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Playing With the Boys

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New girl Lucy is desperate for friends. She tries out for Beachwood High soccer, but despite her amazingly accurate kick, fails to make the team. When the Coach points out that varsity football is looking for a new kicker, Lucy is skeptical. Football? Isn't that a boys' game? But on the gridiron Lucy discovers that she feels strong; in control for the first time since her New girl Lucy is desperate for friends. She tries out for Beachwood High soccer, but despite her amazingly accurate kick, fails to make the team. When the Coach points out that varsity football is looking for a new kicker, Lucy is skeptical. Football? Isn't that a boys' game? But on the gridiron Lucy discovers that she feels strong; in control for the first time since her mother died. She loves football. She actually wants to play! (She also wants to hang out with super-cute quarterback Ryan Conner. But that's just icing on the cake.) Too bad no one else wants her on the team. Not the boys' coach, not her teammates, and especially not her overprotective dad. Will Lucy cave in to the pressure? Or will she prove she's pretty tough after all?


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New girl Lucy is desperate for friends. She tries out for Beachwood High soccer, but despite her amazingly accurate kick, fails to make the team. When the Coach points out that varsity football is looking for a new kicker, Lucy is skeptical. Football? Isn't that a boys' game? But on the gridiron Lucy discovers that she feels strong; in control for the first time since her New girl Lucy is desperate for friends. She tries out for Beachwood High soccer, but despite her amazingly accurate kick, fails to make the team. When the Coach points out that varsity football is looking for a new kicker, Lucy is skeptical. Football? Isn't that a boys' game? But on the gridiron Lucy discovers that she feels strong; in control for the first time since her mother died. She loves football. She actually wants to play! (She also wants to hang out with super-cute quarterback Ryan Conner. But that's just icing on the cake.) Too bad no one else wants her on the team. Not the boys' coach, not her teammates, and especially not her overprotective dad. Will Lucy cave in to the pressure? Or will she prove she's pretty tough after all?

30 review for Playing With the Boys

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Wardrip

    Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for TeensReadToo.com Lucy's father forced her to move to Malibu right after her freshman year of high school. She's heartbroken to leave her best friend and the house where everything reminds of her mother. The first week has been rough, but then she starts soccer tryouts. Lucy loves soccer and being a part of the team. She's devastated when her name is not on the list. However, the coach pulls her aside and tells her that the football team needs a quick replacement ki Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for TeensReadToo.com Lucy's father forced her to move to Malibu right after her freshman year of high school. She's heartbroken to leave her best friend and the house where everything reminds of her mother. The first week has been rough, but then she starts soccer tryouts. Lucy loves soccer and being a part of the team. She's devastated when her name is not on the list. However, the coach pulls her aside and tells her that the football team needs a quick replacement kicker and she should try out. At first, Lucy thinks the idea is crazy, but the more she thinks about it the more she likes it. She makes the team, but doesn't have the instant camaraderie that she's been craving. Instead, the team members give her a hard time. Her father has forbidden her to join the team, so she lies. He thinks she's joined the cheerleading squad. He will discover the truth soon and then Lucy will have to figure out how hard she'll fight to remain on a team that doesn't want her. Lucy Malone's determination and strength leads her to go where no other girl in school has gone before - the all-boys football team. Once on the team, she doesn't shy away from all the pressure, the grief, and her father's objections.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Elyssa

    I started this one for book club, got a little over halfway through, and couldn't bring myself to finish it. It is really not my genre, and I didn't like how she lived a lie, even to her dad, who was only trying to help her. There was a lot of drinking, one girl drank so much she threw up. I really wouldn't waste my time on this book, I think there are a lot of better books out there that talk about soccer, and football. The concept is okay, about determination, and not giving up, but again, the I started this one for book club, got a little over halfway through, and couldn't bring myself to finish it. It is really not my genre, and I didn't like how she lived a lie, even to her dad, who was only trying to help her. There was a lot of drinking, one girl drank so much she threw up. I really wouldn't waste my time on this book, I think there are a lot of better books out there that talk about soccer, and football. The concept is okay, about determination, and not giving up, but again, there are some amazing books out there about this, and I don't think you have to endure a bunch of trash to get these moral values, that are dulled out by the drinking, and the lying.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Katie Lawrence

