"Whoever said football and girls don't mix hasn't read Catching Jordan. I couldn't put it down!" Simone Elkeles, New York Times bestselling author of the Perfect Chemistry series
ONE OF THE BOYS
What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though–she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.
But everything she's ever worked for is threatened when Ty Green moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he's also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan's feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart's on the line?
"A beautiful novel with a real and captivating depiction of high school relationships, Catching Jordan shows the same reverence for the human heart that it does for the game of football." Karsten Knight, author of Wildefire
About the Author
Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek, and her husband. Visit www.mirandakenneally.com.
Read an Excerpt
a hail mary and a harem
the count? 21 days until my trip to alabama
I once read that football was invented so people wouldn't notice summer ending. But I couldn't wait for summer vacation to end. I couldn't wait for football. Football, dominator of fall-football, love of my life.
"Blue forty-two! Blue forty-two! Red seventeen!" I yell.
The cue is red seventeen. JJ hikes me the ball. The defense is blitzing. JJ slams into a freshman safety, knocking him to the ground. The rest of my offensive line destroys the defense. Nice. The field's wide open, but my wide receiver isn't where he's supposed to be.
"What the hell, Higgins?" I mutter to myself.
Dancing on my tiptoes, I scan the end zone and find Sam Henry instead and hurl the ball. It flies through the air, a perfect spiral, heading right where I wanted it to go. He catches the ball, spikes it, and does this really stupid dance. Henry looks like a freaking ballerina. With his thin frame and girly blond hair, he actually could be the star of the New York Ballet.
I'm gonna give him hell for his dance.
This is my senior year at Hundred Oaks High, and I'm captain, so I'm allowed to keep my players in line. Even though he's my best friend, Henry has always been a showoff. His antics get us penalties.
Through the speaker in my helmet, I hear Coach Miller say, "Nice throw. This is your year, Woods. You're going to lead us to the state championship. I can feel it...Hit the showers." What the coach actually means? I know you're not going to blow it in the final seconds of the championship game like you did last year.
And he's right. I can't.
The University of Alabama called last week-on the first day of school-to tell me a recruiter is coming to watch me play on Friday night. And then a very fancy-looking letter arrived, inviting me to visit campus in September. An official visit. If they like what they see, they'll sign me in February.
I can't screw this season up.
I pull my helmet off and grab a bottle of Gatorade and my playbook. Most of the guys are already goofing off and heading over to watch cheerleading practice across the field, but I ignore them and look up into the stands.
I spot Mom sitting with Carter's dad, a former NFL player. My dad isn't here, of course. Asshole.
Lots of parents come to watch our practices because football is the big thing to do around here. Here being Franklin, Tennessee, home of the Hundred Oaks Red Raiders, eight-time state champions.
Mom always comes to practice-she's been supporting me ever since Pop Warner youth football days, but sometimes she worries I'll get hurt, even though the worst thing that's ever happened was a concussion. Sophomore year, when JJ took a breather, the coach brought in this idiot to play center, the idiot didn't cover me, and I got slammed hard.
Otherwise, I'm a rock. No knee problems, no broken limbs.
Dad never comes to my practices and rarely comes to games. People think it's because he's busy, because he's Donovan Woods, the starting quarterback for the Tennessee Titans. But the truth is he doesn't want me playing football. Why wouldn't a famous quarterback want his kid to follow in the family footsteps? Well, he does. He loves that my brother, Mike, a junior in college, plays for the University of Tennessee and led his team to a win at the Sugar Bowl last year. So what the hell is Dad's problem with my playing ball?
I'm a girl.
After chugging a bunch of Gatorade, I go find Higgins, who's already attempting to flirt with Kristen Markum, the most idiotic of cheerleaders. I take Higgins aside, avoiding her Darth Vader stare, and say, "Next time try finishing your route instead of staring at Kristen, will you?"
His face goes all red before he nods. "Okay."
Then I go pull a sophomore cornerback aside to speak privately. Duckett's a couple inches shorter than me, so I put a hand on his shoulder and walk him down the sideline.
"On that last play, where I threw the long pass to Henry, you left him wide open. And I know how fast he is, but you can't let that happen in the game. You were totally out of position."
