Friday, January 10, 2020

Blog Tour: Throw Like a Girl - Sarah Henning


Throw Like a Girl
Sarah Henning
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Poppy
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
Friday Night Lights meets Morgan Matson's The Unexpected Everything in this contemporary debut where swoonworthy romance meets underdog sports story.

When softball star Liv Rodinsky throws one ill-advised punch during the most important game of the year, she loses her scholarship to her fancy private school, her boyfriend, and her teammates all in one fell swoop. With no other options, Liv is forced to transfer to the nearest public school, Northland, where she'll have to convince their coach she deserves a spot on the softball team, all while facing both her ex and the teammates of the girl she punched... Every. Single. Day.

Enter Grey, the injured star quarterback with amazing hair and a foolproof plan: if Liv joins the football team as his temporary replacement, he'll make sure she gets a spot on the softball team in the Spring. But it will take more than the perfect spiral for Liv to find acceptance in Northland's halls, and behind that charming smile, Grey may not be so perfect after all.

With well-drawn characters and a charming quarterback love interest who's got brains as well as brawn, Throw Like a Girl will have readers swooning from the very first page.
REVIEW

Though her reasoning was solid, Liv should not have thrown that punch, or as she liked to call it, "the punch heard round the world." She acted impulsively, and now, she might have lost everything. But, she had a plan. She was going to prove, that she could be a leader, a teammate, and someone who could be relied on. With the help of the current QB, and support from some likely and unlikely sources, Liv was ready to set her plan in motion.

This was pretty much love at first page for me. Henning immediately immersed me in Liv's world, and her head, giving me keen insight into who this young woman was. I knew right then and there, that I was #TeamLiv. Throughout the story, I saw how dedicated Liv was to so many things. She sacrificed for her team and family, and she constantly pushed herself to her physical and mental limits. Drive and determination are things I admire about many elite level athletes, and Liv had a seemingly limitless supply of both.

Aside from Liv, there were many other things I loved about this story, but three stood out: sports, family and friends, and romance.

I have a unending love for sports books. Oddly enough, as a non-sporty-sport, I get frustrated, when the book features no actual sports play. That was not a problem with Throw Like a Girl. Not only did I get to attend some championship softball games, I also got to monitor Liv's progress via her grueling workouts, and catch some of her football games. I read Henning's bio, and was not surprised to discover, that she was a sportswriter, because she did an incredible job bringing me into the action and excitement of a game, the pain and suffering of injury, and the agony of defeat.

However, I am not sure Liv would have survived her season as QB without the love and support of her family, friends, and community. Liv really did have a wonderful family, and though they were dealing with a LOT, and maybe didn't have as much as they needed in terms of material things, they had so much love, and this was evident throughout the story. Sharing moments with Liv and her brother, as well as with her whole family, brought me so much joy. These were some very special moments, and I am glad Henning gave them to me. Liv also had a stellar best friend, and the support of her teammates. I was glad Henning didn't go the sexist route, and have the team resist her as QB. It was actually refreshing to see a female in a male dominated sport being respected for her skill, instead of opposed because of her sex.

And, the romance. Grey was a great and swoon-worthy love interest for Liv. They were such a power couple, and I really enjoyed watching their friendship blossom. I wouldn't say I was a fan of some of the drama encountered by these two, but I did like the pairing, and watching them grow and change together was fantastic for me.

Overall: This was the feel-good story I was looking for. I wholeheartedly rooted for Liv, as she fought for the the people and things she loved, while also finding her way back to herself. Henning delivered the perfect balance of drama, romance, and sports, which left me feeling like I, myself, had won a championship.

* ARC received in exchange for an honest review.


 

Reading this book, reminded me of some incredible female driven sports movies I have seen, and here are some of my favorites.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Sarah Henning is a recovering journalist who has worked for the Palm Beach Post, Kansas City Star and Associated Press, among others. While in South Florida, Sarah lived and worked through five hurricanes, which gave her an extreme respect for the ocean. When not writing, she runs ultramarathons, hits the playground with her two kids and hangs out with her husband Justin, who doubles as her long-suffering IT department. Sarah lives in Lawrence, Kansas, which, despite being extremely far from the beach, happens to be pretty cool.











