excuse to not check it out unless of course you’re anti-football.

 Thank you to Netgalley and Random House Children’s for allowing me to review this book.

 Buy at Amazon:

*synopsis and pic from

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