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Head Games (Pretty Tough Series #3)

Head Games (Pretty Tough Series #3)

4.4 24
by Nicole Leigh Shepherd

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Taylor is calm, cool, collected, and ferocious on the basketball court. A total all-star. Not so much in real life. She may be tall, gorgeous, and an incredible catch, but just try telling her that!

And lately, Taylor doesn't know which way to turn: The summer showcase game is almost here. Her BFF Hannah roped her into a fashion show (eek!). And she can't


Taylor is calm, cool, collected, and ferocious on the basketball court. A total all-star. Not so much in real life. She may be tall, gorgeous, and an incredible catch, but just try telling her that!

And lately, Taylor doesn't know which way to turn: The summer showcase game is almost here. Her BFF Hannah roped her into a fashion show (eek!). And she can't decide between Zach—the super-popular, super-tall, super-off-limits basketball dynamo—and Matt—the sweet boy from her math class (who may just be dating her BFF's older sister). It's enough to make any girl's head spin!

Can Taylor strike a pose, land the boy of her dreams, and win the game?

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Beth Karpas
Head Games plays head games with the reader. As the reader, you want to like the main character, Taylor Thomas, a six-foot-tall freshman who is the star center on her private school's basketball team. Yet she is so clueless, so stressed, and so busy trying to make everyone else like her that this reader just wanted to shake her! And the supporting characters seem just as self-centered and clueless, except for the mysterious Matt. Even Taylor's BFF, Hannah, seems oblivious to things unrelated to her fashion show. The author may be trying to mimic the natural self-centeredness of teenagers, but in this book it is taken to an unbelievable extreme. The theme that teammates are forever and boys are like busses—"Stand at the bus stop long enough and another one will show up"—is constant, so constant that it might drive away some readers. That said, the story line, about a teenage girl trying to balance sports, school, boys, and friends, is sure to be popular. Taylor's "addiction" to Facebook and Twitter is timely and likely to endear her to some readers. Similarly, frequent texts at the start of the book make it feel generationally appropriate, though the texts drop off as the story progresses and gets more and more into Taylor's head. The related Web series can only promote interest in the book. Reviewer: Beth Karpas

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Pretty Tough Series , #3
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Sales rank:
File size:
249 KB
Age Range:
10 - 15 Years