    The book starts out with Lucy trying out for the girl's soccer team. Even with her amazing skill she doesn't make the team. Coach Martie talks to her about trying out for the boy's football team. Their placekicker is out for the season and tryouts are tomorrow. Lucy goes for it and makes the team. Of course none of the guys are happy about this except for Benji, one of Lucy's friends. He teachers her all about football and really helps her improve her kick. Since she's new, he's one of the few f The book starts out with Lucy trying out for the girl's soccer team. Even with her amazing skill she doesn't make the team. Coach Martie talks to her about trying out for the boy's football team. Their placekicker is out for the season and tryouts are tomorrow. Lucy goes for it and makes the team. Of course none of the guys are happy about this except for Benji, one of Lucy's friends. He teachers her all about football and really helps her improve her kick. Since she's new, he's one of the few friends she has at this new school. When some of the more popular girls and guys start hanging out with her she's caught up with the wrong crowd. After leaving all her old friends behind she enjoys party and hanging out with the captain of the football team, Ryan who she develops a crush on. Later on, some of the popular girls play a mean trick on Lucy. Meanwhile she gets better in football every day until she sprains her ankle during a game. She works very hard to recover and longs for the day when she can play. The doctor finally gives her permission. In the toughest game of the year she kicks the game winning point. After the game she finally realizes who her true friends are. She apologizes and everything is good with her friends but there's something missing. At the school dance, she sees Benji and realizes what people have been telling her is true. Benji really likes her as more than a friend. And happily she likes him as more than a friend also. I really enjoyed this book. This is the second book of a series and the first book was ok but this one was much better. It was surprisingly entertaining and I couldn't put it down. I kept on reading it because I had to find out what happened. I would definitely recommend this book. It's a story of doing what seems like the impossible and has important life lessons about parents, friends and boys.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Aishwarya Suresh

    Just wasn't able to connect with the characters. This book had potential but it wasn't carried out well. Couldn't get into more than 30 pages of the book. Just wasn't able to connect with the characters. This book had potential but it wasn't carried out well. Couldn't get into more than 30 pages of the book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    norcalgal

    PLOT: This was a fairly typical YA novel, filled with the usual sturm and drang of teen angst, like boy drama, popularity, mean girls, and making/keeping friends. No new ground was broken with the story. Although references to MySpace has me raising my brows. I didn't realize this novel was written so long ago. But other than that passe social media, nothing else felt dated since I guess Universal experiences are what make them universal and timeless. NARRATIVE: This was a really weak part of "P PLOT: This was a fairly typical YA novel, filled with the usual sturm and drang of teen angst, like boy drama, popularity, mean girls, and making/keeping friends. No new ground was broken with the story. Although references to MySpace has me raising my brows. I didn't realize this novel was written so long ago. But other than that passe social media, nothing else felt dated since I guess Universal experiences are what make them universal and timeless. NARRATIVE: This was a really weak part of "Playing with the Boys". The writing is fairly pedestrian. While reading, I definitely had the feeling of "this happened, and then this happened, and then something else happened." It was too much paint by numbers, with the author telling, rather than showing. Also, the dialogue was less than stellar. For the most part, the teens did speak like teens, but maybe too much so. In one particularly dumb passage, Lucy is recounting her day to her father and uses the word "like" far too many times. But before and after that, her liking for "like" just flat out disappears. I viewed it as the author jokingly having a dig at her main character -through Lucy's dad who tells Lucy she's gone all Californian so soon. Another instance of something being brought up which was dropped, never to be mentioned again is Lucy's grandparents. Early in the story, Lucy's dad says the move from Ohio to California would mean they would be closer to his parents in Arizona so they could "spend more time with them". Of course, not once was this ever brought up again. Not so much as a whisper about them going to Arizona. CHARACTERS: Speaking of Lucy's father, rather than reading him as an overprotective dad, I just felt he was an unreasonable hypocrite when he flat out forbids Lucy to join the football team because he's the dad and he says she can't do it, so there! The father cites injury as a lame excuse for his refusal, but he was copacetic with Lucy being on a soccer team!? Lucy's dad must live in some bizarro universe where soccer players never ever get injured, damn all the stories and evidence of broken bodies and concussions resulting from playing soccer. Even though readers will get a sense that it will all come out right at the end, the dad character came across as a real asshat for me. As for the other characters, "Playing with the Boys" was populated with the usual cliche assortment of jocks, cheerleaders, emo and "normal" kids. No one stood out for me, good or bad. Lucy, Benji, Pickle, Ryan, Regan, etc., etc. were just stock cardboard characters. FINAL ANALYSIS: If you have a few hours to kill, go ahead and read this bit of fluff. It's harmless, innocuous YA. If you're looking for quality, look elsewhere.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sydney Seltzer

    Playing With The Boys is a relatable story that reveals someone who turns rejection and negativity into success and positivity. The main character, Lucy does not make to soccer team, despite her spot-on kick. Somehow, the soccer coach talks her into trying out for the boys’ varsity football team as a kicker. Regardless of her lack of experience, she somehow makes the team. The boys on the football team (and the coach) do not immediately accept her, besides her friend Benji. Having a friend helps Playing With The Boys is a relatable story that reveals someone who turns rejection and negativity into success and positivity. The main character, Lucy does not make to soccer team, despite her spot-on kick. Somehow, the soccer coach talks her into trying out for the boys’ varsity football team as a kicker. Regardless of her lack of experience, she somehow makes the team. The boys on the football team (and the coach) do not immediately accept her, besides her friend Benji. Having a friend helps her through this time, considering she is having trouble making other friends, she just moved to California, and she is stressed about other things going on at home and school. The story proves that Lucy’s gender should not cause her to be being treated differently or not prevent her from being able to play football. The novel also shows the importance of working hard. I believe that this story is worth 3/5 stars because it is very entertaining and has a great message, although the direction that the story was headed in was very predictable which was why I chose not to give the book a higher rating. I did not feel like it stood out enough from other books. I recommend this book to anyone who likes sports and is looking for a classic story.

