Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Review: Hooked (Hooked #1) by Liz Fichera
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...
GET HOOKED ON A GIRL NAMED FRED. ~ Goodreads
Fred Oday is a Native American girl who lives on the reservation (the Rez) but attends public school. She also has a killer golf swing which comes completely naturally to her, garnering the attention of her varsity high school golf club coach. He has visions of turning his currently losing all boys team into tournament champions with the addition of Fred.
Unfortunately, to make room for Fred someone else has to go and that's Seth. Seth doesn't take the news well and tries to sabotage Fred, often using his best friend and Fred's new team partner Ryan against her. The other boys are angry as well that a girl got on the team without even having to try out. To say that her practices are intense is an understatement.
Fred is under so much pressure and always handles it with grace. Her mother is an alcoholic, her family is poor. Fred's father works at the golf course - he's not a member like the rich white kids and their families. All these things make Fred stand out and separate from everyone else at school and on her team. Not to mention her old, plaid golf bag and worn sneakers instead of golf shoes.
I love how Fred always embraces her heritage and doesn't let being the only girl on the team get her down. No matter how cruel the boys can be. She has a dream for her future and she's grabbing this opportunity in the hopes of a college scholarship.
I thought I would be completely bored or at the very least lost when it came to the golfing but I wasn't. It's such a part of Fred and the way she describes closing her eyes and taking that swing made me excited for her and I actually wanted to read more about the game.
The romance took me awhile to warm up to. It plays out over the course of the book and I'm not sure how I felt about Ryan. He's a rich white kid with a rebellious nature and family problems. My issue with Ryan is how passive he is when it comes to defending Fred at first. He's caught between liking her and his friends who make fun of her for being Native American (and a girl). I do get that this happens. We all like to think we are going to stand up for what's right but I do remember high school and I think Ryan reflects the reality even if it irritated me. I think he redeemed himself but I didn't see why he was worth fighting for. He takes way too long to grow a pair and I kept finding myself disappointed in him.
Seth on the other hand….he goes beyond acceptable or redeemable behavior. In fact I think he should be in jail and it bothered me how much and how long Ryan defended him.
This is Fichera’s debut novel and she is a welcome voice to YA, adding much needed diversity to the genre. Hooked addresses bullying and racism head on. Both the white kids and Fred's Native American friends held deep seated misconceptions and mistrust of each other showing that it isn't just a one sided issue.
Rating 3 out of 4: I really enjoyed reading about Fred, a girl who goes for what she wants, even when it is difficult while still embracing the things that make her who she is. I hoped for more from Ryan on the boyfriend front but I did like the way it eventually played out. Hooked gives a positive twist on the wrong side of the tracks love story with a strong, independent protagonist who believes in herself and isn’t waiting for some boy to save her.
Author: website | twitter
Source: From HarlequinTEEN for my honest review
Buy the book! Release date January 29, 2013 Hooked (Harlequin Teen)
Liz visited For What It's Worth a few weeks ago to discuss the inspiration for writing Hooked. You can check it out here.