Waiting on the Sidelines is a captivating, coming of age journey following Nolan from High School to starting college. For everyone who ever felt unsure, lacking confidence and just pure awkward, then this is a book where you will recognise bits of yourself.
Series: Waiting on the Sidelines #1
on 15 Apr 2013
Genres: Realistic Fiction, YA Contemporary
Source: Received from Author
My favourite part of this book is that is spans over four years. I love this feature in books; it just gives so much scope for character development. A chance to watch Nolan as she matures; applauding the growth and groaning at the mistakes. Nolan makes plenty of both. But come on, what teenage girl doesn’t, it is only by screwing up and learning from them that we ever make those giant leaps forward in maturity.
I loved Nolan; she is so real and genuine. I feel like she could be me (a good few years ago) or my sister or my best friend. She is so clumsy with words at time and I remember those moments well. No sooner are the words out of your mouth than you want to cry at how stupid you sound. At one stage she said:
“I had a steak” and this is the equivalent remark of “I carried a watermelon” in Dirty Dancing. It’s hard not to laugh and cringe inside for her too. And it made me recall many dorky comments of my own that still have the power to turn me scarlet decades after I said them! And no, I’m not sharing!
Despite her circle of close friends (who rock by the way and are something else I love about this book), her loving family and her athletic talents, she is lacking confidence. She is embarrassed by her trailer park home, her family’s lack of money and her tomboyish ways. Even when introduced to a new circle of friends by Reed, she feels like she doesn’t fit it.
“It was as if I was washing the windows on the outside of an exclusive club. I was getting a glimpse inside, but not fully participating.”
Reed is her potential love interest. And Nolan watches and admires him from afar for a long time. What can I say about Reed…hmmhh…he is a teenage boy, makes way more mistakes than he should, is basically a nice guy but does everything the hard way. And breaks Nolan’s heart repeatedly. I want to slap some sense into his head but I can’t make myself hate him at the same time, I can understand his motivations. And at times, he is perfect so I can understand why Nolan just can’t seem to walk away for good.
As the book is set over 4 years, the pace moves briskly. There is plenty of drama and angst so that you never get bored and I never felt myself drifting off while reading this one. And what I love about this book is the ending. It is perfect, not a cliff-hanger but complete in itself. I can’t wait to read more about Nolan but that is due to the writer’s skill in creating characters I care about and not a cheap cliff-hanger trick.
Who should read Waiting on the Sidelines?
For all who love YA contemporary realistic fiction, coming of age stories, character driven books, strong female friendship books or if you are just looking for a feel good book then I’d recommend this one to you. Also a perfect read for a teenage girl as it shows them that all those out-of-synch, not-fitting-in feelings are common and I think it makes Nolan a very easy character to connect to and learn from
Thanks to NetGalley and Ginger Scott for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.