Favorite sports book or movie?
Let us know in the comments!

32 comments:

  1. This sounds really sweet, thanks for sharing your thoughts

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    1. It had a great balance of family, friendship, and romance, and I enjoyed it so much

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  2. Liz sounds like such a great character. She made a lousy decision and paid for it, but was also prepared to find another way to reach her goals and turn things around. And kudos to Henning for not giving another girl-meets-resistance-from-entire-male-team story! Showing that a girl CAN be accepted on the merit of her talent is awesome!

    Lots of love for A League of Their Own and Ice Princess. :)

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    1. When you know exactly what prompted her to do what she did, you would give her a little leeway. I mean, I know it's a thing, where the boys resist the girl in their world, but it's so overdone, and therefore, it was great to see the conflict arise from something else.

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  3. You just made me want to read this one more than I already did! Ugh! I want to have my library get a copy, but I can't request them to do so for 7 MORE DAYS!

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    1. Fingers crossed your library gets a copy, because Liv and her family really won my heart.

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  4. the title made me chuckle and i do love a good sports story. 5 stars...i will be checking this out further
    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. I am trash for sports stories. They always tend to have the feel-good thing going on, and I love seeing people work so hard and get rewarded.

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  5. You know, I don't typically go for this kind of story, but you completely sold me. I love the idea of Liv being a willful woman who knows what she wants. I'm soooo tired to reading about YA women who are confused and uncertain. Bring it on.

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    1. I agree with you wholeheartedly. She was a great character

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  6. This sounds like a sweet read. Glad you enjoyed it.

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  7. Sports books always scare me, but this book sounds like a real winner!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. Really? I am curious about what scares you now.

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  8. I am so happy to see you giving this one 5 stars. I bought a copy at the book signing that I went to on Thursday and am really looking forward to reading it. It sounds really good!

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    1. I saw your pictures! So jelly you met Henning. I hope this book is a winner for you too

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  9. Yes... Yes, I want this. I'm not on the fence with this one, I want to read it. You giving it 5 stars has just made me more determined. :)

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    1. You know I love me some sports YA books, and this one was excellent. I hope you get to read it.

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  10. I dont read a lo of sports books but this one sounds so good. Love sounds like a charavters that I would root for too.

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    1. I will always be behind a character who perseveres, and Liv was one of those characters

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  11. I LOVED LOVED LOVED reading this book!! Great review!

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    1. This is on my list of books I will forever push. So good.

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  12. Reading about female athletes is really interesting, especially when they're playing male-dominated sports.

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    1. And, she was so much more than an athlete. Her reason for throwing herself into a male dominated sport was not the usual one either, and I think her story was more interesting because of that.

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  13. Great review!!! I'm definitely adding to my TBR.

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    1. Yeah! I hope you get to read it, because it was so good!

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  14. This sounds great. I love sports books and that comparison to Friday Night Lights really caught my attention since that's one of my all time favorite TV shows. I've read Henning's fantasy novels but didn't know she had a contemporary coming out.

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    1. FNL (the TV show) is like my gold standard for sports stories, so, if they name drop that, I will nibble. I only knew Henning from her fantasy, but I hope she will treat us to more contemporaries

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  15. Excellent Review Sam! I loved Liv's drive and determination as well, and agree that a lot of sports romances don't really have a lot of sports in them. The amount of spots play in this story stood out to me too :)

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

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    1. I am not even a sports fan, but I really like when authors have the sports characters actually playing sports.

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  16. Oh, it sounds like I am going to love Liv a lot too! She seems like someone who is so dedicated to those she cares about and I know I am going to relate to that a lot myself as well. And I like that this is a sports book which actually takes the time to feature the sports a lot too :D As it should do!

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    1. Liv was flawed, but wonderfully so, and she had so many fantastic attributes, I could forgive the small things she did. Honestly, she was young, and her mistakes were very forgivable.

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