Title: Hooked (Hooked #1)
Author: Liz Fichera
Genre: contemporary romance, sports, golf, Native American, realistic fiction
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: Feburary 1 2013
Pages: 368 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Synopsis (from goodreads):
When Native American Fredericka ‘Fred’ Oday is invited to become the only girl on the school’s golf team, she can’t say no. This is an opportunity to shine, win a scholarship and go to university, something no one in her family has done.
But Fred’s presence on the team isn’t exactly welcome — especially not to rich golden boy Ryan Berenger, whose best friend was kicked off the team to make a spot for Fred. But there’s no denying that things are happening between the girl with the killer swing and the boy with the killer smile…
If there’s one thing Frederika “Fred” Oday is sure of, it’s golf. No matter what else is going on in her life – her alcoholic mother, her rebel-without-a-cause brother, not fitting in at her primarily white high school – she knows that when she’s on the golf course it’s just her and the ball. And her Native American ancestors who live among the stars looking down on her.
When the high school boy’s varsity golf coach recruits Fred for his team – it causes some drama. Rich boy Ryan Berenger isn’t happy when his best mate gets kicked off the team for some Indian girl. But as he gets to know the girl behind the falling apart plaid golf bag and rusted clubs, he sees there’s more to Fred than just her gender and the colour of her skin.
Fred has to face the prejudices and injustices of being an outsider in a rich man’s world. And in the process finds Ryan – who seemingly has it all together but might be just as out-of-place as she is.
I’m coming to realize that whilst I’m not a sporty person – I enjoy reading sports romances. This one is no exception. Fred is real. She has her problems but she doesn’t cut herself off from the world because of them. I found Ryan hard to like at the start (much like Fred found him I suppose) but as the story went on and we got to see his hidden depths, I found myself more inclined to see him as worthy of Fred.
The secondary cast are great. From the citizens who live on the Reservation to Ryan’s family and the other members of the golf team – they add the extra spice to the novel. Seth is one of those characters who show that villains don’t just exist in paranormal novels and Disney movies. I’m excited to see that there will be a novel with Sam Tracy and Ryan’s sister Riley (There’s a sample chapter at the end of my copy of Hooked and it looks like it should be a good read).
I enjoyed how Liz Fichera handled the theme of racial injustice throughout the novel – it wasn’t overpowering or in-your-face but managed nicely underline the story. Bullying, prejudice and the mistreatment of ethnic minorities are all things Fred and the other reservation kids had to deal with and it was nice to see how they coped.
There’s drama, action and a fair amount of golf in this book. It’s romantic at times and deals with family drama too – Hooked is a fun novel that shows that golf is for more than just country club folk!
Thanks to Harlequin Teen for the review copy
Purchase the novel from:
Read as part of the:
Eclectic Reader Challenge (published in 2013)
2013 Debut Author Challenge (author’s debut into YA fiction)