Hookedby Liz Fichera
Get Hooked on a Girl Named Fred
He said: Fred Oday is a girl? Puh-leeze. Why is a girl taking my best friend's spot on the boys' varsity golf team?
She said: Can I seriously do this? Can I join the boys' team? Everyone will hate meespecially Ryan Berenger.
He said: Coach expects me to partner with Fred on the green?/p>/p>/p>/strong>
Get Hooked on a Girl Named Fred
He said: Fred Oday is a girl? Puh-leeze. Why is a girl taking my best friend's spot on the boys' varsity golf team?
She said: Can I seriously do this? Can I join the boys' team? Everyone will hate meespecially Ryan Berenger.
He said: Coach expects me to partner with Fred on the green? That is crazy bad. Fred's got to goespecially now that I can't get her out of my head. So not happening.
She said: Ryan can be nice, when he's not being a jerk. Like the time he carried my golf bag. But the girl from the rez and the spoiled rich boy from the suburbs? So not happening.
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- Age Range:
- 14 - 17 Years
Read an Excerpt
I believed that my ancestors lived among the stars. Whenever I struck a golf ball, sometimes the ball soared so high that I thought they could touch it. Crazy weird, I know.
But who else could have had a hand in this?
Coach Larry Lannon towered over Dad and me, his shoulders shielding us from the afternoon sun. "So, what's it gonna be?" he said, his head tilted to one side with hair so blond that clear should be a color. "Are you in?" He paused and then lowered his chin. "Or out?"
I drew in a breath. Even though Coach Lannon had said that I could smack a ball straighter than any of his varsity players at Lone Butte High School, his confidence still rocked me off my feet sometimes. He wanted me on the team. Bad.
"Chances like this don't happen every day," he added, and I ached to tell him that they never happened, not to my family. Not in generations.
See, here's the thing about Coach Lannon. I met him by accident at the end of the summer as I waited for Dad at the Ahwatu-kee Golf Club driving range. At first I thought he was some kind of golf-course stalker or something. He kept gawking at me as I hit practice balls. It was kind of creepy. I figured he'd never seen an Indian with a golf club.
Anyway, I pretended not to notice and concentrated on my swing. I smacked two buckets of golf balls beside him with my mismatched clubs as if breathing depended on it. After my last ball, Coach Lannon walked straight up into my face and declared that I had the most natural swing he'd ever seen. The compliment shocked me. And when I told him that I was going to be a junior at Lone Butte, one of only a handful from the Gila River Indian Reservation, the man practically leaped into a full-blown Grass Dance.1 He'd been stalking me at the driving range ever since.
Now that school had started, he was making his final pitch to get me to join his team.
"Will you at least come to practice on Monday and give the team a try? Please? If you don't like it, you're perfectly free to quit. No questions asked." Coach Lannon's lips pressed together as he waited for my answer, although the question was directed mostly at Dad.
From the knot in Dad's forehead, I could tell he was unconvinced. And the coach didn't bother hiding his urgency, especially after telling us that he was tired of coaching the worst 5A golf team in Maricopa County. Another losing year and Principal Graser would send him back to teaching high school history fulltime, something he didn't relish. I'd never had a teacher confide something so personal to me like that, not even at the Rez2 school.
Dad pulled his hand over the stubble on his chin, studying Coach Lannon. Deep red-and-black dirt outlined each of his fingernails and filled the crevices across his knuckles, one of the consequences of being the golf club's groundskeeper. "I don't know," Dad said in his lightly accented tones.
Coach Lannon leaned down to hear him. "Is it expensive?" Dad asked. "Won't cost you a thing," the coach said quickly. "But how will she get to the tournaments? We only have one car."
"A bus takes the team. There and back. I can drive her home, if it's a problem."
"Are the tournaments local?"
"All except one, but don't worry about that. I'll have her back the same day."
Dad exhaled long enough for Coach Lannon's eyes to widen with fresh anxiety.
"I'd look after Fred like she was my own daughter," the coach blurted out. "I've got three of my own, so I know how you feel."
I sucked in another breath as I waited for Dad's answer. I knew that he wasn't fond of me traveling off the Rez. The daily trip to the high school was far enough, and not just in miles. He'd agreed to Lone Butte only because our tribe didn't have a local high school.
After another excruciatingly long pause, Dad said, "I guess when it comes right down to it, the decision isn't mine. It belongs to her." He turned to me and placed a steadying hand on my shoulder.
Dad's forehead lowered, and he looked at me squarely with eyes that were almond-shaped echoes of mine. "It's time you made up your mind, Fredricka. Is this what you want?"
I cringed at my old-lady name, but as quickly as it took me to blink, I answered Dad with the lift of my chin. Coach Lannon had said that there'd be a chance I could get a college scholarship if I played well for the team. He said college recruiters from some of the biggest universities attended high school golf tournaments flashing full tuition rides for the best players. No one in my family had ever gone to college. No one even uttered the word. How could I refuse? I only hoped Coach Lannon understood the power of his promises. I wanted college as badly as he wanted me on his team, probably more.
Only a few silent seconds hung between us, but it seemed another eternity. This was the moment I'd been waiting for these past few weeksmy whole life, really. I'd been hoping for something different to happen, something special.
There was only one answer.
"I'll be there on Monday. I'll join your team."
