I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the LIKE OTHER GIRLS by Britta Lundin Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!
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About the Book:
Title: LIKE OTHER GIRLS
Author: Britta Lundin
Pub. Date: August 3, 2021
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
“What if I played football?” I ask. As soon as it’s out of my mouth, I feel stupid. Even suggesting it feels like I’ve overstepped some kind of invisible line we’ve all agreed not to discuss. We don’t talk about how Mara is different from other girls. We don’t talk about how Mara is gay but no one says so. But when I do stuff like this, I worry it gets harder for us all to ignore what’s right in front of us. I direct my gaze to Quinn. “What do you think?”
“I think it’s frickin’ genius,” he says.
After getting kicked off the basketball team for a fight that was absolutely totally not her fault (okay maybe a little her fault), Mara is dying to find a new sport to play to prove to her coach that she can be a team player. A lifelong football fan, Mara decides to hit the gridiron with her brother, Noah, and best friend, Quinn-and she turns out to be a natural. But joining the team sets off a chain of events in her small Oregon town-and within her family-that she never could have predicted.
Inspired by what they see as Mara’s political statement, four other girls join the team. Now Mara’s lumped in as one of the girls-one of the girls who can’t throw, can’t kick, and doesn’t know a fullback from a linebacker. Complicating matters is the fact that Valentina, Mara’s crush, is one of the new players, as is Carly, Mara’s nemesis-the girl Mara fought with when she was kicked off the basketball team. What results is a coming-of-age story that is at once tear-jerking and funny, thought-provoking and real, as Mara’s preconceived notions about gender, sports, sexuality, and friendship are turned upside down.
Britta Lundin’s sophomore novel will give readers all the feels, and make them stand up and cheer.
Make sure to check out my review.
WHEN MY EYES OPEN AGAIN, IT’S TO THE SIGHT OF MY teammates’ worried faces looking down at me. I couldn’t speak even if I wanted to, which I don’t. I want to sprint down the court, throw an elbow into the Hixon point guard’s face, then sink a three over her outstretched fingers.
It’s not the dirty shoulder check that bothers me, it’s not that the useless refs apparently didn’t see it. It’s not even that I hit my head so hard on the floor that bright sparks fly across my vision and pain ricochets around my brain. What bothers me is the look on everyone’s faces, like I’m some fragile tchotchke on their grandmother’s shelf that shatters if you look at it sideways. I’m fine.
“Okay, Mara, shake it off!” Coach Joyce chirps peppily.
Shaking it off isn’t going to win this game. I need to make Hixon pay. I check the clock, the stars trailing my eyeline. Three minutes left. My balance lags a second behind my body as I get to my feet. Coach Joyce calls a time out.
“How you doing?” Coach asks me in the huddle.
“Fine,” I say. “Let’s do this.” But I can feel Carly Nakata’s eyes on me like she’s going deer hunting and I’m the doe. As if I don’t have enough problems.
Coach pulls out her whiteboard to talk strategy as Carly whispers to me, “Are you seeing stars?”
“No,” I snap, even as the arrows on Coach’s whiteboard swim, crossing and uncrossing. Not that it matters. I don’t need a diagram to know she’s telling me to attack. I glance over my shoulder at the point guard, who’s sucking down water on her sideline. I have five inches on her and three fouls left. She messed with the wrong player. Dark spots form on the edges of my vision. I blink them away.
“You’re not focusing,” Carly says.
“Because you’re talking to me,” I growl.
“No, your eyes—”
“Mara, Carly,” Coach says. “I need your attention.” And now I’m pissed Carly’s getting me in trouble, on top of everything.
“Coach, I think Mara has a concussion,” Carly says, and right then, I could scream.
“I said I’m fine,” I tell Carly through gritted teeth. After I take out the point guard, maybe I need to come after Carly next.
“Look at her eyes,” Carly insists, and Coach does. I try to look as unconcussed as possible, whatever that means. Bright-eyed, I guess, alert. No one’s taking me out of this game. Not this deep in the season. Not when it’s tied up.
I don’t know what Coach sees, but she jerks her head toward the bench. “Sit it out,” she tells me.
“Are you kidding?” The ref blows her whistle. Time out’s over. I have to get back on the court. I’m not letting that point guard just get away with this.
“Take a seat, Mara.”
“Coach, there’s three minutes left.”
But Coach walks away, turning her focus back to the players still in this game. The Hixon point guard catches my eye as she jogs back onto the court and smirks. My temperature spikes. It’s like she’s in some conspiracy with Carly to keep me out of the game for the final seconds. A dirty hit I can handle, but what took me out at the knees was my own damn teammate. I turn, searching, and see Carly refilling her water bottle at the cooler.
I’m only dimly aware of the game resuming, the squeak of shoes on the glossy boards, the grunts and breathing of my teammates as they search for a chink in the armor of an evenly matched team that they won’t find. The only way to win this game is grit and effort, and I can’t give that because Carly decided to play doctor. Whose team is she on? I could have won this for us. At least, I could have helped. And instead, I’m standing here with nothing to do but watch the seconds tick down, while Carly’s biggest concern is apparently staying hydrated.
“Hey,” I say, and she turns, her cap halfway on her water bottle.
It goes flying when I hit her. I was aiming for the kidneys, but she’s so much shorter than me, I basically hit her in the boob. She staggers backward, her water bottle falling, glugging water onto the floor. Her foot catches on the leg of the water table and she loses her balance, falling into it. I have to hop back to avoid the cooler falling with a crash, the top popping off, water flowing onto the court. A whistle blows and the game stops. The crowd quiets. Finally, the stars clear from my vision as I look around and see everyone’s eyes on me.
Carly sort of grunts and grasps her boob. I look at Coach, and her eyes hold a fury I’ve never seen before.
“You’re outta here,” she says, voice thick with anger, pointing to the locker room.
And that’s how I get thrown off the basketball team.
About Britta Lundin:
Britta Lundin is a TV writer and author.
She’s written for shows such as Riverdale, Betty, and The Big Leap and is the author of the young adult novels Like Other Girls (out August 2021) and Ship It.
Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she lives with her wife, kid, and dog in Los Angeles.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of LIKE OTHER GIRLS, US Only.
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