Summary (from the publisher): Friday Night Lights meets Morgan Matson’s The Unexpected Everything in this contemporary debut where swoonworthy romance meets underdog sports story.
When softball star Liv Rodinsky throws one ill-advised punch during the most important game of the year, she loses her scholarship to her fancy private school, her boyfriend, and her teammates all in one fell swoop. With no other options, Liv is forced to transfer to the nearest public school, Northland, where she’ll have to convince their coach she deserves a spot on the softball team, all while facing both her ex and the teammates of the girl she punched… Every. Single. Day.
Enter Grey, the injured star quarterback with amazing hair and a foolproof plan: if Liv joins the football team as his temporary replacement, he’ll make sure she gets a spot on the softball team in the Spring. But it will take more than the perfect spiral for Liv to find acceptance in Northland’s halls, and behind that charming smile, Grey may not be so perfect after all.
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
One of the best ways to get a book on to my TBR, let alone in my bookish heart, is having a blurb that combines two or more of my favorite fangirl things. I was sold on Sarah Henning’s upcoming release, Throw Like a Girl, immediately after reading its Friday Night Lights – one of my all-time favorite TV shows- meets Morgan Matson’s The Unexpected Everything– one of my favorite authors- inspired blurb. After throwing an ill-advised punch during the last softball game of the season, Liv’s plans for her senior year change. Losing her scholarship to her private school, her boyfriend, and teammates almost all at once, Liv transfers to the rival public school and must show the softball coach that she is a true team player. The solution? Join the football team as the back-up quarterback.
Throw Like a Girl is one of those contemporary books that you just fall so easily into. The book definitely hit the Friday Night Lights and The Unexpected Everything vibes, as Liv turns to football when her school and athletic lives are completely upended. It’s such a fun story with all the drama that somewhat stereotypically comes with being the only girl on the football team. Not to mention that Liv’s ex-boyfriend is on the team and she soon finds herself having feelings for the star quarterback, Grey. This book didn’t really surprise me or throw any curveballs- gotta have at least one softball pun, right?-, but it was definitely a very enjoyable story.
While there is some doubt from a few of the characters about Liv being a football quarterback, I’m glad there wasn’t too much hate about her breaking the boundary. When it comes to Liv as the quarterback, there’s more-so self-doubt about not even her ability to perform, but her ability to help her team. I really enjoy YA sports fiction and reading Throw Like a Girl made me realize how much more I would love to delve into the genre (shoutout to Miranda Kenelley’s Catching Jordan for starting this love). I really enjoyed reading both the football and few softball scenes.
Throw Like a Girl does feature some romance, as Liv finds herself developing feelings for Grey. Similar to my thoughts about a lot of books about self-growth and personal development, I didn’t think the romance was necessary. At the same time, their relationship was cute and didn’t distract too much from the main plotline. While family isn’t exactly the center of the story, we do spend some time in Liv’s family life, especially since her sister is her former coach.
Overall, I highly recommend Throw Like a Girl for YA sports fiction fans. I’m looking forward to possibly see Sarah Henning comes out with more contemporary stories, although she also has a 2020 fantasy release, The Princess Will Save You.
This review is based on an advance reading copy. By no means did receiving this ARC affect my thoughts or opinions.
Is Throw Like a Girl on your TBR? Have you read any books by Sarah Henning? Are you a sports fiction fan? Share in the comments!