Coach Lannon's shoulders caved forward, and for a moment I thought he'd collapse into Dad's arms. He'd probably wondered whether I had the courage to join an all-boys' team, and why shouldn't he? It wouldn't be easy for anybody, least of all a Native American girl from the other side of Pecos Road and the first girl to join the Lone Butte High School golf team.
Before I could change my mind, Coach Lannon extended his beefy hand.
I placed mine in his and watched my fingers disappear.
"We'll all look forward to seeing you on Monday after school, Fred. Don't forget your clubs." Coach Lannon turned to Dad. "Hank?" He extended his hand, along with a relieved grin. "You've got quite a daughter. She's got one heck of a golf swing. She'll make you proud." He smiled at me, and my eyes lowered at another compliment.
Dad nodded, but his smile was cautious. He was still uncomfortable with me competing with boys, especially a bunch of white boys, the kind who grew up in big fancy houses with parents who belonged to country clubs. That was why it had taken me two weeks to mention it to him.
But Coach Lannon had explained that there wasn't enough interest in a girls' golf team. "Maybe there'll be a girls' team next year," he'd said. "Or the next." Except by that time I'd be long gone. It was the boys' team for me or nothing.
And Dad knew me better than anyone. When I'd finally told him, I hadn't been able to hide my excitement. It would have been easier to hide the moon. Truth be told, it had surprised him. He'd never dreamed that I'd love golf like breathing; he'd never dreamed I'd become so good. Neither had I.
Fortunately, Dad never had the heart to say no to his only daughter.
"Happy?" he said after the coach disappeared down the cart path, leaving the air a little easier to breathe.
I nodded, my eyes still soaking in the attention. I was beginning to kind of like Coach Lannon. He was okay, for a teacher.
"Good," he said. "Then I'm happy, too. For you."
Still dizzy from my decision, I nodded.
Dad sighed at me and smiled. Then he picked up my golf bag, one of his many garage-sale purchases last summer, along with my clubs. The red plaid fabric was torn around the pockets and the rubber bottom was scuffed, but it held all fourteen of my irons and drivers with room to spare. Dad had told me yesterday that he'd try to buy me a new one, but between his job and Mom's wait-ressing, there wasn't a lot of money for extras. And the plaid bag worked just fine.
"Come on, Fred," Dad said, threading the bag over his shoulder. "Let's go home and tell your mother. We're late. She'll be worried."
"Uh-huh," I replied absently as I smashed one last golf ball across the range with my driver. The ball cracked against the club's face and made the perfect ping. It rose above us like a comet before it sailed high into the clouds.
Thank you, I said silently to the sky, shielding my eyes from the setting sun with my left hand. I waited for the sky to release the ball. One one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand, I chanted to myself like a kid gauging a thunderstorm. The ball hung in the air an extra second before it dropped into the grass and rolled over a ridge.
And that's when I knew.
My ancestors heard me. I imagined that they asked the wind to whisper, You are most welcome, Daughter of the River People. I was as certain of their loving hands on my destiny as I was of my own name.
We drove south on the I-10 freeway to the Gila River Indian Reservation in our gray van that was still a deep green in a few spots on the hood. Despite the peeling paint, it ran most of the time. Somehow Dad always found a way to make sure it got us to school and work and then back home.
Home was Pee-Posh, at the foot of the Estrella Mountains where the earth was as dark as my skin. That's where we lived; that's where my grandparents had lived and my great-grandparents before them. To reach it, we had to drive for miles along narrow roads with no stoplights, over bumpy desert washes dotted with towering saguaros and tumbleweeds that scattered across the road whenever it got windy. Most days, I wished Dad would keep driving, especially on the days when Mom started drinking.
"Maybe we shouldn't tell her that I joined the team. Not yet anyway," I said to Dad without turning. My bare arm folded across the open window as the air tickled my face. I closed my eyes and pretended that the wind was a boy kissing my cheeks. When Dad didn't answer, I opened my eyes and sighed. "Let's wait a while. A week, maybe." Good news only stoked Mom's bitterness, especially after a few beers.
"You sure?" A frown fell over his voice.
"Positive. Please don't say anything."
He smacked his lips, considering this. "If that's what you want," he said with a shrug. "Maybe waiting a week is wise. By then we'll see if you still like being on the team. You could always change your mind"
"I won't," I interrupted him, turning. How could he even suggest it? "Why? You think I'll fail?"
"Hardly." Dad turned his head a fraction. "That's not what I said."
"You don't think I'm good enough?"
He chuckled. "Now you're being foolish. Of course I think you're good enough. I just don't want " His lips pressed together, holding in his words.
"Don't want what?"
He inhaled. "I don't want you to get your hopes up and then be disappointed. That's all. You've never played on a team before. And that coach, the boys you'll play withwell, their ways are different than ours."
I frowned at him. Of course I know that, I wanted to tell him. But I hated when Dad talked about the old ways. They sounded primitive. And hadn't I already survived two years of high school?
"Don't doubt me, Fred. You'll learn soon enough."
I turned back to the open window and lowered my chin so that it rested on my arm, considering this. It was true. He had a point. Sort of. I'd never played team sports. I'd never played much of anything; that was part of my problem. "Let's just not tell Mom, yet. Okay?" I said without turning.
Dad sighed, just as tiredly. "Okay, my daughter. We'll do as you wish."
