Thursday, July 18, 2013

Waiting On The Sidelines by Ginger Scott {Review & Giveaway}

Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary Romance  
Publication Date: April 14, 2013


Nolan Lennox had things figured out. Named after a baseball legend, she enjoyed being the Tomboy, her closet filled with her brother’s hand-me-downs, cut-off jeans and soccer shorts. But when her first trip to high school results in a broken heart from the first boy to ever make her heart flutter and cruel words from an older girl she once thought a family friend, Nolan starts to question the very person she thought she was and wonders if her humble upbringing can compete with the afforded luxuries of her privileged peers.

Throughout the next four years, Nolan struggles to maintain herself throughout her path of discovery, learning just how cruel teenagers can be through the pressures of underage drinking, sexuality and class. And despite how life seems to continue to work against her, she still manages to listen to her heart, falling deeper and deeper for the guy the entire town adores, even if he only sees her as a friend. Can Nolan strike a compromise between her own integrity and the boy she loves? And can she make him notice her before it’s too late?

Reed Johnson came to Coolidge High School with a lot of fanfare. The son of a hometown football legend and the brother of a local football hero, Reed wore all the pressures of carrying a town without hope into the spotlight. Thankfully, he had the talent to back it up. But when he meets a girl who makes him think twice about exactly what being a hero means, he starts to wonder if following in his brother’s footsteps might be all wrong.

Nolan Lennox was everything that was opposite of expected. She didn’t flirt, she didn’t drink and she didn’t sleep around. Nothing about her was easy, but something about her made Reed want to try harder. Though she didn’t look the part, she seemed to be spending a lot of time in Reed’s thoughts, and he wondered if she could be the one who made it all worthwhile. But could Reed handle letting her down? And would breaking her heart break him beyond repair?

Waiting on the Sidelines explores young love to its fullest, exposing how real young heartbreak and passion is and how important it is to discover yourself and hold onto your own identity. The story follows two young characters as they deal with mature situations, including the prevalence of bullying and promiscuity in today’s high school setting. Ultimately, Waiting on the Sidelines is a story of hope, honesty and those powerful, first true loves—the ones worth holding onto at any cost.

 I remember so well what it  was like to be a freshman in high school. Nolan reminds me a lot of myself, the awkward, shy, rule abiding tom-boy. Always better friends with the guys than the girls and crushing hard on those popular boys. When Nolan overhears a few classmates, including the newest Mr.Popular and soon to be school football hero, making  fun of her because of her boy name and boy clothes she decides it's time to make some changes.

Reed, Mr.Popular mentioned above, doesn't even recognize Nolan at first when she comes to school after her slight makeover. Reed had noticed she was cute even when he went with the crowd and made fun of her but now he's even more drawn to her. Luckily they are assigned to work together as lab partners. But despite all of the extra time they start spending together, the schools upper classman queen bitch sets her sights on Reed and he of takes what's offered. Nolan sits back and watches as Tatum and Reed start a relationship. Tatum has known Nolan and her family for years but is no friend. Tatum takes no chances to let Reed's feeling for Nolan grow. She teases and bullies Nolan behind Reed's back. At one point when Nolan has reached the end of her patience she lets Reed know that she overheard him and his friends making fun of her that day before school. He's shocked and ashamed. He never wanted to be that kind of guy. I love that he tried to make amends by writing her a sweet letter apologizing and explaining his behavior.

With Nolan also being involved in sports, her and Reed continue building their friendship. I love Nolan's best friends Sienna and Sarah. And then there's Sean, Reed's best friend. You will fall in love with him. With encouragement from her friends and Reed, Nolan decides to start dating Sean. Sean is the best boy-friend. He's so good to Nolan. He loves to show her his affection regardless of where they are or who may be looking. Nolan and Reed continue to text at night and they both watch uncomfortably as the other shows affection in their relationships. Nolan feels she's just stringing Sean along because of her feelings for Reed and she decides to break-up. Tatum finally takes her bullying too far and loses Reed when he finds out how cruel she's been to Nolan. Now they finally have a chance to show their true feelings with each other and even get jobs together for the summer. But just as Noles and Reed are ready to go on their first real date, Tatum flies in on her broom and destroys everything.

It's so hard to watch Ryan and Nolan fall apart after it taking two years for them to get so close to being together. But Nolan again shows her strength. She tells Reed exactly  what she thinks about how he handled things with Tatum and then does her best to put her feelings for him out of her heart and mind. Reed continues on his path to being the next big thing in football with scouts from all around showing interest in him. He will have his pick of college teams. Nolan continues along trying to find herself and figure out just what she wants to do with her life. Reed has to sit back and watch as Nolan move on. Reed continues to pull at your at your heart but then makes a complete ass of himself drinking too much. But he can count on Nolan to be there even when he's at his worst. And because of that fact, near tragedy is avoided. 

Reed's Dad is also one of my favorite characters in the book. You can tell he's always rooting for Nolan. But Nolan feels forced to move on again as Reed continues to just be friends while he flirts with all the other girls. When they finally come to a crossroads again, Reed finally owns his feelings for Nolan. Everything would've been fine if Reed's mother hadn't come in to the picture. She's a massive bitch. Of course she prefers someone like Tatum over Nolan and her middle class status. So it's easy for Nolan to blame herself for the everything that happens after the party at Reed's mothers house. Again this couple faces near tragedy. My heart breaks for Reed with the circumstances he faces but my heart shatters for Nolan.

My favorite characters tend to usually be the lead guy in the story. But I absolutely love Nolan. She is one of my top three leading girls out of all the books I've read. It's her senior year in high school and she's finally figured out who she is. I ugly cried with full on sobs as she reads her memoir project in front of her class, including Reed. She addresses the bullying and how her heart was torn apart by the boy she loved. Nolan shares with the class how a little girl with Down Syndrome helped her find her passion and move on from a broken heart. I find myself again in tears as I look back over this part of the story. Nolan and Reed mend their friendship but not their hearts before they leave for college. Both afraid to be hurt again and Reed even more afraid of failing her again, they almost let true love get away. Almost....but this is a story about finding first love, true love, and hopefully forever love. I can't wait to read more of their story in book two due for release later this year titled Going Long, Waiting on the Sidelines 2.

Ginger Scott is a writer and journalist from Peoria, Arizona. Her book, "Waiting on the Sidelines," is a coming-of-age love story that explores the real heartbreak we all feel as we become adults throughout our high school years. The story follows two characters, Nolan (a Tomboy with a baseball player's name) and Reed (the quarterback she wishes would notice her) as they struggle with peer-pressure, underage drinking, bullying and finding a balance between what your heart wants and what society says you should want -- even if you aren't ready. You can read her book now in Amazon's kindle store. Scott has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns.

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  2. lol At the first comment! I think that person just typed every A-word he could think of. Andrea Always Appreciates Alliteration!

    This looks like a good book. I always appreciate when the author includes a supportive dad, b/c that's so rare in books.

    Great review!


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