5 Hearts · YA Contemporary

Waiting on the Sidelines By Ginger Scott

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Nolan Lennox had things figured out. Named after a baseball legend, she enjoyed being the Tomboy, her closet filled with her brother’s hand-me-downs, cut-off jeans and soccer shorts. But when her first trip to high school results in a broken heart from the first boy to ever make her heart flutter and cruel words from an older girl she once thought a family friend, Nolan starts to question the very person she thought she was and wonders if her humble upbringing can compete with the afforded luxuries of her privileged peers.

Throughout the next four years, Nolan struggles to maintain herself throughout her path of discovery, learning just how cruel teenagers can be through the pressures of underage drinking, sexuality and class. And despite how life seems to continue to work against her, she still manages to listen to her heart, falling deeper and deeper for the guy the entire town adores, even if he only sees her as a friend. Can Nolan strike a compromise between her own integrity and the boy she loves? And can she make him notice her before it’s too late?

Reed Johnson came to Coolidge High School with a lot of fanfare. The son of a hometown football legend and the brother of a local football hero, Reed wore all the pressures of carrying a town without hope into the spotlight. Thankfully, he had the talent to back it up. But when he meets a girl who makes him think twice about exactly what being a hero means, he starts to wonder if following in his brother’s footsteps might be all wrong.

Nolan Lennox was everything that was opposite of expected. She didn’t flirt, she didn’t drink and she didn’t sleep around. Nothing about her was easy, but something about her made Reed want to try harder. Though she didn’t look the part, she seemed to be spending a lot of time in Reed’s thoughts, and he wondered if she could be the one who made it all worthwhile. But could Reed handle letting her down? And would breaking her heart break him beyond repair?

Waiting on the Sidelines explores young love to its fullest, exposing how real young heartbreak and passion is and how important it is to discover yourself and hold onto your own identity. The story follows two young characters as they deal with mature situations, including the prevalence of bullying and promiscuity in today’s high school setting. Ultimately, Waiting on the Sidelines is a story of hope, honesty and those powerful, first true loves—the ones worth holding onto at any cost.

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A complete coming-of-age story. Our young protagonist, Nolan, begins her journey as a freshmen in high school and we follow her through all 4 years. Nolan is your tomboy volleyball playing, track athlete, who you just can’t help but love. Her family is not super well off, which is a sore spot for her.  The story follows her infatuation (which later grows into love) for the star athlete of the town, Reed Johnson.  Her highs, her lows, her heartbreaks, and her joyous moments. In all these experiences Reed is the center of many of them. He becomes her best friend, her confidant, her shoulder to cry on, her comfort, her punching bag, her verbal assault, and her hero. Reed and Nolan, both suffer heart break, personal struggles, emotional and physical obstacles. Their friendship and chemistry is what gets them through each event.  Regardless of the outside forces trying to keep them apart. They keep finding their way back to each other.

Here’s the thing. There are some parts in the story that I get frustrated with. Not with the writing, just the characters. I think there are too many times Reed is being a complete idiot.  Reed is your typical teenage guy, completely warped up in himself. He was in desperate need to grow up – which eventually occurs –  once he loses, almost, everything, I think that is when reality hits him. He is a likable character and you can see why any girl would fall for him. I admire that Nolan tried to date other people to get over Reed. Sean and Tyler both were decent guys, Sean much more then Tyler. Tyler ends up being too aggressive with Nolan and tries to force himself on her.

I love Nolan’s girlfriends. They are strong and independent, but stick together too.

Many positives for this book. I don’t want you all thinking that I am just giving 4 and 5 away like candy. It is just easier to write a positive review on books I have enjoyed then going back and writing a negative review on a book I know I hated. Don’t worry I will tell you which books to just avoided. Just not this one.

Ginger Scott has Waiting on the Sidelines 2, titled Going Long, which I will put in the New Adult section. I will later add a link to this post to send you to the second book once I have posted it. 

I love this story. I Love Nolan.  While reading this book I – smiled, laughed out loud, giggled, became angry, yelled at the book, and cried. This book hits a lot on the troubles teenage girls go through and I think the writer did a great job showing the insecurities and strengthens of our protagonist.

OPicturene of my favorite things about Nolan is her desire to be a special education teacher. She was a lifeguard for two summers and helped a girl with Down Syndrome over come her anxiety with swimming. I was so touched by it.

So should you read this book.

YES! YES! YES!

Not many books do I say go and buy your own copy so you can read and reread, but this is one of them.

Just get your own copy and you will be grateful that you can read it as many times as you want. Trust me, I have. 

 Amazon Kindle Edition Get HEREPicture

 Parental Info

It does have teenagers participating in: drinking, and sex, but nothing graphic. Language and swearing is consistent with YA level. Encouraged for 15 and up. 

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