All her life, people have told 17-year-old tomboy Emma Wrangton that she’s not good enough, smart enough, or strong enough to succeed in life. Somewhere along the way, she started to believe them. Without the promise of a respectable future after graduation, all Emma wants is to cherish her senior year by playing basketball with the guys and spending as much time as possible with her best friend before he heads off to some fancy university, leaving her behind. But when the high school basketball coach recruits her to join the team—the girls’ team—Emma discovers life is anything but a slam dunk. How is she supposed to know how to be one of the girls when all she’s ever been is one of the guys?
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A tear-jerking story of bullying and finding strength when it seems there's none to be found.
Emma is a tomboy of the highest degree. All she wants to do is stay on the basketball court with the guys she plays with, avoiding her family and all girls at all cost. That is, until the women's basketball coach shows up and all but begs her to be a part of their team, to lead it. To say she was reluctant would be an understatement but her best friend pushes her to at least try and when she does, everything begins to change.
What I loved:
This story breaks your heart. Emma is such a sad character, neglected by her father, mistreated by her brothers, ridiculed by the girls at school. But the one thing she has is Riley. Their friendship is so pure and good and their slip into something more is done seamlessly and authentically. They balance each other perfectly. Through Emma's struggles, we learn what real strength is. We learn what it is to cast unfair judgments and that maybe different doesn't mean bad.
What was just okay:
I wish Emma had been more likable. Here we have a girl who is picked on and bullied that we want to love every part of. But then Ashley comes into the picture - the young, super sweet freshman who only wants to fit in - and Emma is horrible to her.
Bring the tissues because this book will break you in two and never quite put you back together. Wonderfully done. A worthwhile read.