  7. 4 out of 5

    TuShawn F

    I read Playing With the Boys (Pretty Tough, #2) by Liz Tigelaar. In this book, Lucy had to deal with the death of her mom. Now her dad tells her they have to move. So she leaves her friends, soccer, and other things behind. So she goes to this new school to try out for their soccer team. Though she doesn't make it the coach tells her to try out for football because she has a great kick. She makes the team since they lost their kicker(because of injury). Through this process, she gains/losses fri I read Playing With the Boys (Pretty Tough, #2) by Liz Tigelaar. In this book, Lucy had to deal with the death of her mom. Now her dad tells her they have to move. So she leaves her friends, soccer, and other things behind. So she goes to this new school to try out for their soccer team. Though she doesn't make it the coach tells her to try out for football because she has a great kick. She makes the team since they lost their kicker(because of injury). Through this process, she gains/losses friends and starts to have a crush on two football players. Read Playing With the Boys to find out more.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Codi Carr

    DNF 60 pages in I picked this up knowing nothing about it therefore I had pretty average if not low expectations. The synopsis sounded pretty cute and I think the story definitely had potential HOWEVER, I could not get behind the writing style. I'm not usually one to DNF a book because of how it's written ,in fact, this is the only book I've ever done that with, but something wasn't right. I just finished what I rated a five star book yesterday, and when I picked this one up it was like the writi DNF 60 pages in I picked this up knowing nothing about it therefore I had pretty average if not low expectations. The synopsis sounded pretty cute and I think the story definitely had potential HOWEVER, I could not get behind the writing style. I'm not usually one to DNF a book because of how it's written ,in fact, this is the only book I've ever done that with, but something wasn't right. I just finished what I rated a five star book yesterday, and when I picked this one up it was like the writing styles were night and day. If you are a reader that judges a book harshly by how it is written, this is not the book for you.

  9. 5 out of 5

    John Clark

    A combination of new girl at a new school, fish out of water, disappointment and an unusual opportunity. That's what Lucy faces when her father moves them to get away from the memories of her mother's death. When her soccer tryout fails to get her a spot on the team, she does the unthinkable and tries out as the kicker on the football team. What follows involves lying to her dad, trying to be tough enough to deal with the harassment she receives and figuring out what's important and which guy on A combination of new girl at a new school, fish out of water, disappointment and an unusual opportunity. That's what Lucy faces when her father moves them to get away from the memories of her mother's death. When her soccer tryout fails to get her a spot on the team, she does the unthinkable and tries out as the kicker on the football team. What follows involves lying to her dad, trying to be tough enough to deal with the harassment she receives and figuring out what's important and which guy on the team she really likes. Altogether a fun and satisfying read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I was hoping this book would be like a Miranda Keneally story, but it wasn’t really at all and wasn’t that well-written. It didn’t have that specific a storyline and so many moving parts that it was easy to get confused. Really the best part was cute little Benji.

  11. 4 out of 5

    ELLA H

    This was such a great book. I am sooooo glad that, even in just a book, there is a girl playing football, and is really good at it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Thelizyouknow

    I read this for a challenge prompt that required a sports book, and although this isn't my usual poison, I found it intriguing and enjoyable. Highly recommended. I read this for a challenge prompt that required a sports book, and although this isn't my usual poison, I found it intriguing and enjoyable. Highly recommended.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Olivia darlingreads

    There wasn't anything extraordinarily special about this book, but it was still cheesy and fun, which Is exactly what I wanted, and I had a super good time reading it :) There wasn't anything extraordinarily special about this book, but it was still cheesy and fun, which Is exactly what I wanted, and I had a super good time reading it :)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I loved that Lucy chose to embrace her love of the game, even though she was a girl.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Thompson

    Just a light read for enjoyment about a girl who plays football and the guys don't accept her. Just a enjoyable book. Just a light read for enjoyment about a girl who plays football and the guys don't accept her. Just a enjoyable book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    TheGuineaCat

