Hype-Worthy or Not (2)

Posted 20 December, 2011 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 5 Comments

Contemporaries seem to lose out when it comes to publisher hype–it’s the dystopians and paranormals that are getting all the love at the moment. So when the blogosphere buzzes and builds hype all on its own for a couple of contemporaries, we should take notice (I did!). 
YA Contemporary
 288 pages
Available now (Dec. 2011)
Review copy purchased
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
What girl doesn’t want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn’t just surrounded by hot guys, though – she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that’s just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there’s a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team… and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate.
Jordan, Jordan, Jordan. Why didn’t you get the hype you deserved? Thank goodness for my blogger buds who read, reviewed, and raved about this fantastic book. 

I’m always impressed and amazed by trailblazers, those who go after their dreams full-throttle and, in doing so, pave the way for others to follow in their path. Jordan is definitely a trailblazer, based on real-life girls who followed their dreams and played football, despite the obstacles. Jordan, the quarterback of her winning high school team, is a fabulous character: strong and stubborn, able to hang with the boys and inspire their loyalty yet vulnerable in many ways (definitely not a Mary Sue).  

The love triangle is tangibly painful to read as Jordan falls for the new guy, and her best friend skips from one one-night stand to another. This triangle works for me because it’s integral to the plot and because it’s realistic that both guys would be interested in her, each for their own reasons. Oh, and the ending…well done. So very well done.

Hype-Worthy? Most definitely. 

YA Contemporary
294 pages
Available now (Oct. 2011)
Review copy purchased
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love. And Jeremy is hands-down the wrong guy for her to fall for. He is infuriating, arrogant, and the only person who can stand in the way of Carmen getting the one thing she wants most: to win the prestigious Guarneri competition. Carmen’s whole life is violin, and until she met Jeremy, her whole focus was winning. But what if Jeremy isn’t just hot…what if Jeremy is better?
Carmen knows that kissing Jeremy can’t end well, but she just can’t stay away. Nobody else understands her–and riles her up–like he does. Still, she can’t trust him with her biggest secret: She is so desperate to win she takes anti-anxiety drugs to perform, and what started as an easy fix has become a hungry addiction. Carmen is sick of not feeling anything on stage and even more sick of always doing what she’s told, doing what’s expected.
Sometimes, being on top just means you have a long way to fall….

While this book got a bit more hype from its publisher than JORDAN, it also got some seriously rave reviews from book bloggers. And it totally lived up to those reviews. I loved this book. Love, love, loved! Perhaps my adoration of this book comes from my musical background and connection to Carmen as a musician–especially one who got extremely nervous pre-performance (hey, me too! Though I certainly was no virtuoso.). The author’s own love of music and musical knowledge rang clearly throughout the story, bringing it to life.

Carmen is great character–a bit damaged, a bit fragile, and quite an amazing talent. Her whole life has been focused on being the absolute best violinist and, right before the biggest performance of her life, she starts to crumble. Cutie-pie Jeremy, her competition, plays no small part in this. Does he really like her or is he just romancing her to distract her from the competition?

I thought I knew where this story was going, how it was going to end but, in a fabulous twist, it didn’t end how I expected. And I loved it! VIRTUOSITY definitely ended on a high note. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

Hype-Worthy? Holy cow, YES!

About Mary @ TheBookSwarm

5 Responses to “Hype-Worthy or Not (2)”

  1. I LOVED both of these. Both of the books had such great main characters. I’m so happy that you liked both of them. πŸ™‚

  2. Ooh! Yes, both of these books are AWESOME!! I always find that contemp books don’t get enough hype or even love from bloggers, so I love that they’re being a bit more embraced again lately.

  3. Oh yay! We really want to check out Catching Jordan, so we’re glad you think it lives up! πŸ˜€

    We weren’t that interested in Virtuosity, but you and another blogger we love (papereader) have said great things, so maybe we’ll add it to our list!