Review: Sidelined by Kendra C Highley

Sidelined (Entangled Teen)

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

After being pushed to excel her entire life, high school basketball star Genna Pierce is finally where she wants to be. University scouts are taking notice, her team is on its way to the state tourney, and Jake Butler, the hot boy she’s daydreamed about since ninth grade, is showing some definite interest. When he asks her out and their relationship takes off, Genna believes things can’t get better.

Then, it’s over.

A freak accident ends her career before it’s even begun. Her parents are fighting more than ever, her friends don’t understand what she’s going through, and she’s not sure who she is without basketball. And while he tries to be there for her, Genna doesn’t understand how Jake could ever want the broken version of the girl he fell for.

Her life in a tailspin, Genna turns to the only solace that eases her pain: Vicodin.

Review:

Sidelined was such a good book!  I was so engrossed that I didn’t even want to watch the horse show!  I read the book while I was in OKC, and I quickly discovered that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea, since all I wanted to do was read it!  It’s hard to be social with your nose buried in a book.  Hopefully everyone will forgive me for curling up on the corner of the couch and not moving for an entire session.

I enjoy sports stories, so Sidelined was loaded right up on my Kindle.  Once I started reading it, it turned into so much more than I was expecting.  An unfortunate accident during a game robs Genna of a promising collegiate career and puts her scholarship in jeopardy.    She’s trained and stayed focused on basketball her whole life.  It is everything to her, and once it’s ripped away, she is completely at loose ends.  What is she going to do now?  She doesn’t feel that anything is left for her, and she begins to pull away from her best friend and her new boyfriend. After she learns that her mother is having an affair with the father of a schoolmate, she goes over the edge.  She and her mother haven’t gotten along for years, but her betrayal cuts deeply.  To escape from all of her problems, Genna begins to abuse her pain meds.  Before she knows it, Vicodin is the only steady thing in her life.

Wow, wow, wow! I loved this book!  I felt so bad for Genna.  She is miserable, but she doesn’t know how to ask for help.  Her rehabilitation is excruciating.  She can’t concentrate on school, her doesn’t know how to talk to her friends anymore, and her mother is so focused on herself that there is no one for her to talk to.  Her dad tries his best, but he suspects that Genna’s mother is sleeping around on him, so he is understandably preoccupied.  Her parents bicker and argue constantly, which has Genna even more distressed.  There is no place for her to grieve the loss of everything that was important to her, and she is having a hard time coming to grips with the thought of being average.  She thinks that the Vicodin is making everything better, but in reality, it is making everything that much worse.

Sidelined will put you through the wringer.  Through no fault of her own, Genna loses touch with herself and doesn’t know how to live with her new normal.  She is spinning out of control as everything seems to get worse and worse.  Now that she can’t play basketball, she feels that her mother has lost interest in her.   Their relationship has never been easy, and her mother, a former basketball player herself, constantly criticized her play and demands that she perform at an ever higher level.  She should have felt relieved that her mother was no longer nit-picking her every move, but now she has lost the one thing that connected her with her mom.

I never thought I would enjoy a book about rehabbing after a serious injury.  Sidelined pushed just about every button I have, and I didn’t want it to end.  If you like angsty, emotional books, look no further!

Grade:  A-

Review copy provided by publisher