    There is a reason this book went directly to my finished list without passing through "to read" or "currently reading," and that reason is that I read the entire thing in two days. I had to go the Big Island this weekend and I was flying on Hawaiian, which has to go down in history as the most oft-delayed airline ever. Two delayed flights equals a lot of time sitting around in airports with nothing better to do than read YA fiction, so I went through this one pretty quickly. The novel begins whe There is a reason this book went directly to my finished list without passing through "to read" or "currently reading," and that reason is that I read the entire thing in two days. I had to go the Big Island this weekend and I was flying on Hawaiian, which has to go down in history as the most oft-delayed airline ever. Two delayed flights equals a lot of time sitting around in airports with nothing better to do than read YA fiction, so I went through this one pretty quickly. The novel begins when Lucy, the heroine, and her widower father move to L.A. from Ohio. The exceedingly trite descriptions of SoCal made me roll my eyes, and I wondered if all this author knew of SoCal came from Beach Boys songs and Disney's California Adventure. But then I read the little bio on the back and found out she was a writer for some pretty big TV shows and lives in Santa Monica. Oy. After boggling a bit at how an apparently seasoned TV writer could fail so utterly at decent description (of a place where she lives, no less!), I decided that I didn't care and moved on. I don't read these novels for realism, and I'm fairly sure no one else does, either. If I really wanted to pick on realism I'd have mentioned that the Ashlee Simpson lookalike on the cover is about as believable as a football player as Tara Reid is playing an academic. Oh wait. Anyway, Lucy resents her father for moving her out to Malibu away from all her friends in Toledo. But a bit of the sting is taken away when they arrive at their rental, which turns out to be a fatty house right on the beach in Malibu. I was wondering if I was in for an O.C.-type tale here—Summer Roberts tries out for the football team! (which I could actually picture, scarily enough). But the tone of this novel thus far doesn't fit the bitchy, salacious vibe of those kinds of stories (and as far as I know, Lucy wasn't wearing any designer clothing or toting Louis Vuitton luggage), and her apparent affluence gets virtually no mention after this. Lucy, an avid soccer player, tries out for the team at her new school at the urging of her teacher/soccer coach, who is young and hip and has her students call her by her first name, Martie. Edgy. Anyway, after enduring a week of tryouts and bonding with the soccer jockettes, Martie cuts Lucy's ass. What a bitch. But to soften the blow, Martie suggests that Lucy try out as kicker for the football team (the football team lost their first-string kicker during a recent game and are stuck with the next flunkie in line, some Justin Guarini lookalike named Benji). Lucy had actually met Benji in Martie's class, and he turns out to be a nice guy. Same goes for Lucy's crush and Designated Love Interest, Ryan. Other than being fond of 80s big hair bands and faux-hawks, he's pretty much about as exciting as watching paint dry. Oh, and he's also the football team's QB, which I'm sure none of us could've predicted. Lucy ends up making the team, kicking Benji back to his old role as the team flunkie (no pun intended). Poor old Benny earns the dubious honor of being the only boy Lucy is able to beat in a drill and in sprints. Man, what a guy. It's also apparent early on that he's taken a more than casual interest in her, but Lucy, like most YA heroines, is completely oblivious/too busy sniffing after Ryan. During the course of the novel Lucy struggles with the repercussions of her decision to join the football team—her father's disapproval, her teammates' cruelty, bitchy cheerleaders, the hit her budding friendship with Benji took seeing as she ousted him as kicker, and finding a way to make an unflattering jersey look cute. Not surprisingly, the climax of the novel revolves around the homecoming game and dance. Most of it's fairly predictable, although there was one little twist in the end that I actually wasn't expecting. Lucy was likeable enough, if a little bland, and the supporting players were all right, although they could've used more development. The villains of the piece were on the one-dimensional and stereotypical side (honestly... are there any fictional cheerleaders who aren't shallow bitches?). There were moments when the novel lapsed into sugar-coated afterschool-special territory, but we are talking about a former Dawson's Creek writer here, so it's to be expected. But all in all it was a fun, fluffy read, with some positive messages about perseverance and being yourself and all that good stuff.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Izabelle Gottsch