Duckett drops his head and nods at me. "Got it, Woods."
I pat his back with my playbook as I take another sip of Gatorade, and wipe the dribble from my mouth. "Good. We're counting on you Friday night. I'm sure Coach is going to start you."
Duckett smiles as he puts his helmet under an arm and heads toward the locker room.
"Awesome job today, guys," I say to a couple of my offensive linemen, then jog over to Henry and look up at him.
He says, "What's good, Woods?"
"Nice move faking out Duckett on that last play."
Henry laughs. "I know, right?"
"Would you quit it with the dancing?"
He grins at me, his green eyes lighting up as he drags a hand through his blond curls. "You know you love it."
Smiling, I shove his chest. "Whatever."
He shoves me back. "Want to come out to eat with us?"
"Me and JJ..."
"Oh, let's see...Samantha and Marie and Lacey and Kristen."
I stick my tongue out before saying, "Shit, no."
"We're going to Pete's Roadhouse," he says, wiggling his eyebrows.
Damn it. I love going there. It's one of those restaurants where they let you throw peanut shells all over the floor. Still, I reply, "Can't. My brother said he'd watch film with me tonight."
Henry gets this hurt look on his face. "Come on, Woods. You know I want to go to Michigan more than anything, and I'm working hard, but you've been holed up every night since you heard that Alabama is coming to opening game."
I suck in a breath. "Right-I've only got three days left to get perfect."
"You're already, like, one hundred times the quarterback your brother was in high school, you know."
I grin at Henry. "Thanks," I say, even though it's not true.
He wipes sweat off his forehead with his red and black jersey. "How about I come over and watch film with you instead?"
"What about Samantha and Marie and Lacey and Kristen?"
He glances over at the cheerleaders. "They'd wait a year for me."
I shove him again, and he laughs. "Nah, it's okay," I say. "I'm glad you're going out with girls again, even if Kristen is Satan's sister."
"I'd never fool around with Kristen-I have standards, you know."
"Bullshit," I say as JJ and Carter walk up.
With his helmet in hand, JJ drapes an arm around Henry's shoulders. I'm surprised Henry's skinny knees don't buckle under JJ's 275 pounds. "You in trouble again, man?" JJ asks in his deep voice.
"Woods doesn't appreciate my dancing skills."
"No one likes your dancing skills," JJ replies. He nods at me. "You in for the Roadhouse, Woods?"
"Can't. Gotta study," I say, holding up the playbook.
"Take a break," JJ says.
"I bet you'd go if they'd picked a place that makes real food, like Michel's Bistro or Julien L'Auberge in Nashville," Carter says in a ridiculous French accent, and JJ, Henry, and I burst out laughing at him.
"Hell no," I say. "All I need is a big slab of meat and a bunch of peanut shells to throw all over the floor."
"Blasphemy," Carter replies.
"You're not going either?" I ask Carter.
He focuses on his cleats before saying, "Can't-it's a practice night, remember?" He's, like, the only person I know whose parents never say anything about school nights-it's always about football practice and games in the Carter household.
"Come on, Woods," Henry whines. "Just for an hour or two."
I hate saying no to him. "If I get through four hours of Alabama film tonight, I'll come out tomorrow."
"Fine," Henry says, smiling.
"As long as you don't bring your harem." I jerk my head at the group of cheerleaders hovering ten yards away near a goal post, making googly eyes at the guys.
"But we're a package deal," he says with a laugh.
"That's 'cause all you ever think about is your package," JJ replies.
"And you don't?" I snap and JJ punches my shoulder, causing me to stumble backward. We all crack up again.
And then two cheerleaders come up and start fawning over Henry and JJ. What took them so long?
JJ and Lacey start kissing as if winning the state championship depends on it, and Samantha intertwines her fingers with Henry's and smiles up at him. Then Kristen and Marie come over, because cheerleaders travel in packs.
"Nice practice today, Jordan," Marie says, giving me a smile. "That quarterback sneak of yours is great."
"Did Henry tell you to say that?" I ask, staring down at her.
"No," she mutters, looking at her pompoms as she ruffles them.
