Tuesday, January 22, 2013

ARC Review: Hooked

Hooked by Liz Fichera
4/5 stars
HarlequinTeen, 2013
351 pages
YA Contemporary
Scheduled to release January 29

Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Right off the bat, I would like to say that this book reminded me very strongly of PUSHING THE LIMITS by Katie McGarry so if that book appealed to you (and I have to say that I saw a lot of positive reviews of it), this one may as well.

Meanwhile I had thought this book would be about drugs, you know with at least the main character hooked on something and struggling to quit, possibly dying in the process. I don't know-I was in a dark place? Anyway, that's NOT at all what it's about.

Like Pushing the Limits, it has two narrators from different economic backgrounds whose paths start to cross leading to romance. In this book, though, the rich kid is the male while the poor kid is the female (so that's a little switch). Ryan's family is white, incredibly wealthy, allowing him the money and time to pursue golf but with that comes little face-time with his parents, incredible pressure from his father to succeed, and a huge sense of entitlement. Meanwhile Fred (her nickname but probably best if you don't call her by her full name) is a Native American whose father works his fingers to the bone, whose mother drinks herself into a drunken stupor most nights, and who craves something more than being a waitress her whole life while struggling to carve out time to pursue her love of golf. When the coach recognizes her skill, he places her on the varsity boy's team, displacing Ryan's best friend in the process and setting off conflict.

For me the main similarity to PtL is that dual narration in addition to the many problems and dramas for both characters. A lot happens and is touched on in this book although I didn't find it too overwhelming. I adored Fred so much-she's in a tough place, facing discrimination and harassment with a mostly calm attitude. Ryan was a lot less sympathetic, coming off as spoiled and selfish for the most part although he comes through in a pinch for Fred near the end.

A surprise for me was the golf element, from which the title derives. To hook a shot in golf is for it to curve severely, missing your intended target. I guess the way the characters' lives make sharp turns makes this appropriate. Like many people, I find golf incredibly boring to watch because it's very slow-moving and the spectators all have to be silent. But reading about it, at least from Liz Fichera, is quite interesting and added some great moments to the story. I've never read a book featuring golf and that added to the uniqueness of the book.

Cover: I wish there had been some element teasing at golf since it plays such a big role in the story. As it stands, it just looks like a generic clean YA romance.

Other Opinions
Good Choice Reading: 4.5/5 stars
Obsession with Books: 3/5 stars
Reading Teen: 4/6 pieces


  1. I really liked Pushing the Limits, more than I thought I would, actually, so I might give this book a shot! It might be kinda cool to learn more about golf, too! Great review!

  2. Like Pushing the Limits? You have just sold me. I need to read this! I also like when authors can sneak sports I would never ever watch in a million years in to their books and make me care about them. Like you, I find golf boring to watch, so if this author can make me care about it, it would be a miracle. I also am not the biggest baseball/football fan, but Miranda Kenneally managed to make me care about both in Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker. It sounds like Hooked has that same sort of magic. Fabulous review!

  3. I don't read a lot of YA but this one sounds pretty good!

  4. I'm with you on the cover, it's kind of blah and doesn't stand out. I have had this one on my radar, I think it sounds great! And I'm glad you point out that the golf aspect isn't boring cause I was wondering about that. I'll definitely be watching for this one!

  5. This sounds WEIRDLY familiar. It's this that grabbed my attention: "When the coach recognizes her skill, he places her on the varsity boy's team, displacing Ryan's best friend in the process and setting off conflict."

    I SWEAR I've heard about this book or story before, but the name or cover don't sound or look famililar *puzzled expression*


    ANYWAY. I'm liking the sound of this!

    I LIKE this cover, but it doesn't seem at all appropriate for the story... it doesn't seem to say anything about it? I'm with you -- it'd be great if it showed SOMETHING about the golf.

    And as for the golf element? OH, it sounds fascinating! I mean, SO not my favorite game, but it sounds GOOD! ♥

  6. I thought PtL was too long and I wasn't all that impressed. That being said maybe I should pass on this one.

  7. You're so right! it's kind of similar to PtL, but I liked this one a bit better, although not THAT much.

    I actually liked the golf element too, and wasn't bored at all by it like I thought I would. Great review, reminds me I have to re-write mine too after I lost it over the xmas break :/

  8. Oh, also: I think the cover is kind of hideous. They don't look like teenagers at all, and that girl looks more hispanic than indian. I don't know, it's too much of a romance novel cover for my liking.

  9. Great review. This is one that I will definitely be picking up. I love the sounds of it.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  10. Hm, well, my first instinct when I read the word "golf" in your review was BOR-ing! So, maybe they were afraid the golf element would turn people. Assuming, of course, they are as prejudiced as I am against golf.

  11. This one sounds really interesting to me. I enjoy playing golf once in a while and I like that the MG is a female who is really good at it. I also like that she is Native American too. There aren't enough YA books that have different races as MC's.

  12. This sounds awesome! Love how she's a Native American - don't see that many Native American teens in novels so that's awesome! Love how the guy is the rich one this time - like you said, it's different.

    The golf metaphor is so cool:) Loved Pushing the Limits, so I'm sure this one will be a hit too:)


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