    Awesome book if you like romansic and sports this is a book for you

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marj

    nice feel good book about a girl playing in a boys football team and excelling. i was a bit skeptical while reading the first few chapters. i thought she was a bit shallow and trying hard to fit in. she wanted to get into the soccer team so badly so she can have a good set of friends. however, she wasn't good enough so she didn't make the team. then teacher suggested she tryout for the football team. say what?? if she's not good enough to get into the female squad, how can she get into the male nice feel good book about a girl playing in a boys football team and excelling. i was a bit skeptical while reading the first few chapters. i thought she was a bit shallow and trying hard to fit in. she wanted to get into the soccer team so badly so she can have a good set of friends. however, she wasn't good enough so she didn't make the team. then teacher suggested she tryout for the football team. say what?? if she's not good enough to get into the female squad, how can she get into the male team? also, she didn't know a single thing about football, but during tryouts, she practically aced the whole thing - totally unbelievable. she even bested the other guys. but that's the whole point of the story so i'm willing sit back and enjoy the ride. and what a ride it was! the next couple of chapters, though with typical plot, was still riveting enough to read. the complex dynamics between friends - there was a reason charlie was angry at regan and warning them about her but if she were a true friend she would have supported them. on the other hand, pickle, i know she has a huge crush on ryan, but what makes her think just because she was first to like him that no one else can like him? i was annoyed at what she did to her when she was mindful of her feelings. as for ryan and benji, i was disappointed. dont understand why she ended up with benji. i know from the start, they were building him to be the alternative to ryan. he was nice, but he was a loser - she bested him, took his place as place kicker. i dont buy his excuse that he stopped talking to her because he likes her and felt hurt that she likes ryan. i thought the same thing - that he seemed to like her only when he got her place after she got injured. and too bad about ryan. i thought he liked her too but since she turned him down, then he asked kendall to the dance. and she had the nerve to dismiss him for his actions. lastly, the dad. i was pretty miffed about him the entire time and i guess that's how he's supposed to be so that they'll have this whole confrontation and touching scene at the end where he feels proud of her. though my comments above seemed like i hated the book, however, like i said, i liked it. i think it was the imperfections that made me feel i can relate to her. that what she is going through is real.i love how strong she was and how she was able to conquer her fears and fight for what she wants.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    This book made me angry enough to rant about it. I am completely biased here because I am from Toledo and I know a lot about soccer, but I found this book to be pretty unrealistic. I know this is a review for the second book, but I expected better from a series about girl's sports. The first book shows a complete lack of knowledge for the sport soccer, but this book also reveals the lack of knowledge in the fact that the Lucy is told to just "boot" the ball out of the back. First of all, that sh This book made me angry enough to rant about it. I am completely biased here because I am from Toledo and I know a lot about soccer, but I found this book to be pretty unrealistic. I know this is a review for the second book, but I expected better from a series about girl's sports. The first book shows a complete lack of knowledge for the sport soccer, but this book also reveals the lack of knowledge in the fact that the Lucy is told to just "boot" the ball out of the back. First of all, that should be done only under extreme duress. She is a stopper and a stopper should be able to pass the ball well. Her goal is not only to control the backfield but to control the game and support the center midfielders. Secondly, no one credible uses the term "boot" in soccer unless you are British and talking about cleats. "Boot" is a term which is only used by people who know nothing about soccer, which is obvious the author does not. Also, it is unrealistic that a girl who makes varsity soccer her freshman year would not know how to trap a ball". This is a fundamental for any varsity team. Not to mention, it is also unrealistic that a girl who makes varsity soccer her freshman year would be cut from a team (even if it is a State Championship team). Then, when Lucy goes to one of the games, she says Pickle is the best player out there...Pickle is the player who got cut the year before. What happened to Charlie who was supposed to be a complete all-star? Next, there is no high school called Hillcrest in Toledo, Ohio. It is also unlikely that a sophomore in high school from Toledo would no NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING about a sport that rules the city. In Toledo, there are no professional sports. High School football is everything. I went to my first game when I was three. The author would know, if she knew anything about Toledo that there is absolutely nothing to do in Toledo on a Friday night other than high school football. Maybe bowling...I guess I am disappointed that an author would use a small town like Toledo and not know anything about it. Can't we write realistic books about female athletes?

