by Ginger Scott
Published by Self Pub Release date : April 14th 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult, Young Adult-Coming of Age
Source: The Publisher | Format: eBook
Purchase at: Amazon (Affiliate Link) • The Book Depository
Waiting on the Sidelines is about the anxieties young girls feel over not being good enough, pretty enough, sexy enough, rich enough or daring enough to fit in. It’s about wanting someone so badly but not feeling confident enough in yourself to put your heart on the line. And it’s about desperately craving attention, but also fighting to blend in.
Girls can be cruel. Young love can be devastating. And high school can make you question everything you thought you knew about yourself. 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 she overhears the first boy who ever made her heart flutter and a girl she once thought a family friend verbally attack her, Nolan starts to question the very person she thought she was and wonders if being plain, humble and simple can compete with fast, rich and aggressive.
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.
Character-driven, Waiting on the Sidelines is very real and takes you along for every heartbreak, celebration and moment of self-doubt Nolan has as she becomes a woman. Readers experience the rush of Nolan’s first kiss as well as the crushing shame she harbors over her own weakness and inability to stand up to her tormentors. Ultimately, you are immersed in the small town and will come away feeling as if you are also one of Nolan’s closest friends, and possibly in love with the same, irresistible boy she is.
I received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
WAITING ON THE SIDELINES was a rare request for me. Which is odd, if you think about it. I am a huge character driven novel- person. I want to connect to them and see them grow. But I don’t read much coming of age novels. Since I am cleaning out my Netgalley shelf, and the reviews from my friends were flattering, it was time to give this a go.
It was… long.
I don’t know if I am missing something or what, because I was not blown away. While there are a few things I did enjoy about the story, there are several things I did not. To chalk it up, execution. I have to be hooked from the very beginning and held until the end, and that was seriously lacking.
What I liked:
I loved how the book spanned over the course of 4 years, while Nolan was in high school. I remember those awkward times a freshman like it was yesterday. I do think Ginger did a great job with the situations at hand, and how each small thing affects us at that age.
Nolan. She is the kind of girl you want close to you, at all times. She would never betray you. She is loyal, sweet and just so down to earth and likeable. But in the same token, her loyalties were placed where, in my opinion, shouldn’t have been. More on that later.
The friendships. It’s so rare to see such strong, loving friendships in Young Adult. They were all so different, but they were really there for her when she needed them. Jealousy, betrayal and hate never got between these gals and I loved how strong they were. Not only that, her family. SHE HAS BOTH PARENTS. (Sorry, caps were needed for that). This is huge. Both of her parents were present, strong and loving. As with strong friendships, it was nice to see a strong, tight family unit.
What killed it:
The writing. There were things that were just different then what I am use to, and it took me a long time to get into it. Not to say that it was bad, just different. Example, what an idiot, I thought. It took me a few times to realize that the inner monologue was over. The narration was pretty juvenile, for teenagers anyway. It didn’t much change much throughout the book, and it was hard to relate to that since it was 4 years. The flow of the too, was choppy at best. I mean, everything started out great, but there were too many places that it just draaaaaaged and I lost interest and started to skim.
One last thing, which will be hidden with spoilers View Spoiler » When Tatum came back with her scam about the pregnancy, the time frame didn’t add up. She would have been showing, for sure, if that baby was really Reed’s or he was still seeing her on the side. Doesn’t make sense, at all. Just another piece of drama that was unnecessarily added. « Hide Spoiler That shit bothers me. The timing, plus I hate plot twists thrown in for no reason. In my opinion, it wasn’t necessary, but hey. I didn’t write the book.
Since the book took span over four years, I was hoping for some variety. It seemed like we get a good look at the same things & times of the year, EVERY year, while the rest is summarized. In a way, I get it. The Fall was a huge one because of Football, but the rest? No.
Reed. I hated Reed. It was okay at first, just a little punk that loved attention and like Nolan, placed his loyalties to the wrong people. He is the one character, whose lack of growth was SHINING. Granted, he had issues that I could (kind of) relate to. There was a lot of pressure on him, for many things, but Nolan was his target every time. It wasn’t right the things he did to her, ALL the things he put her through. He was hot and cold, flaunted his flare of the week in front of her, just to hurt her! This is just not OKAY. It bothered me how loyal Nolan was to him. It was like he could do no wrong, and she forgive him every time.
Is this love? I suppose it could be. It isn’t healthy, that’s for damn sure. It’s hard for me, to sit back and watch (er, read) while a girl/woman, especially someone at her age, continues to be treated like that.
It was okay. The fact that the romance between Nolan and Reed were a large focus of the book, really disappointed me. There is such good in Nolan, love and loyalty and she is tainted because of Reed. I doubt I will be reading the sequel, because I can’t stomach to see what shit he will put her through. Because it will happen.
Tonyalee is an avid reader, gym junkie, coffee addicted workaholic, and blogger. Be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram for random shenanigans.