5 Hearts

Playing for Love by Dana Burkey


For years now, Fiona has been known by everyone at school as “Ross Mealing’s little sister.” But now, as she begins her sophomore year of high school, she is determined to be known by a new title: “Jordan Peterson’s girlfriend.” The only problem with that plan? Jordan happens to be best friends with her brother, and after this year will be moving on to college. Hoping to act like the girls Jordan has dated in the past, Fiona joins the soccer team and does her best to make Jordan see her as more than just his best friends little sister. Will Fiona’s plan work in the end? Find out now in this sweet YA contemporary romance!

Personal Thoughts


​If you haven’t noticed by some of the book
choices I make, I am a fan of soccer. I have played
it on-and-off my entire life. My dad was an avid soccer player. I meet my husband at a pick-up game of soccer. Even my son’s bedroom has a ton of soccer items. So yes I enjoy the game. So if I find a book that has soccer as its main sport I am about 99.9% sure I will end up reading it. 


Which brings us to our current book. Playing for Love by Dana Burkey. It is a YA sports contemporary novel. The protagonist female is a high school sophomore. Her tryout for the soccer team, and makes JV. She does it all for a boy. Not, just any boy, but her brother’s best friend, Jordan. During one of her first games, Fiona gets hit in the face with the soccer ball and ends up with a broken nose. This situation is the push-that-gets-the-ball-rolling for Fiona to being discovering herself.
How many times do you end up choosing to do something for selfish reason or have alternative motives, but then your reason for continuing with the task has completely changed?

Fiona originally joined the soccer team for Jordan. According to Jordan’s track recorder, he dates majority of the time girls that play soccer. Fiona, figured this was an important for her to become more appealing as a dateable candidate for Jordan.  When she gets hits in the face with the soccer ball, Fiona has a totally meltdown and is about to quit the team. The girls on the team rallied with Fiona. Each girl, on JV and varsity, got her own nose guard mask and decorated them. They also stole Fiona’s of a night and decorated hers as well. It was so touching. I was glad the author showed how girls’ sports can be a positive influence.

Fiona’s self-esteem growth regarding her – appearance, athletic ability, social skills, and realization of her acceptance by the team – was some of my favorite parts.  The story is true to the thoughts, feelings and interpretations of a young teenage-girl. Fiona reads too much into what people do or not do. She is trust worthy and naïve, but learns from her mistakes.


Jordan Peterson

Fiona Mealing
If you are looking for a fun
Sports​ YA story,
​this may be up your alley.

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