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    Lucy Malone has just moved to Malibu, California, and even though she’s got a totally awesome room in an amazing new house, things aren’t going well. All her friends are back home in Toledo, Ohio, and it doesn’t seem like she’s going to be making any new friends soon. But opportunity soon presents itself in the form of soccer tryouts. Lucy was on the varsity soccer team at her old school, so being on the team in Malibu would be a chance to show off something she’s good at. But she’s not good eno Lucy Malone has just moved to Malibu, California, and even though she’s got a totally awesome room in an amazing new house, things aren’t going well. All her friends are back home in Toledo, Ohio, and it doesn’t seem like she’s going to be making any new friends soon. But opportunity soon presents itself in the form of soccer tryouts. Lucy was on the varsity soccer team at her old school, so being on the team in Malibu would be a chance to show off something she’s good at. But she’s not good enough; she doesn’t make the final cut for the team and is heartbroken. Lucy doesn’t feel that she has anything going for her now until the soccer coach Martie suggests Lucy use her strong and accurate kick to try out for the boys’ varsity football team. At first, Lucy is skeptical; after all, she is a girl who wants to fit in. But then she gives it a try and makes it. She soon finds out that football may be her calling. Unfortunately, her father forbids her from playing football, but that doesn’t stop Lucy. Lucy constantly feels like she has to prove herself. Along with joining the football team comes hazing and potential friends. Throughout the novel, Lucy’s tentative friendships with members of the soccer team, the football team, several popular cheerleaders, her father, and a very sweet boy named Benji are tried. Lucy finds out which friendships are worth it, and comes to terms with her father. Playing with the Boys was a thoroughly enjoyable novel, even though I didn’t understand most of the football terms. I am definitely not a sports person, so I found it relieving that I was learning all about football along with Lucy. The novel was very straightforward and slightly predictable, but it didn’t make the story any less sweet. I recommend this book to people who like sports novels, such as Pretty Tough also by Liz Tigelaar, Screwball by Keri Mikulski, and Dairy Queen and The Off Season by Catherine Murdock. I actually haven’t read any of these novels yet, but am planning on it because Playing with the Boys was such a fun novel to read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    After almost 4 years I did not know I did not add a review. Okay, better now than never. Thank God I reread it. I loved this book, and I still do. Maybe not a 5 star rating, but close enough. What made me love this book is the fact that a girl was fighting to be accepted on a "boy's" sport/team: football! I love a book that has a girl on the football team! Fighting the sexism and all. Also, I liked that this was a companion book and didn't necessarily need to know what happened in "Pretty Tough" to After almost 4 years I did not know I did not add a review. Okay, better now than never. Thank God I reread it. I loved this book, and I still do. Maybe not a 5 star rating, but close enough. What made me love this book is the fact that a girl was fighting to be accepted on a "boy's" sport/team: football! I love a book that has a girl on the football team! Fighting the sexism and all. Also, I liked that this was a companion book and didn't necessarily need to know what happened in "Pretty Tough" to get what was going on with her soccer friends. Lucy was an enjoyable and a tough character. At first she was pretty annoying and whiny, but what did I expect she is a sophomore and she wanted things to turn out great after a dreaded move and sad past. She really grew as a character, though, and I really loved it! She finally took action and proved to everyone and herself that she will go against the world if it meant getting what she wanted. Benji was.... I'm not so sure. He was an amazing friend then he turned into a baby, to be honest. Ryan... I couldn't dislike him. Sure he was a bystander that went with the horrible plans, but he was still sweet and cool. The ending.... *sighs happily*(view spoiler)[I loved the ending. I just felt so satisfied when she dissed Ryan at the dance and he finally saw how much he regret going with Kendall. But the most satisfying part was when she realized Ryan was not the awesome person he was. I usually like surprises, but I liked that I finally got the ending that I wanted). (hide spoiler)] The error of this book. Tigelaar does not really explain the rules of football clearly. At least I didn't get some things, she didn't really explain what PAT meant so I had to look it up. Also she got Ryan's grade level mixed up. His first appearance was in the junior English class, but then he is described twice as a senior. So I got confused and so I assumed he is a senior and for some strange reason is in a junior english class.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    "Playing With the Boys," is another book I have read by Liz Tigelaar. I decided to read this book after finishing "Pretty Tough" because although it is not a sequel, some of the characters and the setting is the same. The main difference is that this story is based on the life of a girl named Lucy Malone who is a newcomer to Beachwood High School from Ohio. She moved to California with her dad (her Mom passed away years earlier) and at first, struggled to fit in and make any friends. Before scho "Playing With the Boys," is another book I have read by Liz Tigelaar. I decided to read this book after finishing "Pretty Tough" because although it is not a sequel, some of the characters and the setting is the same. The main difference is that this story is based on the life of a girl named Lucy Malone who is a newcomer to Beachwood High School from Ohio. She moved to California with her dad (her Mom passed away years earlier) and at first, struggled to fit in and make any friends. Before school starts she meets a girl named Charlie (previously profiled in "Pretty Tough") and realizes there might be some nice girls at her school. She tries out for the soccer team, like Charlie, but doesn't make the team, but does gain some new friends like Charlie, Pickle and Carla (soccer girls). The soccer coach Martie as well as her soccer friends persuade her to tryout for the boys football teams and surprisingly she makes the team. Two important issues in this book are acceptance and breaking stereotypes because no one expects a girl to be on a boys team. Lucy's journey through the football season shows how brave and courageous she is as a person and how being a teenager in a new school comes with its high and low points. Also, I really enjoyed the subtile references to Lucy's deceased mother because it showed how strong her relationship with her mom was and also how Lucy would always have a place in her heart for her mom. I also thought that Lucy's mother could symbolize determination and hope because Lucy always called out to her when she was going through tough times and needed love and assistance. Altogether, I thought this book was great and would make a great read for any high schooler.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gina G

    Grade/interest level: MS Reading level: 640L Genre: Fiction Main Characters: Pickle, Lucy, Charlie, Benji Setting: Malibu, California POV: 1st person Lucy walked in to her house and noticed that her dad was sitting on the couch wanting to talk to her. Her dad wanted/needed to move to California for his business and so he would be away from the memories of their mom. Lucy knew that she couldn't argue with everything that they have been through. So with Lucy leaving her best friend Annie behind, they we Grade/interest level: MS Reading level: 640L Genre: Fiction Main Characters: Pickle, Lucy, Charlie, Benji Setting: Malibu, California POV: 1st person Lucy walked in to her house and noticed that her dad was sitting on the couch wanting to talk to her. Her dad wanted/needed to move to California for his business and so he would be away from the memories of their mom. Lucy knew that she couldn't argue with everything that they have been through. So with Lucy leaving her best friend Annie behind, they were moving to Malibu California. Once they got to California, she had 5 days until school started up again. Lucy had a little time to get used to California before going to school. Then they day came were she had to walk into a whole new school not knowing anyone. When she realized that there was soccer try-outs she knew that she would make friends and be playing her favorite sport. The following day she went to soccer try-outs not knowing anybody but knew that these girls would be soon be her best friends. After practice Pickle and Charlie were asking her if she wanted to go out to eat and get some dinner. Lucy of course said yes because she couldn't turn down making friends. After the week is over they find a list saying wether you made the team or didn't. Lucy didn't. With Lucy one of the best kickers in the whole school, the soccer coach encourages her to go out for football because the best kickers got hurt and can not play anymore. Lucy decided to give it a shot. She then makes the team, but with Benji the only one that is nice to her and the teammates not liking her. Do you think she can make the team win, without getting any of her friends hurt by her actions?