JJ and Lacey break apart, much like unsnapping Velcro, as Kristen says, "Don't get Jordan started, Marie. We'll be here all night listening to stats and pointers on pitching footballs..."
"They're called passes, Kristen," I reply. "Don't think too hard. I hear it makes your hair frizzy."
"Ha, ha," Kristen replies, but she subconsciously smooths her brown hair with a hand. It takes everything I've got not to burst out laughing when I see Samantha and Lacey patting their hair too. I sneak a peek at Henry, JJ, and Carter, and they start snickering again. So does Marie.
"Call if you change your mind about getting food," Henry says to me and Carter, and we all knock fists before Henry and JJ trudge off with their fan club toward the locker rooms.
I clutch my playbook to my chest and for a moment, I feel a pang of loneliness and wish that I had asked Henry to come over. He's been sad since his girlfriend dumped him a couple months ago, so he'd probably appreciate the company. Especially since he's been spending time with girls who think a Hail Mary is a prayer to Jesus's mom.
But he'd just distract me-and I need to concentrate on performing well for Alabama.
"Carter, let's go home," I hear his dad call out from the first row of the metal bleachers. "Your mom's keeping dinner warm until we're done working out."
"Have fun watching film," Carter says. "I'll be wishing I'm you as I do sit-ups with Dad tonight."
Carter jogs over to his dad, who immediately starts talking and gesturing with his hands, probably giving a play-by-play critique of how practice went.
I wish Dad would talk with me like that.
Back at home, I take a seat at the kitchen table and open my playbook. I peel a banana as I study the formation for Red Rabbit, this crazy cool flea-flicker play Coach wants us to try tomorrow. It'll be hard, but Henry and I can pull it off.
Mom comes in, lays her pruning shears and gardening gloves on the counter, and then pours a glass of water. "Why didn't you go out with your friends tonight?"
"I'm not ready for opening game," I reply, training my eyes on the Xs and Os scrawled across the paper.
"From what I've seen at practice, you're definitely ready. I don't want you to burn out."
"Maybe you need a massage. A spa day...so you'll be all fresh and relaxed for Friday. We could go on Thursday after I'm done volunteering at the hospital."
I slowly lift my head to stare at Mom. Yeah, I'm sure the guys would take me seriously if I show up with pink fingernails on Friday night. "No, but thanks." I give her a smile so I won't hurt her feelings.
She smiles back. "What are you planning to wear on your trip to Alabama?"
I shrug. "I dunno. Cleats? And my Hundred Oaks sweats?"
Mom sips her water. "I was thinking maybe we could go shopping for a dress."
"Nah, but thanks."
God, if I wore a dress, the Alabama guys would laugh me right out of Tuscaloosa, right back to some pitiful Division II school. "The Alabama head coach is a big Baltimore fan. Maybe I'll wear a Ravens jersey."
Mom laughs. "Dad would kick you out of the house."
"Why am I kicking my daughter out of the house?" the great Donovan Woods asks as he comes into the kitchen and gives Mom a kiss and a hug.
"No reason," I mutter and flip a page in my playbook.
Dad grabs a bottle of Gatorade, the strawberry-plum shit he does advertising for, and takes a gulp. He's still buff as ever, but his black hair has started to turn salt-and-peppery. At forty-three years old, Dad has tried to retire after each of the five previous seasons, but he always comes back for some reason or another. Over the years, this has become a joke to sportscasters, so unless we want to get yelled at, we never ask when he's actually going to retire.
He stares down at my playbook and shakes his head.
"You coming to my game on Friday?" I ask Dad.
He looks at Mom when he replies, "Maybe. I'll think about it."
"How about I take you and Henry fishing on Saturday morning before we go to your brother's game?" Dad smiles at me expectantly.
What total bullshit. He'll go to Mike's game, but won't come to mine? And he tries to suck up by asking me to go fishing?
"No thanks," I say.
The grin dissolves from Dad's face. "Maybe next weekend then," he says softly.
"And maybe you could come to my game on Friday," I mumble to myself. "Mom, where's Mike?" I'm anxious to start watching more Alabama film. Even though I've watched hundreds of college and pro games, I love getting an expert opinion and, well, Dad's never willing to give it.
