I hope that I am able to do justice for this book with this review. What I wish is, after you have read the synopsis and then the review, that you do whatever it is that you do to get a book (download, run to the bookstore, etc.) and while you are doing that, go ahead and pick up book #2, you’re going to want to pick up where this one leaves off. This is truly a coming of age, love story that will have you nostalgic and reliving old times.
This book will tell the story of Nolan Lennox and Reed Johnson and is told through the POV of Nolan. Nolan was named after the great Nolan Ryan, her parents were convinced that they would be having a boy and after receiving the surprise of her gender, her dad insisted that her name remain Nolan. Nolan is getting ready to start her freshman year at Coolidge High School in Coolidge, AZ and thought she was ready for anything. She has lived her life up to this point being who she is with no apologies. She has never felt ashamed of her roots. Yes, they live in a manufactured home, but it is her home. Her clothes aren’t the latest styles, but she has never needed that, she is happy in t-shirts and shorts. She has her best friends (Sarah and Sienna) and in her world, that is all she needs. That is until her first day of volleyball tryouts when she spots Reed Johnson and feels that emotion every girl has felt for the first time just to have him break her heart the same exact day.
Reed Johnson is also beginning his freshman year and has already been given the title of “star”. There are high hopes riding on his football abilities and everyone seems to be attaching themselves to the future local celebrity. Even though Nolan spotted him and had her heart flutter, his didn’t seem to do the same. In fact, while hanging out after practice, Nolan overhears Reed along with several other students, one of whom Nolan thought of as an acquaintance at the very least, talking about how Nolan looked like a boy. This changed the way Nolan began to see herself.
The first day of school rolls around and Nolan finds herself partnered up with Reed on a Science project. Surprising, working together works out well. They hit it off and the project is going is turning out better than anticipated. Even when Reed’s friends come over and hang out with them, Nolan keeps her “awkwardness” pulled back. That is until Tatum (the so-called acquaintance) shows up and Nolan realizes that Tatum and Reed are together. After silently confronting Reed about what was said about her that awful day of volleyball practice, Reed writes her a very sweet letter apologizing for his behavior and extending the olive branch for friendship. And boy is a friendship built. This should be a good foundation for you to start to build your imagination where this story is concerned. If I say anymore, I may wind up giving away some very valuable story line and where is the fun in that?
This really is a beautifully told story of a young lady trying to discover herself without losing who she is along the way. The way that Nolan was written will have you so connected that you will feel the emotions with her, her pain becomes your pain and her joy will have a smile on your face. You will fall in love with her instantly. There were times that Reed was a downright asshole, but I mean, isn’t that really expected for someone of that age? The thing is, you will love him. Yes, he will irritate you, but through it all you will see his true heart and intentions.
This book will span their high school years and the very, very, beginning of college. There are going to be some ups and some downs, like very down. Your emotions are going to go on a wild ride and you may find yourself wanting to stand up for Nolan from time to time. This book will definitely take you on a trip down memory lane. I don’t know many people who didn’t have a crush on someone who was “unattainable” and spent high school wondering “what if” and this book finally gives the happy ending to the one who deserves it.
I happened to come across this book after reading How We Deal With Gravity. I was so moved by that book, that I needed to read something else by Ginger Scott and this is what I picked, I couldn’t have been more pleased. Sometimes I feel that an author can get really wordy and it seems that they are just trying to fill space on a page (I don’t say this lightly, for the most part, I love everyone I read), but with Ginger Scott, she fills the pages so fantastically, I really wished that words would flow out of my mouth in the same way that she can put them on paper. I have now read 3 of her books and in every one of them she knows how to trap the reader and hold them captive. Also, so far in all 3 books there is focus on special needs, you know I really don’t like that term, so I am going to call them extraordinary people. In How We Deal. . . the focus is on Max, who happens to be Autistic, and she told his story beautifully. In this book, the focus will be on Nancy and Downs Syndrome and once again, written so well.
Another aspect to Ginger Scott’s writing that is so terrific is her character development. I mean ALL characters. While the focus in this book may be on Nolan and Reed, the supporting characters are so well written and whether it’s a character that you are supposed to dislike (Tatum) or a character that you fall in love with (Buck) they all enhance the story and help the emotions peel off of the page. I think that it is expected for a reader to fall in love with the H/h in books and sometimes the supporting cast becomes more of an afterthought, but not here. They do their job and because of it, you fall more in love with Nolan and Reed.
If you are hesitant to read because of the high school setting, please don’t be. This is a book that can be enjoyed by all readers. My fifteen year old is reading this book. In fact, I think it’s a great book to maybe use to start a discussion with your teen, there are many great lessons in this book (series, really) and what a great way to bond with your kiddo. My teen can’t read most of what I have, but this she can. Ginger Scott has done it again with this book and I am so happy that I have discovered this wonderful author. I hope that when an author puts their words to paper, that they know how thankful and how much appreciation the reader has for the story that they are telling. So I say to Ginger Scott, thank you.