Meet the Author

Nicole Leigh Shepherd is the author of the PrettyTough novels. She loves sports and believes in empowering and motivating young women to embrace their athleticism while encouraging them to lead active, healthy lifestyles.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Head Games (Pretty Tough Series #3) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Marissa10 More than 1 year ago
I recently finished the book Head Games by Keri Mikulski. The genre of this book is realistic/sporty fiction. The main characters in this book are Hannah and Taylor. Taylor is tall, pretty and amazing at basketball. But she doesn't believe any of it. Taylor's best friend Hannah loves fashion and hates sports. Hannah is doing a fashion show and asked Taylor to be her model. Taylor thinks that she is too tall and not pretty enough to be in the fashion show. Taylor struggles with finding herself and tolerating herself. That's not all, Taylor also has to decide between Zach, the super popular, super tall, basketball star and Matt, the sweet boy from her math class. Right now she just has too much going on that its hard to handle. I would recommend this book to girls because the characters in this book are girls. if you like realitic fiction books with drama this is the right book for you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fun book about girls basketball and a protagonist with a passion for fashion. Great to see characters who are both pretty AND tough; role models who demonstrate that girls are a lot more than suger and spice.
BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
I can't begin to tell you how much I likes this book. It made me feel like a teenager again. All insecure and giddy when a guy talks to you. And this book definitely had game. Major Game. On the court, Taylor is untouchable. She is fierce and alive with fire, flying across the courts making all the points. Then her world is turned upside down. With the sudden interest of Zack turns on her, she is bewildered and unsure what to do. With all the stress of a big game, scouts, and meeting her people pleasing expectations, Taylor finds herself in one big mess. This book was great. From the start, my emotions were racing. With every page turn, I learn more about Taylor and was able to connect with her well. Taylor's life revolves around basketball. She is constantly practicing, with trying to do everything else on the side. I loved how well Ms. Mikulski was able to bring her character to life. Taylor was your typical teenager dealing with all kind of stresses and drama in her life. Boys, girl fights, basketball expectations, meeting parents expectations, etc. So much that Taylor is doing is pulling her in all kinds of directions. I like seeing the vulnerability of Taylor and her inexperience with boys. I was like that in high school, so I related to her well. It made the book so much more interesting, seeing her try to juggle everything at once. The ending was one I did not see coming. But it was one that I did experience in high school. Stupid list. It broke my heart when I found out, but I was happy to. At least I know it was all a game. The sport of basketball was also written well. I like reading all the sports talk and enjoying how it entwined with Taylor's life. It showed the prospect of how stresses of life can have an effect on your game. Taylor went through that and so much more. But in the end, she was able to get her head on straight and get her head in the game. Ms. Mikulski made all the sports talk easy to know. I for one, did not know much about basketball, but after reading this, I think I can go to game and finally get it. LOL This book is totally sweet, enduring, and full of great literature. I look forward to reading the rest of the series and learning more about sports!
princessmar More than 1 year ago
Taylor Thomas is one of the top players of her school's basketball team. Her two insecurities are that she is tall: Six feet Seventy-two and three quarter inches, and that her secret crush Zachary Murphy doesn't see her. But then, suddenly he request her to be online friends, and starts talking to Taylor and asks her questions about her passion basketball. Taylor's team is training hard for an upcoming competition against the SoCal Suns, and right in the middle of all the training and school homework, Taylor's best friend Hannah asks her to model for her designs in the school's fashion show. Zach keeps talking to Taylor and he obviously wants more than to be just friends, because he kisses her and changes his online relationship status! But when Taylor's teammate and Zach's ex-girlfriend Kylie finds out, she is not amused and the normally nice Kylie suddenly turns into a very mean girl against Taylor. The team's training competitions are not going well, because some girls are distracted by dating boys. The team makes a pledge not to date boys anymore at all. But ..Taylor just started dating her dream crush Zach, what is she going to do now? Taylor also tries to help out her best friend Matt, who is having a hard time now is dad is in a wheelchair and he has to take care of him. Taylor discovers that Matt is writing romantic poems in his notebook, and it looks like they are for Violet, Hannah's sister. But when one of Taylor's teammates discover a girls score list (which boy can date the most girls?) from the boy basketball team, Taylor is starting to look with different eyes at Zach, and Matt! And will her team the Wildcats win the game against the SoCal Suns? Head Games is an amazingly fun new book by the hand of Keri Mikulski. Head Games was on the top of my list for want-to-read books and it was totally worth it. Not many teen writers are writing sport themed books for girls, and Keri really writes the best in this genre. As a reader I loved Taylor and how she juggled the basketball trainings and competitions and modeled for Hanna's fashion show and tried to keep seeing Zach. And it was great to read how at the end everything went different in the boyfriend department.. Head Games is just a fabulous book for every teen girl who love sports. Or who loves books ofcourse. THE book I hope many other will put on the top of their want-to-read list in 2011!
BieberandSimpsonLuver More than 1 year ago
I really love this book. I liked how Keri Mikulski make Taylor a interesting character. Taylor is really into basketball, but in the book her best friend Hannah askes her to do a fashion show. When I was reading the first chapater of the book i thought one of the character Zach was going to play head game with taylor because taylor really him! If you want to find out more about The Book Head Games then read it.!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in one day and I hate to read! Trust me. Don't miss this book. If you play basketball or any sport, you will love it!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was so excited to see HEAD GAMES at the store since I read the first two books. And it did not disappoint. It was a fun book full of romance, drama, and sports action. I love this series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I usually like all the girls in this series but i really didnt like taylor i could barely finish thr book because i ws internally screaming at taylor i dont really think she belongs in this series all she did was finanly grow a bit of a backbone right in the end if the book
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Heidi_G More than 1 year ago
The first couple of chapters were torture for me and I wanted to give up on the book, but because I received this as a review book from Puget Sound Council, I felt I had to finish it. It seemed to be yet another book about wealthy teens attending a private school. There are so many brand names littering the book which made it unappealing to me. However, I did come to enjoy the book as it progressed. Taylor is all about basketball; since she is six feet tall, she thinks anyone boyfriend material must at least be her height. As an adult, it was easy to figure out early on who Taylor would end up with. Female teen athletes will love this book as it has many elements to hook them--jealousy, insecurity, romance, sports action, and even a fashion show all come into play. It will appeal to non-athletes as well. I'm glad I finished the book, and will recommend it to my students.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book its awesome!!!! I recomend it
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puppyloverMH More than 1 year ago
I really liked this booked. it was very short but very good. I luved the sports esisense since i played basketball since i was 2. It showed both sides of basketball the love of the game and the pressure of the game which i familiar with both. i frelt like taylor and i were almmost twins. greatttt boook
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Didi341 More than 1 year ago
Head Games was a great read!! As a girl, I find it difficult to find good books about girls and sports. This book satisfies both my need for drama and athletic conversation!! The main character, Taylor, is relatable and very likable!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Liddia More than 1 year ago
This book was ok. I thought the excessive use of punctuation marks made it seem like a kid had written the book, but besides that...it was alright. Though, why did the author change? Liz Tigelaar wrote better Pretty Tough books than this new author does. I felt like this book didn't really focus on sports or teamwork much, but more on drama and chaos. It also made freshmen seem to act a lot older than they do =\