French Fries With a Side of Guys by Rebekah L. Purdy
(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Published by Swoon Romance on September 14th 2016
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Family, Football, Love & Romance, Siblings, Sports & Recreation, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction
Payton Carter is one of six kids (all of which are named after famous football players), not to mention the only girl in the Carter household. With this much testosterone and no mother, it’s no wonder she’s absolutely clueless when it comes to makeup, dances, and talking to guys she’s crushing on. And now she’s about ready to start her freshman year of high school, which is nerve wrenching enough, but when she ends up running into her crush, Chance Montgomery, at her dad’s sports restaurant, she finds out that the quarterback for their rival team is moving to Aller Falls. This is nothing short of fate.
Payton realizes she has to find a way to impress Chance and get him to ask her out or at least know she’s interested in him—preferably without dropping a plateful of fries on his head, like she did last time. After taking her two oldest brothers’ advice, she decides to go out for the freshman football team, figuring that between practices and games she and her crush will surely be able to talk. And maybe talking will lead to something more permanent or at least to a first kiss. Only this plan backfires in ways she never imagined, when she beats Chance Montgomery out of the starting quarterback position. Now not only does she make him the laughing stock of the team, but also has to figure out how to avoid the snotty cheerleaders, a traitor best friend, not to mention winning games for her team. Too bad this is just the beginning of her freshman year.
Just read that title. Seriously. It’s genius. I love fries and, if you haven’t noticed by my reviews, I’m also fond of guys. The title told me everything I needed to know. Plus, it’s a sports romance! What? Sign me up!
Payton Carter had been surrounded by her brothers—also named after professional football players—her entire life. Their family lived and breathed football. I was drawn to this book because Payton played football, too. There’s an MG book that I read so long ago the title escapes me and Miranda Kenneally’s Catching Jordan that have a female MC that knew how to kick butt on the football field. While it’s been done before, I was interested to see how Purdy changed it up.
Payton was only a freshman in high school, and Purdy did a good job of grasping onto the newness of high school. There were some moments when Payton was a little too immature, others where I thought she thought or said something that didn’t quite fit. Overall, though, it worked. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a YA with an MC this young, but I liked that all of her brothers were involved in the story in some way because Payton was so young.
The romance was cute. Chance Montgomery acted like a lot of fourteen-year-old boys would have after having his position on the football team taken from him. He still ticked me off with his mood swings, and his and Payton’s friends/enemies dynamic threw me for a loop. I didn’t know if I should expect a random kiss beside the bonfire or fists to start flying. Her relationship with Craig Helton kept the pace. When she wasn’t crushing on Chance, she was crushing on Craig. He kind of came out of nowhere at first, but I grew to like him, even root for his and Payton’s relationship to work out. I almost joined that ship—but not quite. There’s still something about Chance and Payton that doesn’t seem finished yet, and I’m curious as to if there is going to be more to their story.
The ending…I had a few problems with it, as in I felt like there was no closure. Everything just sort of worked out in the way that I expected it to, and I would have liked for there to have been more finality. Payton ends her freshmen year. Now what? Is there going to be more? I’d like there to be more because I need closure!
Overall, this was a cute read. The romance was extremely light, and it would be appropriate for younger readers. It did have some slow moments, but none that would take away from the story as a whole. Payton was a good MC in all her football loving glory, and she and her brothers had a good relationship. If you’re looking for an afternoon or weekend read, give this one a try.