"Oh," Mom replies. "His coach called a team meeting. Mike said to tell you he's sorry."
"That's cool," I say quietly.
Mom starts telling Dad all about her roses and sunflowers, gesturing out the kitchen window toward the garden. "The sunflowers have almost reached a state of Zen, don't you think?"
Dad wraps his arms around Mom, and I swear I hear him murmur, "I'm in a state of Zen right now too."
Before I reach a state of upchuck, I grab my playbook and a package of chocolate-chip cookies and head downstairs to our basement, where I turn on the TV and put in a DVD of last year's national championship game-Alabama vs. Texas.
I flip off the lights, settle down on one of the leather sofas, and dig into the cookies as I push the play button on the remote.
So. My friends are off hooking up with cheerleaders.
My dad cares more about sunflowers reaching a state of Zen than my feelings.
At least I've got football.
It's been my life since I was seven, but sometimes Henry says I need to spend less time focusing and start "living life like I'm going to hell tomorrow."
But I feel like a normal teenager. Well, as normal as I can be. I mean, obviously I think Justin Timberlake is a mega-hunk, but I'm also over six feet tall and can launch a football fifty yards.
Other ways I'm not normal?
A girl who hangs with an entire football team must hook up all the time, right?
I've never had a boyfriend. Hell, I've never even kissed a guy. The closest I've evercome to a kiss happened just this past summer, but it was a joke. At a party, one of those cheerleaders suggested we all play a game of seven minutes in heaven, you know, the game where you go into a closet and kiss? Somehow Henry and I got sent into the closet together, and of course we didn't kiss, but we ended up in a mad thumb-wrestling match. Which turned into a shoving match. Which turned into everyone thinking we'd hooked up in the closet. Yeah, right. He's like my brother.
It's not that guys aren't interested in me, because they are, it's that most of the guys I know are either:
- Shorter than me;
- On my team;
- All of the above.
I would never let myself date guys on my team. And I'm not interested in any of them anyway. Riding buses to and from games for years has turned me off to all of them 'cause one bus ride with my team produces more gas than a landfill.
Besides, I don't have time for guys, and if I suddenly were to start acting like a girl, the team might not take me seriously. And I can't afford to lose my confidence-because I'm the star of the Hundred Oaks Red Raiders.
The star Alabama will love on Friday night.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Great book I couldn't put down. Would recommend
I hope this author will make a sequal, and if she doesnt than i cant wait for her next book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope they make a movie out of this book because it would be a great movie!!!!!!!! I would totally see the midnight premire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GET THIS BOOK FOR 2012!!!!!! I love this book 100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000%, even more. But at some parts i was mad at Jordan because she made a worng mistake. But i ended up loving it
First off, I like to declare my love for reading. This book is the reason I love to read. To read an author's amazing work of craftsmanship. To read a story from beginning to end. To fall in love all over again. I love you Ms. Kenneally. You are a genius! Let me take a minute to catch my breath as well as my heart! This book is outstanding. Amazing! Simply divine! And I just want to read it over and over again! I have never laughed and snickered so much while reading a book. My hubby just kept on asking me,"Whats so funny?" I was smiling so broadly that even he wanted to know what is making me so happy! Ok, so this book is just WOW! The characters in this book are so amazingly written. From the very first page, I snorted, laughed, and before I knew it, fell in love. Jordan is no ordinary girl. She is young, feisty, strong, and the quarterback of her state champion football team. I loved how well her character is. She is not someone to take crap from anyone yet she is stronger than most people give her credit for. I adore that her history gives her a well rounded back round for the reader to reflect on. The plot of this book really took me somewhere I never expected. The football field. I love the game talk, the guy talk, the dirty jokes, and mostly Jordan snarky remarks! She held her own in the field and didn't need anyone to stand up for her. She didn't get her feelings hurt, but instead stood stronger. There was however a love triangle that I did not see coming. I expected one guy not two. Nonetheless, the triangle really made Jordan act like a girl and really evaluate her feelings. There were some decisions of hers that I did not like but hey, when you are a teen you make plenty of mistakes. This book is hands down amazing! Once you start reading you have a compulsion not to stop. To run out into the Friday night lights and see Jordan shine! This debut is my favorite of this year! I can not wait to see what Ms. Kenneally write for her readers next!