My brow softened with an unspoken apology for being curt, but there was no need. With Dad, forgiveness began the moment the wrong words left my lips. So I smiled at him. But my happiness faded as soon as we drove up the two narrow dirt grooves that led to the front of our double-wide trailer.
Our nearest neighbor lived a half mile away, which is to say that most days it felt like we were the only ones on the planet.
Two black Labs circled the van and started barking as Dad parked under a blue tarp alongside the house. The engine sputtered for a few seconds after the ignition turned off, and then the desert was quiet again except for the doves in the paloverde tree next to the trailer. They cooed like chickens.
Mom sat outside in the front yard on a white plastic chair. Her legs were crossed, and her right leg pumped up and down like it was keeping time. She had a silver beer can in one hand and another crushed next to her chair. "Where've you two been?" she yelled. Her words slurred, but there was still enough of a smile in her voice for my shoulders to relax a fraction.
Mom was still in the happy stage of her inebriation. But the happy stage usually morphed into the overly talkative stage, which then blended into the argumentative stage where she brought up a laundry list of regrets, like having gotten pregnant so young or earning a living waiting on stingy rich white people at the Wild Horse Restaurant at the Rez casino. "You'd think a five-star restaurant would attract a better class of people," she'd complained a thousand times. And that's exactly when I'd wish that I could disappear into the sky like one of my golf balls. I'd fly high into the clouds and never come back.
"Had to work late," Dad said. His tone was cautious, like slow fingers checking the wires of a time bomb. "I brought dinner, though." He raised a box of fried chicken in the air.
"Good." Mom grinned. "After the day I had, I don't feel like cooking." She lifted her hands, spilling some of her beer, revealing splotchy fingers that had spent most of the day juggling hot plates.
Dad bent over to kiss her cheek before turning for the front door, and for a moment the corners of Mom's eyes softened. "Just need to take a quick shower." He reached for the torn screen door. It creaked whenever it opened. "I feel like I'm covered in golf course."
Mom laughed and my throat tightened. Mom used to laugh a lot more. Everybody did.
Then Mom took a long swig from her shiny beer can before resting her narrowed eyes on me. Her head began to bob. "So, Freddy, tell me something that happened today. One happy thing." She framed it like a challenge, as if answering was statistically impossible. A second beer can crunched underneath her sandal while she waited for my answer.
My mind raced. I sat in the plastic chair across from her and wondered how long it would be before I could retreat to the safety of my bedroom, if you could call it that. My room barely fit a twin bed and nightstand, but at least I didn't have to sleep on the pull-out sofa in the living room like my older brother, Trevor. "Well," I said, dragging my tongue across my lips to stall for time. There was no easy way to answer her question. I'd lose no matter what. "I got an A on a social-studies pop quiz today," I said finally.
Meet the Author
Liz likes to write stories about ordinary teens who do extraordinary things. Born in Park Ridge, Illinois, Liz moved to the American Southwest after college, never expecting to live more than one year among cactus and people who'd never seen snow. She was wrong. To learn more, please visit www.LizFichera.com.
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This book deffinitly wasn't the best book ever. I had trouble reading untill the end of it because it was kind of slow and boring. It also didn't have the best writing either. I wasn't too impressed, especially because the summary of the book deffinitly got me hooked, but the book itself deffinitly did not. It had its cute moments though, and i deffinitly did end up loving Ryan towards the end of the book. Overall i reccomend this book to people who love the sport of golf, and who have the native american beliefs. I also reccomend it for people who want to learn something new and like a good romance.
When I first heard about HOOKED, I wasn't, well, hooked. The cover made it seem like a straight-forward romance. But another book recently published by Harlequin Teen, PUSHING THE LIMITS by Katie McGarry, also had a super-romancy cover that threw me. That book had so much depth, though, and was full of hard issues. Harlequin Teen also recently published another novel with a hard-hitting subjects, SPEECHLESS by Hannah Harrington. I'm trying really hard not to stereotype when I see these covers from the publisher. I took a closer look at HOOKED, especially after hearing early online buzz about it, and realized just how intriguing this book was going to be. It delves into the hardships of being the only girl on an all-male sports team, of being a minority at school, of a strong father-daughter relationship, of all the trials Fredricka ‘Fred’ Oday goes through in order to achieve her dreams. HOOKED isn't a book to write off on first glance, and I'm glad I gave it a chance. Fred isn't like all the other girls at school. She's one of a handful of Native American kids born and raised on a nearby reservation. A lot of her classmates have unsavory prejudices against the reservation kids, so Fred has always felt "different." She stands out even more when she makes the decision to join the all-male golf team at school. Not only is she the best golfer on the team, but she's also taken away someone else's spot, someone who feels that a girl shouldn't even be on the team, especially not a reservation girl. He sets out to make her life hell so that she'll quit, and becomes even angrier when his best friend starts falling for her... I love all the diversity in HOOKED. It's one of the things I'm most drawn-to. And a Native American girl who lives on a reservation? I can't remember ever seeing a girl like Fred in YA contemporary fiction. I embraced her fully, and loved the way her community rallied around her and became so proud. She was a true inspiration to so many people, and will be to many readers as well. I wasn't as fond of her love interest, Ryan, but he grows a lot over the course of the book and really grows up. He's very human and makes mistakes, and I did like seeing a love interest that wasn't perfect for once, even if he could be aggravating at times. Fichera also did a great job developing the relationship between Fred and her father. I'm always excited to see strong parental figures in YA, and while Fred's mom wasn't anyone to write home about, her father was a great role model who supported Fred no matter what decision she chose. I was so glad to have him on her team, rooting for her against all odds and just overall believing in her throughout the book. What a great dad! Fred is also a great inspiration for girls who want to golf--or do any male-dominated sport. She isn't afraid to go for her dream and ignores all the naysayers who pipe up after she makes the all-male team. She practices all the time and truly loves the sport. This shines through whenever she plays. Most of the guys she plays against don't have her drive and dedication, making Fred stand out even more. Fred will be a role model for so many girls, and I hope they all find a copy of HOOKED and don't give up on their dreams because of some jealous boys. She doesn't have the easiest life, but she keeps her head held high and achieves so much in life.
