Thursday, August 21, 2014

Topics Time: Sports

Welcome to Topics Time, where I give you a few recommendations based on a particular topic for the week, including new releases and some older backlisted books you can find for cheap or at your library if you're on a budget. This week's discussion? Sports!

*Important Update* Okay, it's not that important. I'm not one who usually stresses about blog posts. Which makes no sense considering my personality. But, I've decided doing two features weekly is a LOT, and I've just started two new part-time jobs, so I'm going to switch every other week between Topics Time and Friday Book Drinks. Next week, there will be a drink post!

Eventually, I'll probably want to break some up into specific sports, but I haven't read that many of one single athletic activity yet, so for now, here's a generic suggestion for the reader who's looking for high school athletes or a lot of people involved with a sport in their town.

1. On the Fence by Kasie West
This was one of my favorite reads earlier this year, and it still holds up. This is about a girl (super similar to me and how my family is) raised by a single dad and a lot of brothers and all their friends. So she grew up a major tomboy, but when she gets another speeding ticket, she's forced to get a job, which happens to be at a rather girly boutique. On top of all this, she's getting closer to one of the guys (who happens to live next door) she's been friends with for years. Oh, and they all play sports all the time. Soccer, football, track, you name it. They're all involved with different things, and it plays a prominent role in the book. I've got a longer review of it if you want more detail.

2. Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
This was one I adored, and it still sticks with me even though I read it more than a year ago! Hudson makes seriously awesome cupcakes at her mom's diner, but that's not all. She used to be a figure skater, too. So one day, she's out on the ice and literally is mauled over by Josh, one of the stars of the school's hockey team. He invites her to practice with them to help them work on their skating (because they kind of suck), and she ends up befriending the team. It's a somewhat predictable storyline, but there are so many interesting factors that it doesn't matter. I feel like I could perfectly picture this world in my head, and these are the kind of people I would want to be friends with.

3. Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
Okay, so I haven't actually read this one, but a ton of people I totally trust when it comes to reviews have raved about it, which is why it makes the list and why it's on top of my must-buy-next list. I already relate to this book before I've even read it because Annie hates running. She hates everything about it. But she's doing it because she can't stop thinking of the "what-ifs" about her ex-boyfriend who died suddenly in a car crash. So she's trying to train for the marathon he planned to run, setting out on a physically and mentally straining course. This sounds wonderful and like everything I need to get the motivation to get running again, even though it's the worst ever. Ann Perkins sums it up best.

4. Boy Toy by Barry Lyga
This is the most "manly" of all the books if you're looking for something a little less focused on the fluffy stuff. It's a contemporary mystery sort of book, following Josh, who's had something happen in the past that leaves the reader literally screaming at the book to know what it is. He's preparing for college and dealing with his baseball career and his agonizingly tough coach who won't let up. Of course, there are some girls that get in the way and muss things up (one from the past who's really irritating him and one who brings all the memories of what happened with her). Lyga's also got a knack for having really interesting, strange, and quirky characters show up and exist in his story, which are always fun to read about.

Have you read any of these, or are you new to the world of YA sports? Are there any topics you'd like to see featured? Let me know in the comments!


  1. I absolutely love On the Fence! I haven't read the others but I'm interested in checking them out!

    1. For some reason quite a few people didn't like it, and they said it was unrealistic for Charlie to be so tomboy-ish, and I really related to her (grew up with a zillion boy cousins) and I want to shout HEY NOW WE ARE AWESOME! I just really liked this one :)

  2. Ooh On the Fence sounds good! It's on my TBR pile, but I didn't really know what it was about until I read your description. The Pushing the Limits series is also another good example of YA sports books. I don't remember what the first one is, but Dare You To features baseball, while Crash Into You is car racing and Take Me On is MMA. I think that those are the only sports-related books I've read, but I actually really liked them!

    1. A lot of people have told me about the Pushing the Limits series, and I know they're supposed to be awesome. For some reason the covers turn me off, they seem super-duper romancy, which isn't my style, but I think enough people are telling me that I should read them that I might cave...


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