Author: Liz Fichera
Release Date: January 31, 2013
When Native American Fredricka ‘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…
Despite the nice romance story, this is definitely not my favorite plot-line. It wasn’t exactly light-hearted, so it’s not that it wasn’t an enjoyable read, it just wasn’t really my thing. The literally insane character (I won’t say which one, but it’s pretty obvious within the first tournament) freaked me out, so there was a clear edge to the story. To be honest, I couldn’t believe that Ryan and Fred couldn’t figure it out – they were both pretty naive, in my opinion. I think my favorite characters were Ryan’s sister Riley and Coach Lannon. At least they accepted Fred and judged her for who she was rather than completely shunning her just because she was Indian.
That being said, I liked the Indian traditions. The different culture was interesting to read about, and racist issues were present to make the story twist as well. George Trueblood was a good addition to the book – he’s like the all-wise grandfather that everybody loves. He was quirky and loving, which endeared him to the reader. If I could meet anyone from this book, I would probably choose either him or Fred’s dad because of his similarity to George. Also, Fred’s friends from the Rez were nice. I liked Kelly, though, because of her older-sister attitude towards Fred. She is protective, but let’s Fred be herself, which is admirable. My favorite scene in the whole book is probably when Kelly and Yolanda warn Ryan about hurting Fred, and then his reaction to them. Gotta love a loyal friend!
Another problem I had was that there was not one white boy, other than Ryan, who even tried to accept Fred. Not in school, not on the golf team. And that angered me, not only because it is just wrong, but it struck me as a little unrealistic. Even though the racist issues seem to be hereditary leftovers in some cases (yes, even the adults judge the Indians), I think that especially after Fred increased their winning streak there would have been somebody who would stop making fun of her or calling her Pocahontas, or even start to befriend her. I think that if someone had, then the book might have held a little more interest for me and I would have liked it more in general. But the cover doesn’t help, either. It kind of emphasizes that the focus is more on the relationships rather than the golf, and to me, Fred seems like the person who wouldn’t let a boy get in the way of her dreams. And in the book, she doesn’t. So I think the cover is rather misleading and doesn’t have too much to do with the book itself.
So, if you’re looking for a book with some intensity, and you don’t mind some golf, this is probably a good book for you. Keep in mind that even though I didn’t love this book, I would still read the sequel Played, which continues with Riley and Sam Tracey from the Rez.
**Note: Due to some of the edgy material, I would recommend this only to ages 14 & up.