by Liz FicheraExpected publication: January 29, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
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...
My Thoughts: Fred Oday is a Native American who has grown up living on an Indian Reservation. Her family doesn't have much in the way of money or material things. Her mom is waitress and drinks way too much and her dad is the grounds keeper at the local country club. Ever since she was small, Fred has had a love for golf. She has taught herself how to play by watching others and diligently practicing. She goes with her dad to the club every Saturday and practices on the driving range while he works. Then sometimes later in the afternoon, the club manager lets her play for free when things slow down. Her dad even built her a make-shift putting green at home out of old carpet. It just so happens that the golf coach happens to see Fred at the club and talks her and her dad into letting her join the boys golf team, because he is so impressed with her playing. They agree, and this begins a change in Fred's life she never saw coming.
Fred, along with a handful of other kids on the Reservation attend the local high school. She is smart, never really noticed much, and pretty much keeps to herself, as do the other Reservation kids. That all changes when she joins the team, and especially when she meets Ryan Berenger. Ryan and his friends come from the rich side of town. His mother is a doctor and his father is a lawyer, and materially he hasn't ever lacked anything. Though he doesn't have a problem with Fred being an Indian, some of his friends do, especially his best friend Seth, who takes things way too far. Despite their attempts deny it, Ryan and Fred find themselves very attracted to one another and a romance ensues. What they don't expect is the reaction from friends and family regarding their relationship. Ryan makes some big mistakes, which really hurt Fred, and they both make some assumptions about each other that aren't quite true, which causes them both nothing but heartache. A life-threatening situation brings them back together again, but will it also tear them apart?
I enjoyed this book. I found Fred to be a sweet girl, though I hated seeing her being picked on the way she was. I didn't care for Ryan at first, but then his character grew on me and I ended up really liking him by the time the book ended. I enjoyed the golfing aspect of the book and was impressed by Fred's determination and love for the game, and her desire to really better herself and not just wind up spending her life working as a waitress. As far as Fred and Ryan's relationship. They definitely had their struggles, and their friends, especially Ryan's friends, didn't make things easier. I was saddened by the prejudice in this book and I admire Liz Fichera for writing about this. It is a shame that in the day and age we live in that this is still going on, and I hope that as people are made aware of and are faced to look at it for what it is, that things will begin to change. Despite all the heartache these characters go through, the book ended well. Overall, I enjoyed this story and found it interesting, informative, and entertaining, and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
About the Author:
Born and raised in Park Ridge, Illinois, I moved to Phoenix, Arizona, after college, never expecting to live more than one year among cactus and people who’d never seen snow. I was wrong. It certainly didn't hurt that I met my future husband in Phoenix too.
Most of my stories are set in the American Southwest because I think the desert is a cool place. Living in Phoenix, I'm surrounded by Native American culture and influences, not to mention intriguing Hohokam petroglyphs and centuries-old canals. There are over 20 tribes in Arizona and I'm lucky to be neighbors to the Gila River and the Salt River Indian Communities.
When I'm not busy writing my next novel, I like to travel, visit museums, support local theater productions, hike, and pretend that I'm training for a triathlon. I post a lot of photos from my desert and mountain hikes on my Facebook and Twitter pages. In no particular order, I've been chased by javalinas, rattlesnakes, coyotes, and even one curious black bear. Would love to connect with you there too!