I loved this book! Being a typical lady, I could totally understand Jordan Woods in every aspect of her life. Please read & relate to Jordan too! My favorite character is Sam Henry... hope he is yours too! :-) NOT awaste of money!
Honestly this book is the best book that i have read in a very long time. The first thing that becomes very clear from the start is that the lead, Jordan Woods is the lead QB and her team of guys not only respects her as such, they respect her as a phenominal leader. Honestlyit reminds me ofthe comraderie that i have among my men in the Army. This book is a must read -Misty Oxford US ARMY! ACTIVE
I love it when a book takes me by utter surprise! When I read the synopsis to Catching Jordan I was very intrigued by the whole idea of the main character, Jordan, being the Captain of the school¿s football team. I was curious to see how the author would pull this off, and I have to say she did an excellent job. It was very believable and Jordan is a character everyone will love. In fact, every single character in this book is awesome! Catching Jordan was a very fast read for me and super, super, entertaining. There wasn¿t a moment where I found the story to be uninteresting or lacking anything. This was one of those books I stayed up really late to read and just couldn¿t put it down until the last page. When I was finally done I couldn¿t sleep because all I kept thinking about was how good this story is. In the story, Jordan is the captain of her football team. Football to her means everything. She takes it very seriously, and one of her goals is to get accepted to the college of her choice and play football for their team. Jordan isn¿t really the party type and doesn¿t really do the whole ¿dating¿ thing. She feels all that is just a distraction and right now she doesn¿t need that. So imagine everyone¿s surprise when the new boy in school, Ty, joins the team and Jordan starts to act a little bit different. She begins wearing clothes she normally wouldn¿t wear and distressing about her hair, things normally girls worry about. Ty enters Jordan¿s life and things just go off track for her. It¿s obvious that both of them have a thing for each other and as much as Jordan tried to hide it from her team mates, they just knew. I loved how close and how much respect Jordan¿s team mates had for her. They treated her like if she was one of the guys, but at the same time like she was their little sister. They were always there for her and respected every decision she made for the team. Catching Jordan also has a nice little twist. I loved the direction Kenneally took the story and all the true life moments that I felt helps us, as readers, relate to her characters. The romance in the story is just a plus. Jordan deals with a lot more than boy trouble. This is just a great read and I am really looking forward to reading ANY books by Miranda Kenneally. She is now on my AUTO-BUY list of authors. This is definitely a MUST-READ, MUST-BUY! 5 out of 5 Stars!
This has to be the best book in the world. I felt like I was on the field while reading it.
I am in love with this book! I didn't want it to end.
Read the sample and thought I would give it a chance. Literally couldn't put the book down! I work night shift, and don't do much. Needless to say I read the entire book in one night!
Catching Jordan was everything I wanted a YA sports book to be because it wasn't really about the sport (in this case Football) but the people who played it. I loved the character of Jordan so much! She's a smart, funny tomboy who's completely comfortable in her own skin. Caring about her and her future in football was easy because she's not only an amazing player, but a dedicated athlete who trains just as hard as the boys. It would be easy to dismiss the believability of a female quarterback playing in high school, but I love that author Miranda Kenneally handle this topic as though it weren't. Jordan just simply is the best quarterback in her state. Jordan's awkwardness towards Ty is really cute. She kind of mentally falls apart whenever he's around. Its important to her that Ty know how seriously she takes football but not have him see her as just another member of the team. What Jordan doesn't know is that Ty's has his own set of problems, ones which having him thinking about a lot more then football. The friendship that Jordan shares with Henry, JJ, and Carter was wonderful and extremely believable. These guys were not only amazing teammates, supporting Jordan's decisions on the field, but her best friends off the field. I found it especially amusing when they tried to give Jordan romantic advice or threatened to beat people up for her. LOL. Of the trio, Henry is the clear stand out. Always being the first to crack a joke, cheer Jordan up or stick up for her. Seriously I love that boy! Jordan's strained relationship with her dad was something I wasn't expecting. Jordan's dad is a pro football player who doesn't want his daughter playing. The fact that he continually supports her older brother Mike, who's also a quarterback, further complicates things. There were often times when I could understand her dad's concern or point of view, but it still broke my heart for Jordan since all she really wants is her dad's acceptance. Catching Jordan is about so much more then the synopsis would have you believe. Yes, its about a girl who develops a crush on her teammate, but its also about first loves, friendship, family and how far one is willing to go to chase down their dreams. Best of all you don't have to know a thing about football to enjoy it. If you ever watched and loved the NBC show Friday Night Lights then you must read Catching Jordan! If you haven't, well then I advise you to do both! This contemporary novel easily passed all of my expectations making it a perfect touchdown! The characters are real, the situations are honest and there's no shortage of humor or heart.