I really loved this book! I read it within a day and a half. I really liked the story line and everything about it!:) It is a must read!
Loved it! Hooked is story about Fred, a Native American girl (who loves golf) and gets picked to play at a boys golf team by the coach. What Fred wasn't expecting to get, was a bully (who doesn't seem to stop picking on her) and romance. My first impression of the story was that it had a unique plot. I wasn't sure how the story was going to turn out, but as I kept reading, surprisingly the story turned out to be really good. The story was well-written, and well-researched. I'm guessing Fichera really loves golf, for it to become the catalyst of the story. Apart from it, there were social issues in the story, considering that Fred is Native American in an all-white school. There were scenes that refer to the topic of racism, (not in a huge way), but I think the author did a really good job on keeping the story focused on Fred and Ryan and how they had to overcome the problems around them. What kept me reading was the ability to see how apart from being an outsider, Fred was able to stay strong throughout the story and how her well power helped her overcome all sorts of obstacles. Although there were scenes that were a bit overdone and maybe too dramatic, the story flowed beautifully and it definitely make it to my favorite's shelf. I can't wait to read more of Fichera in the future.
I was a little disappointed. This book started off so promising. Everything seemed different compared to other books I’ve read. However, right for the start I found myself not liking Ryan and, sadly, it didn’t really change until about 90% way through the novel. He continued to defend the actions of his best friend until the 90% marker (even after he did some completely unforgiveable things to Fred) and I really couldn’t accept that. In general Ryan doesn’t stand up to people and that seems to barely change throughout the novel. Fred was also a little bit naive in my opinion. Although Ryan leads her on she comes across, at first, like the kind of girls who believe that they go on one date and everything has changed and they are automatically in a relationship. Even more surprising is that just like how Ryan leads her on she leads someone else on as well, and even uses this person to get back at Ryan. On top of all of that the book was a little too slow for my liking. Although I liked the diversity and the differences that this book holds compared to others, and I even enjoyed the romance between the two characters from time to time I found that this book took me a long time to finish. Eleven days in fact, and usually I can get through a novel in about three or less. I found everything moved a little too slow, the romance, the action, the drama, and then it sort of all finally started happening near the end. This book may be for some people who are interested in a slow read, and even those who are interested in Golf (or simply know more than myself). Good: Fred—I like the shy, quiet, and independent Fred who knew what she loved. Sam—Sam was a cool guy. He’s very quiet and that made it seem like he held a lot of depth. Bad: Character—I disliked attributes about a lot of the characters like Fred, Ryan, Seth, and Gwen. I found the story slow and it felt like not a lot happened for the 300+ pages of this book. I also found that a lot of things didn’t really get resolved, or just weren’t explained how they were resolved. Overall (Writing style, story line, and general): Overall the book was well written and very easy to follow, but the story just seemed to be lacking. It was too slow for my liking and the characters didn’t seem to have that much depth. I expected to get some real emotion from the characters but they all just seemed to be walking around constantly confused and there were barely any happy moments in the novel. I did like that Fred was Native American and that instead of having issues with her Dad, it was her mom that was problem, and that finally we came across a girl who was from the wrong side of the tracks, but it found that this novel didn’t have as much depth as I expected it to have. Crazy as this might sound I am actually looking forward to the next novel in the series that surrounds Sam and Riley, and I have more hope for these characters, as they seem to hold a lot of depth and are just more promising in general.
Doe it involve sex?
I had a great feeling about this book when I got it, and it definitely lived up to my expectations. This was just a really awesome story with great characters. I loved Fred...loved her determination, and I loved how she was able to shrug off what others thought of her and just worry about being herself. You don't see that very much in teen books. Most of the time, girls in this situation would be smothered in self-consciousness and would let themselves get driven away from their dreams rather than face embarrassment, but not Fred. I admired her as a character. It's not that she wasn't shy and embarrassed.... just that she was able to overcome it. I also loved Ryan. It took me a little while with him, because there were aspects of his character that I thought were a little weak. But that's part of what made me like him.... because throughout the book, he gradually grows into the guy that he needs to be, and the reader gets to see that. This made me love him even more. Their romance was perfectly timed and grew at a very natural pace, which I loved. Aside from awesome characters, I really loved the Native American flavor to the book. I loved seeing and hearing about Fred's life on the reservation, and some of her people's traditions. I've always loved Native American culture, so getting to read about it with a good romance around it was really great. The book had emotional moments, funny moments, and very romantic ones too. It just had a wonderful mixture that made a great book. Liz Fichera is definitely a writer to watch for.
