I like to give credit where credit is due and I would not have found this book had it not been on BookishFirst. In addition, I’m not sure I’d have been drawn to the storyline if I hadn’t read an excerpt. But once I read the excerpt, I knew I had to know what Jo would do next. I pictured her getting revenge. I wasn’t sure what would happen but I cared about Jo and I wanted her to be happy.
I wasn’t lucky enough to win this one on BookishFirst so I had to wait till it was actually released to read :) I think I’m the one who got my library to buy the ebook though, so that’s a win.
Jo is a teenager. Her best friend is Sam. She lost her dad when she was in middle school and drifted away from some friends at that time too. Her mom remarried and has another child now. Jo hasn’t had much stability in recent years but the wrestling team has always felt like home to her. Her dad used to be connected to the wrestling team and Jo wrestled as a kid. As a teenager she worked with the wrestling coach. I forget what her title was but she kept stats, she gave advice, she helped with training etc she was a very valued part of the team.
But Jo feels very unappreciated and used when she finds out what the guys on the wrestling team are calling her behind her back: “practice girl”.
I hadn’t heard this term and it’s a really mean one. While Jo thought she was dating the boys at school, they were using her for “practice” hooking up. They wanted experience with a girl who didn’t matter to them before having a physical relationship with a girl they actually had feelings for.
And poor Jo had no idea this was going on until she heard one of the guys talking about her.
It got worse when Jo realized that her best friend Sam was well aware of what the guys were saying and had never told her.
She is heartbroken, she feels like she’s lost her best friend, and she has lost a bit of herself too. After all, she has to accept the fact that these relationships she’d been in had been one sided. She also isn’t sure where that leaves her within her wrestling circle since most of the guys disrespecting her are on the wrestling team.
At first she plans to quit, then she decides to actually start wrestling again.
This is where I pictured a revenge plot perhaps coming in. That maybe Jo was going to just kick serious butt on the wrestling team.
But something interesting happened that I hadn’t expected. Jo met a guy from another school. He appears to actually be a good guy, with a good heart and be interested in her. So now Jo faces a new challenge of trying to decide if this is a real relationship and how she can trust her heart when it’s let her down so much in the past. How do you trust your judgement if you feel like it’s always been wrong? How do you build and rebuild friendships too?
I thought this was well written and I couldn’t put it down.