Awesome!! Really liked it! I would def recommend it!!
i seriously could not put this book down. It was amazing! I really hope the author makes a sequel!
Now whenever I read teen love stories they just end up making me annoyed at the fact that none of this could ever happen. I mean really how many times have you just looked up into someone's eyes and BOOM! Your in love happily ever after. Catching jordan wasn't like that. As I read I felt what she felt and it seemed as though wheat she was doing and going through could really happen. I also loved that Miranda Kenneally didn't make Jordan stupid. She portrayed Jordan as a strong independent woman who wasn't so stone cold though. She still had feelings like any girl, but didn't mind that she was on a team with a bunch of hotties. Overall it's an awesome change from the average love story. :)
I love this book i am reading it for a fourth time this month
This is like my all time favorite book! I have it probably 15 times and i cry everytime i read it! Im extremley embarressed to admit but i really wish i had a friend like Sam Henrey. The bond between him and Jordan is amazing and Miranda Knelley did a wonderful job portraying their bond. Im so excited for October 1st!!!! While my friends are excited for October 1st for the new One Direction album to come out im excited for October 1st because Miranada Knelley's new book will be coming out!!! Ive already preordered it!!!! Also i just wanted to say that i personally think that a big part of the emotion in the boook comes from Miranda's niceness. I emailed her telling her how much i enjoyed the book and how i wished that there was a sequal and she responded a couple days later! Im facebook friends with her!!!
Jordan Woods is a senior at Hundred Oak High School in Tennesee. The captain of the football team, has great friends, and is being recruited to play college ball by one of the best colleges. Only down side, Jordan is a girl, therefore people other than her teammates don't take her seriously. Jordan loves playing football and is looking forward to taking her team to states again, ony this time winning. That is until a new boy moves into town. Tyler Green, Ty, loves football and tries to take Jordan's position as quarterback. Jordan can't think straight around Ty and relationships with her long time friends become complicated the more she spends time with Ty. This book is really good! Once I started it I finished it in a few hours I could not put it down! Girls can connect with Jordan and the struggle for exceptance she goes through not only from her dad but also from the rest of the college football players.
suuch a great book. could not put it down. i would totes recommend it to people
This book was amazing it kinda reminds me of my life and I couldnt put it down!!!! I hope this biok becomes a movie because i would watch it! I hope i enjoy her other books as much as I enjoyed this one! Hope you enjoy this book as much as I did. If I could give more than 5 stars I would! This is by far the best book i have ever read!
Words cannot describe how much I loved this book... READ IT NOW!!!!!!! :) -REMEMBERINGTHEMEMORIES
Loved this book took me less than12 hours to finish it!!! Buy it you wouldn't be disapointed I promise!!!
Very good book. It kept me wanting more. Catching Jordan is a must read book! Suggesting it for other 9th graders and up.
What can i say, i LOVED this book! It made me want to join the football team :) The main character was a lucky girl. I could not put this book down. I wont lie at one point i wanted to cry, another i wanted to through the book and the other i was laughing so hard. The boy characters in this book are so real with what they say and how they act and the main character goes through real teenage girl issues i could relate to. Overall its a great book that i highly suggest u read. Btw best ending ever!!!!
I loved this book. I didnt want to stop reading it!
This book was completely amazing i bought started to read and couldnt put it down i read it all in two hours i loved it the way the plot reveals itself is just like high school!!!!!!