There are a lot of things I liked about this book. I liked the alternating POV of the chapters--nicely done. I am not a golf fan, but it was fun to read about a high school sports team that wasn't football for a change. I liked Fred, and her dad. I liked Ryan. I would have liked to see more development of the relationship between Fred and Ryan--it felt like it had problems before it even started and much of the novel felt like catching up--but perhaps that's just realistic given the environment in which they lived. I liked the setting, both the Arizona town and the nearby reservation. It was unique in YA fiction. I liked the two characters (Ryan's sister and Fred's friend) who the next book is based on, so I'll definitely be on the lookout for that one. A few things bothered me, though, and kept this from being a higher rating. The characters of Seth and Gwen are so toxic that they end up being almost caricatures of villains. Fichera tried to give Seth some depth, but it didn't quite work and he remained pretty cardboard. Ryan's parents seem to have a "magic" reconciliation at the end, and Fred's mother too seems to have been sprinkled with that same fairy dust. Things get resolved very quickly and neatly, which doesn't seem quite right, given the angsty buildup earlier. That said, though, I did enjoy the storyline and will definitely be interested in what Liz Fichera comes up with in the future.
I thought that this was a cute YA novel revolving not only around race but sports as well. I will admit that I am not a huge fan of golf. I remember watching it with my grandfather when he'd babysit me and I would always be bored out of my mind. Even though this story doesn't get too crazy on the golfing aspect, it is consistent throughout the story, which was something that I enjoyed. The only thing I didn't really understand though was the blatant racism towards Native Americans. I guess I just grew up in an area where we didn't have such distaste for other ethnicities. I could understand Ryan's best friend Seth's hatred towards Fred since she took his spot on the team, heck maybe even Ryan's on and off again girlfriend getting territorial but it seemed like everyone on the team were throwing around racial insults. I really enjoyed Fred's character. She is a hard working girl who is very passionate about golf. She spends a lot of time at the range where her father works as the grounds keeper and has learned by watching those around her, how to golf. So when the coach of the high school golf team begs her to join, it's safe to say that she's pretty ecstatic. Even though her teammates are less than welcoming to her, she sticks it out and puts all of her heart into the sport. Sure there were a couple of times where she was ready to throw in the towel but she stuck with it. Ryan wasn't my favorite character. He let peer pressure mess with his head. He went along with his friends to bully others and seemed to stick his nose up at everyone. Even after he started to befriend Fred, I still wasn't convinced and sure enough he would let his friends get in his head and would do something stupid. It's not that I hated the guy. He did redeem himself some at the end, but I was rooting for Sam. Sam is another kid from the Rez who always seemed to have Fred's back. He walked with her during school and would stop by the house to hang out. He seemed like a sweet kid who had feelings for Fred but of course Fred was too wrapped up in Ryan to care. I loved that golf played a huge part in the story and for someone who isn't a golf fan, that's saying a lot. I loved the closeness of everyone on the Rez. They seemed to really look out for each other and were like a huge family. I'm really excited that the next book is about Sam and Ryan's younger sister Riley. I guess I'm just a Sam girl.
There's something about contemporary novels I'm really starting to enjoy, especially ones where you have to face some kind of real-life issue. 'Hooked' was no exception. Behind the golf and the sweet romance developing, there was also a tension that I think was the theme behind the book. I've always had a special place in my heart for the Native Americans. I think they got a raw deal when they lost their way of life so many years ago, and to read a book where the main character lives on a reservation was a new experience for me. I won't deny that I'm extremely ignorant when it comes to reservation life, so I really hope that the way it was portrayed in this book was accurate. 'West Side Story' comes to mind when I think of 'Hooked' A story about how two people from different ends of the spectrum meet up and face their own issues while falling in love at the same time. As you can imagine by the blurb above, there is a level of hatred in 'Hooked' and one that just doesn't make any sense to me. And, I have to say I'm glad to be able to say that. 'Fred' was a special character to me. She was an introvert, who took up a sport for reasons of her own and ended up being a natural at it. Despite her circumstances, she wanted more than what had been handed to her and she had support from a few unlikely allies. Ryan, her love interest, grew on me as the book continued. I can't really say I was a fan of his at first, but that didn't last long. I kind of like falling for a character during a book because it means that their character is developing and not remaining flat and boring. Ryan was not boring. He was lovely. Secondary characters can sometimes make or break a book and, I think in this case, it made it. Not so much the benevolent characters, but the malevolent ones. They gave the book the kind of tension that held my interest. The flow of the story went well and I loved the alternating voices. I enjoyed being able to get a sense of both characters and what drove them. And I really enjoyed that golf was chosen as the sport instead of the usual sports I see in books i.e. football or baseball. Overall, this book ticked most of the boxes I have, but the one that takes it over the edge - total engagement. There are some books where I lose myself into the writer's world and I hate it when the story ends. I didn't feel that with this book. That's not to say I didn't like it, because I did. And, I'd be happy to read anything else Liz Fichera decides to write because I like her writing style. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance. Book Review from Sandy at Magical Manuscripts.
