Series: Hooked #1
Published by: Harlequin Teen on January 31, 2013
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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Get hooked on a girl named Fred...
HE said: Fred Oday is a girl? Why is a girl taking my best friends spot on the boy's varsity golf team?
SHE said: Can I seriously do this? Can I join the boys' team? Everyone will hate me—especially Ryan Berenger.
HE said: Coach expects me to partner with Fred on the green? That is crazy bad. Fred's got to go—especially now that I can't get her out of my head. So not happening.
SHE said: Ryan can be nice, when he's not being a jerk. Like the time he carried my golf bag. But the girl from the rez and the spoiled rich boy from the suburbs? So not happening.
But there's no denying that things are happening as the girl with the killer swing takes on the boy with the killer smile...
Hooked ended up being quite different from what I expected. The cover made me think it was going to be a hot, sexy romance, but I think it was more a story about overcoming bullying, dealing with hardships, and accepting that it’s okay to stand out. There is a romance as well, but it’s not really hot and heavy like a lot of romances are. It’s a bit more subtle and I think the romance is used more as a tool to power self discovery and acceptance. There’s actually only one substantial kissing scene in the whole book!
The first thing that hooked (hehehe) me into this book was the golf. I’m honestly not a fan of golf. My nephews owned me at mini golf when they were like three years old. But in a way, that’s kind of what made the story cool for me. It was a lot of fun to read about a sport that’s not as widely advertised or appreciated as others (at least in high school). And even more than than that, it was awesome to read about a girl owning a team of boys! *girlpowerfistbump*
Bullying was a huge issue in Hooked. It was pretty devastating to read about. I think it’s always tough for me to read about bullying because I wasn’t exposed to it much. There was a little bit of bullying at my middle school, but by high school (which is when the book takes place), it kind of phased out. It’s like everyone was just above it—which was great! But it means that I read books about bullying and I think, “Wow, does that really happen?” It’s really, really sad to think about. I hope no one is treated as badly as Fred was in Hooked, but I know that people are.
I do wish that there was more time spent building up Fred and Ryan’s relationship. I feel like Fred and Ryan started having problems before their relationship had even begun! They only actually go on one date before the relationship conflicts started kicking in at about 55% and the rest of the book was spent resolving them. I felt like if I were in their shoes, I wouldn’t be so upset over those issues since I didn’t have time to even get that invested in the relationship! Since they only went on one date, I never really saw them as boyfriend and girlfriend.
Sometimes I also wish that Fred was a bit of a stronger character. She did have some moments where she looked the assholes in the face and said the equivalent of, “How do you sleep at night knowing you’re a jerk?”, which I LOVED! It made her seem really strong and fearless, rather than weak and submissive. But there were also many times when she just looked the other way or pretended not to hear when people called her “Pocahontas” or laughed at her. I really wanted her to stand up for herself.
Hooked is a great read if you like books about self discovery and overcoming some major hardships! Ryan and Fred both have problems at home and that’s part of what draws them together. It’s great to watch Ryan transition from being the popular guy who’s a bit of a jerk, to the sweeter and more sensitive guy who doesn’t care what other people think. The Native American culture in Hooked is also awesome! It’s definitely a unique element in the story; I haven’t read any other young adult book with Native Americans. There are some really interesting characters and tight knit groups. Liz Fichera does a great job of portraying the people on the Reservation as a family that really looks out for each other.