Home Field Advantage

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Home Field Advantage
Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
June 07, 2022
ISBN
978-1250765840
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Amber McCloud’s dream is to become cheer captain at the end of the year, but it’s an extra-tall order to be joyful and spirited when the quarterback of your team has been killed in a car accident. For both the team and the squad, watching Robbie get replaced by newcomer Jack Walsh is brutal. And when it turns out Jack is actually short for Jaclyn, all hell breaks loose.

The players refuse to be led by a girl, the cheerleaders are mad about the changes to their traditions, and the fact that Robbie’s been not only replaced but outshined by a QB who wears a sports bra has more than a few Atherton Alligators in a rage. Amber tries for some semblance of unity, but it quickly becomes clear that she's only got a future on the squad and with her friends if she helps them take Jack down.

Just one problem: Amber and Jack are falling for each other, and if Amber can't stand up for Jack and figure out how to get everyone to fall in line, her dream may come at the cost of her heart.

Dahlia Adler's Home Field Advantage is a sparkling romance about fighting for what - or who - you truly want.

Editor review

1 review
delightful YA LGBT romance
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE is a delightful YA high school romance between a quarterback and cheerleader. Amber is a junior who loves cheerleading, and she has her sights set on becoming captain next year. She is fake-dating her friend, Miguel, as they are both in the closet at their intolerant school. Things become much more complicated when the new quarterback arrives - and Amber cannot help but notice how attractive she is.

Jack loves football, and she wants to play it for as long as she can. She was not allowed on the team at her old school so when she was unofficially recruited by this random Florida high school, she jumps on the chance. However, nothing seems to be going the way she expected. The whole team is still hung up on the previous QB (even though he was a jerk), the school is super-intolerant of her being female and out, and even her brothers are unhappy with her over moving with their mom to this random town to play.

When Jack and Amber begin to collide, Amber will have to decide what matters to her most, and when the football and cheerleading teams are seemingly united against Jack for simply existing, doing the right thing may take away her chances of becoming captain.

What I loved: This is such a compelling and riveting YA contemporary read. There is a lot to unpack and a lot to love. The book is told with alternating perspectives of Jack and Amber. Right from the beginning, they felt inevitable, and their relationship was so easy to cheer for. Many of the major themes in the story were really thought-provoking and well handled, including coming out and related decisions around that, dealing with hate/intolerance, knowing the right thing but also knowing you'll have to give up everything for it, and embracing yourself as you are.

A major thread was around being true to yourself (or not) despite all the fallout and the power in embracing who you are, a topic that will resonate with YA readers who are grappling with social status and their own insecurities. While the book manages to stay fairly light-hearted and hopeful throughout, it is tackling some hefty topics, and their weight will not escape readers.

Both Jack and Amber were really fantastic characters. Jack knows who she is, but society has really worn her down, and this school makes it impossible. Still, she plays her best and holds out hope at every step of the way. Amber has not yet decided who she will be and whether she will be true to her dreams of being cheer captain or of being openly who she is and standing up for what she knows is right. Her struggle was compelling, and though she has some missteps, it was really critical to see her come to where she was at the end of the book. Together, they fit so well.

This book also just gives all the smiles, particularly on the cute dates and with the end - such a delightful read!

Final verdict: A compelling and charming YA contemporary, HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE is a delightful read that is sure to leave readers grinning. Highly recommend for fans of THE ONE TRUE ME AND YOU, SHE GETS THE GIRL, and IT'S ALL IN HOW YOU FALL.
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