Hooked was not what I was expecting. Hooked give me a much deeper storyline than I thought possible. I was expecting Liz Fichera to give me a swoon-worthy romance that I could gush over (and she did), but oh man, Fichera took this story to the next level and gave me a serious heart-felt subject that's not an easy one to deal with in today's world. And Fichera tackled this hard to deal with subject beautifully with Frederica (Fred) and Ryan. I fell in love with this Native American girl; her strength, her strong character, self-assured in who she is, and she didn't back down from what she wanted to make her life better. I also loved Ryan for his strength, also, when it came time to do the right thing. He wasn't scared to stand up for Fred and his beliefs. Fred loves golf. She has self-taught herself to be a golf pro. When the coach at Lone Butte HS spots her playing at the local golf course where her dad’s the grounds keeper, Coach Lannon decides he has to have Fred on is team. Fred sees this as her chance to get a college scholarship and her ticket off the Gila River Indian Reservation. But it means being the only girl on the all-boys varsity golf team, plus she’ll be getting one of these all-American, rich boys kicked off the team. Fred knows it's going to take everything she’s got to hold onto her dreams against these self-righteous boys. Hooked is heart touching romance, as well as a-face-the-world-and-stand-strong, amazing read. It shows a girl who’s not afraid to stand against the hate that wants to strip a person of their dignity. I recommend Hooked as a beautiful romance, but also story of heart-pumping courage to stand against the hate of this world. Wonderful read! Swoon: "Fred." My voice cracked from too much silence. But Fred didn't answer. Instead, she turned her face upward to meet mine. The tips of our noses brushed against each other. Hers was warm and soft. Like her hair. Like everything about her. I took a chance and lowered my mouth toward hers till we were a breath apart. Then I very gently pressed my lips against hers. Soft and curious at first. Then I pressed harder.
Fred Oday is a Native American who has grown up living on an Indian Reservation. Her family doesn't have much in the way of money or material things. Her mom is waitress and drinks way too much and her dad is the grounds keeper at the local country club. Ever since she was small, Fred has had a love for golf. She has taught herself how to play by watching others and diligently practicing. She goes with her dad to the club every Saturday and practices on the driving range while he works. Then sometimes later in the afternoon, the club manager lets her play for free when things slow down. Her dad even built her a make-shift putting green at home out of old carpet. It just so happens that the golf coach happens to see Fred at the club and talks her and her dad into letting her join the boys golf team, because he is so impressed with her playing. They agree, and this begins a change in Fred's life she never saw coming. Fred, along with a handful of other kids on the Reservation attend the local high school. She is smart, never really noticed much, and pretty much keeps to herself, as do the other Reservation kids. That all changes when she joins the team, and especially when she meets Ryan Berenger. Ryan and his friends come from the rich side of town. His mother is a doctor and his father is a lawyer, and materially he hasn't ever lacked anything. Though he doesn't have a problem with Fred being an Indian, some of his friends do, especially his best friend Seth, who takes things way too far. Despite their attempts deny it, Ryan and Fred find themselves very attracted to one another and a romance ensues. What they don't expect is the reaction from friends and family regarding their relationship. Ryan makes some big mistakes, which really hurt Fred, and they both make some assumptions about each other that aren't quite true, which causes them both nothing but heartache. A life-threatening situation brings them back together again, but will it also tear them apart? I enjoyed this book. I found Fred to be a sweet girl, though I hated seeing her being picked on the way she was. I didn't care for Ryan at first, but then his character grew on me and I ended up really liking him by the time the book ended. I enjoyed the golfing aspect of the book and was impressed by Fred's determination and love for the game, and her desire to really better herself and not just wind up spending her life working as a waitress. As far as Fred and Ryan's relationship. They definitely had their struggles, and their friends, especially Ryan's friends, didn't make things easier. I was saddened by the prejudice in this book and I admire Liz Fichera for writing about this. It is a shame that in the day and age we live in that this is still going on, and I hope that as people are made aware of and are faced to look at it for what it is, that things will begin to change. Despite all the heartache these characters go through, the book ended well. Overall, I enjoyed this story and found it interesting, informative, and entertaining, and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
I never thought that I would fall for a girl named Fred; but I did, I really did... Liz Fichera puts it all out there in Hooked - bullying, inequality, racism, addictions, the test of relationships, loyalty and love. I love when an author can be completely honest with her characters and their situations. Makes the characters stronger, believable and memorable. Both main characters are teens that are raw and definitely not perfect by making some bad mistakes and, sometimes, learning from those mistakes. Fred is a Native American girl who loves to play golf. Golf is a lifeline for Fred, not only does she enjoy and excel at it, but it also helps distract her from the stresses in her life. Her family lives on the reservation; her father works as the groundskeeper at the local golf course and her mother is an alcoholic who tries to help make ends meet as a waitress at an upscale restaurant. Life is not easy for Fred, especially at school, surrounded by 'rich white kids' who tease and bully her because of her heritage. So when the high school golf coach asks Fred to be on their all-boy team, it is no surprise when Fred hesitates and almost says no. It is no surprise when her teammates ignore her and the whispers and teasing from her classmates get worse. Fred remains quiet and does what she knows best, golf. Ryan, the school's golden-boy-golf-star, really took me by surprise. His best friend, Seth, was kicked-off the golf team for more than one reason and Ryan was just as angry about the decision and changes. When Seth went overboard to bully and hurt Fred, I thought that Ryan would step up and be the good guy, the typical 'knight in shining armor' - and I was so wrong to assume. He was anything but that. Peer pressure influenced Ryan's decisions so many times. Even though as time went along and he was getting to know more about Fred, like her, help her. When the real stuff would happen, he would give in to his peers and pull away. This made me so angry. But, as difficult as it was, I understood where Ryan was coming from - and he needed to go through the things that he went through with Fred in order to become the person that he did in the end. Just like Fred. I really liked how the story was told from both Fred's and Ryan's point-of-views; being able to see exactly what they were thinking and going through made me understand their differences and choices which was definitely needed for this book. I am very much looking forward to Hooked's companion novel, Played, which is to hopefully be released in 2014!
