The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols
Release Date: (ebook) December 6, 2011
Target Audience: Young Adult
Why I read it: Huge Jennifer Echols fan. And I love majorettes!
Format: eBook on my Nook.
Summary: Gemma’s life has been full of change lately. She’s stopped eating cobbler, she tried out for majorettes instead of continuing to play in marching band, and that cute boy from the rival football team was looking at her… or so she thinks. Somehow she lets her best friend, Addison, rope her into a double date with Addison dating Max, that cute football player, and Gemma hanging out with Carter, the less than thrilling quarterback. And while she is unhappy, she continues to go on these dates and attempt to ignore her feelings for Max… but she just can’t.
Entering a world where majorettes are a “big deal” in high school and being considered “popular” is a new concept for me. See, I was majorette in high school. Sure, we were a part of the marching band and performed at the football games. But the cheerleaders were considered the “real” entertainment (and hence, the more popular ones).
There were never too many girls dying to be majorettes. Frankly, unless you were downright dangerous with a baton you probably made the squad. Despite all of that, being a majorette was the best part of my high school experience and there was nothing like putting on my tall majorette boots and short uniform and shaking it for a crowd. The high was unbelievable.
So, immediately, you can see why I was so psyched to read Jennifer Echols’ newest romantic comedy. It totally brought me back to those four years I sat in the stands at the games, cheering for the football games, freezing my tush off, freaking out before a halftime performance, and even the utter fear of tryouts.
From the book description, I gathered that the plot would focus on this “love” triangle between Gemma, her best friend, Addison, and the football kicker, Max. That would have been all well and good but I am happy to report that the book dove into several other themes.
It was all about personal discovery. Gemma has just lost A LOT of weight in a short time. She’s constantly dealing about how she feels about this change in her appearance and about how others treat her because of this change. It seems like a lonely place to be when her best friend couldn’t be any less supportive if she tried. (Does anyone else see this growing trend of nice girls having shitty best friends?)
The best part is -– Max can relate. He’s very sensitive about his ethnicity (he is Japanese) and his best friend (Carter, who had just about zero effect on me) keeps dogging on him because of his size and how he is not really “part of the football team.” While I’m not always a fan of two characters that have relatively the same problem, it worked here. Both their predicaments were caused by different situations, and both characters found their own way of dealing with it.
As for the love triangle situation, I was kind of frustrated. I went from just wanting to scream at Gemma to communicate because she had to be misjudging the situation and then realizing, I had no idea how this could all end because Robert – her love interest from earlier in the book – kept popping up. I think even though it hurt sometimes, Gemma learned a lot about herself when she was “going out” (a.k.a. making out) with Carter – how she gave into things she didn’t always want just because she felt she should, and deciding just what she deserved. For a comedy, there’s a good amount of heavy to be found.
I also have to applaud Jennifer for making football UNDERSTANDABLE. I didn’t mention that after four years of watching football and being the daughter of a HUGE football fan, I still know absolutely nothing. I swear, football and calculus – there is no place for either of them in my brain. But I actually GOT IT. It was also kind of great that Gemma had some football knowledge.
So as you can see, there is a lot to really like about this book. Sure, it’s not as sexy as some of Jennifer’s other books, but that was okay. The two main characters were well-developed, I absolutely loved the setting, and the problems were genuine and relatable. And most importantly, the ending was not entirely typical which is always the sign of a worthy book.