  24. 4 out of 5

    Princess Bookie

    My Thoughts: In Playing With The Boys, we are introduced to Lucy. Lucy lives with her father and is forced to move to Los Angeles. She lost her mother and her father wants to get away from all the memories so he drags Lucy across the country. Lucy has to make new friends, go to a new school, and basically learn how to be a California girl, which is harder than you would think. On her first day of school she meets a boy named Benji. She and Benji become good friends. Then there is another boy who s My Thoughts: In Playing With The Boys, we are introduced to Lucy. Lucy lives with her father and is forced to move to Los Angeles. She lost her mother and her father wants to get away from all the memories so he drags Lucy across the country. Lucy has to make new friends, go to a new school, and basically learn how to be a California girl, which is harder than you would think. On her first day of school she meets a boy named Benji. She and Benji become good friends. Then there is another boy who she has a crush on. Oh I guess I'm forgetting something here. Lucy tries out for the soccer team. She's good at soccer and figures this is a way to meet friends. But she doesn't make the team so instead she tries out for the Football team and she does make that one. Her father forbids her from playing because its too dangerous but Lucy plays anyways. Playing With The Boys was a fun read, but not too deep. None of the characters really clicked with me the way I wanted. I still enjoyed reading it but if your looking for a football themed book, you might also want to try Catching Jordan. Overall: Liked it quite a bit but didn't love it. It was a quick read though so I finished it in one sitting. Cover: Like it, but mostly I like the football players legs in the background. They add a certain spunk! What I'd Give It: 4/5 Cupcakes ____ Review Based On Paperback Edition Taken From Princess Bookie www.princessbookie.com

  25. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    I hate to say it but the Pretty Tough series went downhill with Playing With The Boys. Seeing as I really liked the first one, I expected to like this one too. And I did, somewhat. It just wasn't nearly as good as I had hoped. Lucy Malone is not having a good year. First, her dad moved her across the country. Then, she didn't make the soccer team. There goes her only chance for making friends. When the soccer coach suggests Lucy try out for the boys football team Lucy doesn't take her seriously. I hate to say it but the Pretty Tough series went downhill with Playing With The Boys. Seeing as I really liked the first one, I expected to like this one too. And I did, somewhat. It just wasn't nearly as good as I had hoped. Lucy Malone is not having a good year. First, her dad moved her across the country. Then, she didn't make the soccer team. There goes her only chance for making friends. When the soccer coach suggests Lucy try out for the boys football team Lucy doesn't take her seriously. That is, until she realizes that she is better than most of the boys out there and it may be the perfect way to prove herself and earn some credibility. If nothing else, it's a way to get close to the hot quarterback and spend some time with her cute but quirky friend, Benji. Lucy was a seriously lacking character. She had no personality, no drive, and no good characteristics. She whined a lot and she always seemed to be on the verge of tears. The other characters weren't very good either. Charlie, Pickle, Benji, and some of the others were back but they seemed really different and not in a good way. Charlie was mean, Pickle was confusing, and Benji was all over the place. I wanted more depth to all of them. Overall, Playing With The Boys just didn't do it for me. I really hope that the next book, Head Games, is better.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    Lucy, still recovering from the death of her mother, moves from Ohio to California with her father. Desperate to fit in and make friends, she tries out for the soccer team, but when she doesn't make it, the coach suggests that she try out for the football team as placekicker. She beats out everyone, including her new friend Benji, and is cautiously excited about it. She thinks the quarterback, Ryan, is cute, and is glad to be asked to parties by the cheerleaders. The down sides include having to Lucy, still recovering from the death of her mother, moves from Ohio to California with her father. Desperate to fit in and make friends, she tries out for the soccer team, but when she doesn't make it, the coach suggests that she try out for the football team as placekicker. She beats out everyone, including her new friend Benji, and is cautiously excited about it. She thinks the quarterback, Ryan, is cute, and is glad to be asked to parties by the cheerleaders. The down sides include having to lie to her father that she is a cheerleader, and putting up with the hazing from the boys, who are not at all happy to have a girl on the team. This is the sequel to Pretty Tough, which features Charlie, who befriends Lucy. Strengths: Very much enjoyed these portraits of strong girls interested in sports. I thought the treatment was realistic and balanced. Sad that over 20 years after Dygard's Forward Pass, girls are still having trouble being on football teams. If we have great young women like Brianna Amat kicking winning goals AND being Homecoming queen, I think it's time that boys realize that girls can play football, too. Weaknesses: The author is now apparently writing for the television show Once Upon a Time, so we might not see more by this author; Pretty Tough #3 and #4 are written by Keri Mikulski.