This was such an excellent book and I'm so excited to see what else Liz Fichera will publish in the future! I highly recommend it!
This was a book that I simply couldn't put down. The themes of social issues and Native American issues in conjunction with strong character development truly swept me off my feet. This book is for the young and not so young readers.
In HOOKED by Liz Fichera, Fred (short for Fredricka) gets a position on the boys’ golf team at Lone Butte High School and “butts” heads with star player (golfer? putter?) Ryan. Soon the fiery heat of disdain and resentment turns to something more and the two teens must face the consequences that come from this sudden relationship and the impact it has on their families, themselves, and the game they are both so passionate about. First and foremost, I begin by saying that I commend Liz Fichera for using diversity in this novel by giving some very inspired cultural depictions and allowing me, as a reader, to understand these new practices and lifestyles I may not have been aware of. As someone who has read quite a few Young Adult novels, I can honestly say that there is a distinct lack of diversity with main characters as well, so reading of Fred (who happens to be Native American) was refreshing and exotic. On the topic of Fred, I find it important to add that I did encounter a slight issue with her while reading. At times she seemed to give off a strong vibe and sense of independence and defiance, and other times she came off as a meek character that would constantly avoid gazes. It lead me to categorize her as an “up in the air/floating” character for a little while since I couldn’t find a solid identity or get a good feel of her early on in the book. In turn it made me feel disconnected and made me veer off track in the story for a bit. Again, this was just a personal issue I had, and other readers may have other opinions regarding her intriguing character. To call this novel cute and light would be like calling a rattlesnake trustworthy and cuddly. It covers a wide variety of real topics and issues that, while touched on at times in society or other novels, are definitely not addressed enough. For that, I must say that if you gather that this is going to be a fluffy read based on the cover, then you are going to be surprised. Hooked is a poignant and sensible novel that packs a pretty powerful punch. A great YA debut that doesn’t lose sight of its focus on addressing some strong issues that should be addressed, while also providing a great message to teach in a creative, beautiful way. I recommend this novel to those looking for a diverse, romantic read, but for those who may have any doubts, suggest that you read the first few sample pages on retail websites or in stores to determine whether or not this book is for you. A huge thanks and many virtual hugs to Dana Kaye ( KayePublicity) and Liz Fichera/Harlequin Teen for providing me with an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Liz Fichera's debut novel, and subsequent series, will open the new year with a fresh YA contemporary outlook. Fichera's work will undoubtedly bring to readers' mind the likes of Simone Elkeles with its multicultural influence and realistic social issues between family, class and race. Fichera brings us a story rich with inspiration and such adorable cuteness that puts Hooked in a league of its own. Fredricka Oday is not a typical girl and proof is in her determination to pursue her passion despite opposition. Fred is an amazing athlete, as well as a brave and sweet character. Her eagerness to play golf stems from her desire to win an athletic scholarship and do something extraordinary with her life, different from her parents and brother who never went to college, and not from the desire to spend time with rich white boys. Especially not Ryan Berenger. To Fred, Ryan seems to not appreciate that he has parents who can provide him with a normal, functional family life. And to Ryan, Fred is the poor girl from the rez who undeservingly takes his best friend's spot on the team. What's so great about the friction between these two is they both believe they know something about the other based on stereotype or a superficial observation. It's absolutely fascinating to read as they realize their unfair judgements and bond over golf. Hooked is well-rounded with truly realistic characterization, a light humor that lowers readers' defenses, and a heart-warming storyline. I was able to really feel for Fred and the obstacles she had to overcome to meet her goals. I was first drawn to the story by the fact that Fred is Native American, secondly was her interest in golf and the courage she would have to have to join an all-boy's team. I've never been a fan of golf, but how Fichera relates the sport through Fred's eyes makes me feel like a fanatic myself. All in all, my expectations were met and exceeded! Do I believe readers will get hooked on a girl named Fred? Yes, indeed I do! *Book provided in exchange for an honest review*
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Hooked by Liz Fichera Book One of the Hooked series Publisher: Harlequin TEEN Publication Date: January 29, 2013 Rating: 3 stars Source: Copy sent by the author, from a giveaway Summary (from Goodreads): When Native American Fredricka ‘Fred’ Oday is invited to become the only girl on the school’s golf team, she can’t say no. This is an opportunity to shine, win a scholarship and go to university, something no one in her family has done. But Fred’s presence on the team isn't exactly welcome — especially not to rich golden boy Ryan Berenger, whose best friend was kicked off the team to make a spot for Fred. But there’s no denying that things are happening between the girl with the killer swing and the boy with the killer smile... What I Liked: I have some seriously mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I think I liked several core parts of this book in general. On the other hand, several core parts of the book pissed me off. So, I'm pleasantly split, hence the three stars. Fred is about to join the men's varsity golf team at her high school. There is no women's team, so she'll be taking someone's spot