Thursday, February 26, 2015

Review: Waiting on the Sidelines by Ginger Scott

Waiting on the Sidelines by Ginger Scott
Release Date:  November 13, 2013
Publisher:  Ginger Scott

Nolan Lennox had things figured out. 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, 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.

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?

This book worked for me, inside-out, backward-forward, and all the way around.  I'm not sure I can put my finger on exactly what made this story such a hit for me.  Some books just have an "it" factor to them, and you know it when you read them.  Waiting on the Sidelines had it.  I can't remember the last book I enjoyed reading so much.

It was a simple story, but a wonderful one.  There was no grand, sweeping plot thickness, no danger or deep external conflicts.  Instead, it contained real life situations from a teenage girl's perspective that reminded you what it was like to be in high school... not just attending classes and wanting boyfriends, but the real life struggles that the average kids must endure.

I loved both of the main characters in this story, but I especially love how real and down-to-earth that Nolan was.  She starts out as a tomboy that is perfectly content to be so, and then she meets that one guy, you know the one... the guy that caused us all to want to be more so that he would notice us.  Reed was that guy for Nolan.  Suddenly, she finds herself wanting to dress a little different.  But here's the thing... in a lot of similar stories, the girl would change and completely lose who she is.  Not so with Nolan.  She stays true to herself and to her character.  And then there was Reed.  I loved this guy, despite a rocky beginning.  He was a genuine good guy, and there aren't many of those out there.  This is not to say that Reed is perfect.  He most definitely wasn't.  But I loved him all the same.

The fact that this story takes place across a four-year span allowed us as readers to really watch the change and growth of these characters to a very satisfying degree.  I wasn't quite sure if the story would be able to sustain such a huge time span, as most other books I've read weren't able to and actually dragged.  However, the author so skillfully moved the story along through this large time frame that I didn't even really notice.  The benefits to this of course was the character journey I already mentioned, but also the development of a great romance that we are able to watch grow with agonizing slowness.

It I had any complaints about this story at all, it would be one of the secondary characters named Tyler.  He turned into somewhat of a cliche for me, but to be honest, I loved the book so much that I didn't let it faze me.

The author did a fabulous job with this story and I can't wait to read the sequel.

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