|Hooked by Liz Fichera|
January 29, 2013
Source: NetGalley for honest review
Genre: Young Adult
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.
To me, Hooked is so much more than just a love story. This book touches themes of racism, prejudice, forgiveness, grudges, depression, addiction, child abuse, cowardice, trust, honesty, etc. We have Fred, the Native American girl who joins the boys' golf team, hoping this will become a great opportunity for her and her future. Then we have Ryan, whose friend gets kicked off of the golf team to allow Fred to have a space. Both Fred and Ryan have secrets and problems behind the people they appear to be at school. These characters have to grow in many ways, and I appreciated the journey the author takes us on, watching their characters develop, not only together, but as individuals.
Ryan really had to grow out of the rut he'd created for himself, and determine how he wanted to live his life. Ryan was pretty cowardly throughout the book. He would take two steps toward breaking out of his mold, and then two steps back, giving up and not fighting for what was right. I appreciate that he finally saw that he needed help, even if his choices may not have been the best, he realized that he needed to change. Fred said it best when she told Ryan that he needed "to wake up." Fred was Ryan's wake up call to his life. Fred, on the other hand, needed to heed her father's advice in the beginning of the book to "greet (new beginnings) with your eyes wide open." I liked watching her grow into herself throughout the book and stop hiding in the shadows. I appreciated the quiet strength of Fred's character, as well as her special bonds with some of her family members, as well as the Native American community.
I also liked the integration of the secondary characters. For instance, Seth, Ryan's best friend, is the type of character that shows you how child abuse can potentially affect the child. Perhaps Seth would have still had his prejudices toward Native Americans due to his father's death, but the abuse he suffered from his stepfather was the most damaging, and one would think it affected how he handled the situations in his life. Seth was frustrating because he was just so wrong and misguided, and then crazy and mean. But the other part of me wanted someone to help him, guide him, and pull him out of his hole; stand up to him. I appreciated the author bringing Seth's character and his issues into the story.
I really wish this book had a different cover, though. The original cover leads you to think this is a romance book, when it really isn't. Sure, there are some sweet scenes, but they aren't graphic, and they remain YA (young adult) appropriate. This covers looks more NA (new adult), which it is not. I liked the fairly clean content of the book, especially compared to some other YA books out there, and wish the cover would be more reflective of that. This cover may cause those who don't want sexual content to avoid the book, and that would be too bad for them. And those looking for sexual content because of the cover will be disappointed and may diminish their rating of the book because they felt misled. Both these scenarios would be unfortunate.
Bottomline: This book quickly pulled me in with its unconventional storyline of a girl golfer on a boys team, intermixed with racism and other undertones of abuse. There are also exciting story elements that I was not expecting. Plus, there's a sweet romance and great character development. I definitely enjoyed this book.