on the men's team (a fact that she did not know before joining). All of the boys on the team basically hate her for it, because she got their friend Seth booted, and she didn't have to try out. But Fred is AMAZING at golf. Her dad is the groundskeeper at the country club, so Fred practices there all the time, sans lessons, partners, proper clubs, tees, or shoes. But nothing seems to go her way once she joins the team. Seth is out for vengeance, and Ryan Berenger isn't going to stand in his best friend's way. Something I really liked about this book was the treatment of the sport. Golf is obviously something very precious and important to Fred. She takes it as her escape, her motivation to go to college (something the Native Americans on this reservation don't seem to be in the habit of doing), her passion. She is better than any of the boys on the team, but she doesn't act entitled or look for special treatment. I'm not a fan of Fred, but I like her attitude towards golf. Honestly, I don't like golf, but I like sports in general, and I like how important the author makes it in this story. Another huge part of this book is the fact that Fred is a Native American, and she lives on a reservation. At times, it definitely seems like Fred is embarrassed by this. She is embarrassed by her trailer home, her mother, her old van. She doesn't have a cell phone, she is very cut off from modern technology and civilization and culture. The Native American culture wasn't heavy in this book, but the fact that Fred is a girl, and a Native American girl, is important. I honestly didn't like the story of this book. It sucks to say, but it didn't interest me. I didn't like the romance, either, though I guess I was happy to see the resolution between Ryan and Fred. The ending of this book was pretty good. Played is next! I think I'll like Riley more. She seems sweet. Genuine. What I Did Not Like: Right from the start, there were several things about this book that pissed me off. Literally from the first few pages. Take a look at my "About Me" page on my blog, you'll understand. Fred is NATIVE AMERICAN. Not INDIAN. How many times do I go through this in my life?! Seriously?! In a published, edited book, too? It's one thing for the ignoramuses in this book to call Fred and the other Native Americans "Indians" or Pocahontas" or whatever. But Fred calls herself an Indian. She refers to herself and the rest of the tribe as Indians. Ugh ugh ugh. This bothers me so much. I AM INDIAN. As in INDIA. That does NOT make me Native American. The two labels are NOT interchangeable, on one side or the other. Anyway. The beginning was super slow. I was thirty pages in and dying. When were things going to pick up? Were they ever going to pick up? I understand all about setting the scene, but it was really dragging out the scene, not setting it. I almost stopped reading, THAT QUICKLY INTO THE BOOK, but then I was like noooo, I don't "DNF" books, and also, I want to read this book before I read the sequel, Played. They're companion novels, but you know me and my OCD. So I kept reading. But the beginning is very slow. There were times in the middle of the book that seemed to go in circles, honestly. Fred and Ryan, constantly stepping around each other, sending mixed messages, getting caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, etc. It seriously bothered me that Ryan never cleanly did ANYTHING. It also seriously bothered me how willing Fred was to lie about anything and everything, to one-up Ryan. Like, how petty. How childish. Play nicely, children. I didn't like the story, or the romance. Honestly, I didn't really care about Fred's journey as a girl on a men's varsity golf team, or her struggle to contain her feelings towards Ryan, or her struggle to not be a complete b****. Oh but she really is one though. She kept leaping to conclusions and blaming Ryan. Not that Ryan shouldn't be blamed for some things. He should have put his foot down a lot of times. But he didn't. So they're both stupid. I dislike the two of them. That's kind of bad, when the book is split between their first-person perspectives. Yup, another series that alternates between the girl and the guy, and involves companion novels, instead of sequels. Would I Recommend It: Honestly, not entirely. It's not one of those magical contemporary romance novels that will sweep you off your feet. I didn't really like the story overall, and I didn't really like the romance, either, so there was enough to bring my rating down. I would say that you're safe skipping this one - you're not really missing out. Rating: 3 stars. I think I liked this one overall, but eh, it wasn't amazing or anything special. I am very happy to see that Fichera included a heavy amount of diversity in this book/series! But I wasn't a fan of the story in general. Look out for my review of Played, book two, next week!
I read this one a while back but just hadn’t gotten a chance to do the review on it. First off, I LOVED this book. I read about the book about the time that one of my youth kids got a scholarship to play golf at a college in North Carolina and so I was pretty excited for her and then I heard about this book and it all seemed to fall into place. Shazam! Anyway, Fred has a pretty rough life in some ways, but in a lot of ways she has it pretty good too. She has an amazing dad and a pretty awesome brother, and being on the golf team is her chance to do something incredible, and she is going to do it no matter what. I loved Fred’s character. Fichera wrote such an amazing character. Fred is so brave and just keeps moving forward when there are so many chances for her to just stop and give up, points when most people wouldn’t have blamed her. I also really loved seeing the relationship that develops between Ryan and Fred and how Ryan is the one that is ultimately there for her when she needs someone. I’ll admit that there were points that I wasn’t 100% crazy about this book, but there were other points that I just completely adored this book and fell head over heals for it. I will say that those moments pretty much won me over the bad parts and pulled me through the others. to make this book better than the others.