  27. 5 out of 5

    JadeShea

    Playing With The Boys is a cute young adult novel about a girl who moves to California, and has to start a new school, and her new life. She tries out for the soccer team but doesn't make it, so the soccer coach suggests Lucy try out for the football team as a kicker, because their kicker recently got injured. Lucy agrees to try out and things seem to be looking great, she has friends from soccer, and now she is going to play football. But Lucy isn't always so Lucky... Many things start to go wr Playing With The Boys is a cute young adult novel about a girl who moves to California, and has to start a new school, and her new life. She tries out for the soccer team but doesn't make it, so the soccer coach suggests Lucy try out for the football team as a kicker, because their kicker recently got injured. Lucy agrees to try out and things seem to be looking great, she has friends from soccer, and now she is going to play football. But Lucy isn't always so Lucky... Many things start to go wrong for Lucy because of the choices she makes. The book is very well written, and seriously cute. Now some things Lucy does just got very annoying, and made her seem very shallow. The ending proved Lucy wasn't all that bad, but just made some dumb mistakes. I really enjoyed the football aspect of this book, it is very interesting to see female players because it's not something I've ever witnessed before in real life. I rate this 3 out of 5 stars. The book is just okay, not great, and not bad. It's not something I want to read more than one time. It is a cute, fun read with football, and high school drama.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    I will be the first to tell you that I am definitely not a big sports person: I can watch sports every now and again, but as for playing... psh, no way. I'm very athletically challenged. And most sports I can understand... but football? It's the one sport that I pretty much don't get at all. However, after reading Playing With the Boys, I feel like I understand it a lot better than before. While reading the book, I actually understood the game of football. That being said, Playing With the Boys w I will be the first to tell you that I am definitely not a big sports person: I can watch sports every now and again, but as for playing... psh, no way. I'm very athletically challenged. And most sports I can understand... but football? It's the one sport that I pretty much don't get at all. However, after reading Playing With the Boys, I feel like I understand it a lot better than before. While reading the book, I actually understood the game of football. That being said, Playing With the Boys was a wonderful novel. Liz Tigelaar did a wonderful job at showing equal parts of Lucy's social, home, and sports lives. The romance aspect was very subtle, but there, also. Everything was written in a wonderful way, which was only a plus. The only thing that I can say that I wish could've been improved was the ending. I wish the ending could've just maybe been improved a bit. It seemed too rushed and short for my taste.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Heather Septon

    I enjoyed reading this book a lot. I love to play sports, and this was all about them! It's about a girl named Lucy Malone who has to move across the country to California. Lucy obviously is devastated about this. She has to leave her high school, and even worse, her very best friend in the whole world, Annie. Lucy starts attending Beachwood High School. She soon finds out her English teacher is the head coach for the girls soccer team. Try outs are in a couple weeks and Coach Martie tells her t I enjoyed reading this book a lot. I love to play sports, and this was all about them! It's about a girl named Lucy Malone who has to move across the country to California. Lucy obviously is devastated about this. She has to leave her high school, and even worse, her very best friend in the whole world, Annie. Lucy starts attending Beachwood High School. She soon finds out her English teacher is the head coach for the girls soccer team. Try outs are in a couple weeks and Coach Martie tells her to try out. Since there is only one team, and Lucy is a sophomore she doesn't make the team. But her hopes and dreams aren't crushed yet. The high school football teams kicker tore his ACL in the first game of the year and is out. Martie tells Lucy she should try out for the football team and be the star kicker. Lucy finally gives in and tries out and makes the team. She is the starting kicker on the varsity BOYS football team. But can Lucy do her job to win the big final game?

  30. 5 out of 5

    Natasha

    Lucy Malone is the new girl at Beachwood High. She wants to play soccer, but when she gets cut from the team, she's devastated. That was her one hope to make friends. Then the soccer coach suggests that she try out for the football team, since their placekicker was injured, and her kick is great. But really? A girl on the football team? But she tries it. And she makes the team. But she has to go through a ton of crap to get accepted as part of the team. Mostly about her fight to be accepted, the Lucy Malone is the new girl at Beachwood High. She wants to play soccer, but when she gets cut from the team, she's devastated. That was her one hope to make friends. Then the soccer coach suggests that she try out for the football team, since their placekicker was injured, and her kick is great. But really? A girl on the football team? But she tries it. And she makes the team. But she has to go through a ton of crap to get accepted as part of the team. Mostly about her fight to be accepted, there is some romance, but it isn't overwhelming. It's a fantastic story. But I personally don't like the perfect happy ending type books. It was good, until I realized it was over and everything was perfect. It's still good, and I enjoyed it. I personally went through the same kind of "new girl" difficulties, and I wanted to see how she dealt with the problems of being the outsider. But, like I said, things were too perfect.

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