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July 8, 2013

Review: Hooked by Liz Fichera

When Native American Fredricka ‘Fred’ Oday is invited to become the only girl on the school’s golf team, she can’t say no. This is an opportunity to shine, win a scholarship and go to university, something no one in her family has done. But Fred’s presence on the team isn’t exactly welcome — especially not to rich golden boy Ryan Berenger, whose best friend was kicked off the team to make a spot for Fred.But there’s no denying that things are happening between the girl with the killer swing and the boy with the killer smile...

I'll admit that my expectations for Hooked were not very high to begin with. After being surprised with it in the mail, I surfed around for some reviews and ultimately decided not to get my hopes up. However, by the end, I was actually pleasantly surprised by the intricacies of a novel that is most definitely more than meets the eye.

As much as I can't stand the typical 'lovey-dovey boy and girl' type covers, I'm undoubtedly a sucker for a good contemporary. This goes double for contemporaries that cross racial and social lines. Protagonist Fredricka 'Fred' Oday and love interest Ryan Berenger are from completely different worlds--she's Native American, he's white, she's poor, he's rich--but their relationship proves quite simply that love is love. Fred's shyness and Ryan's indecisiveness both irritated me throughout the novel, but what mattered was that they overcame hurdle after hurdle in order to make things work.

Hooked was a little lengthy for my taste and there were a few pieces that could have been cut out. I felt like some of the scenes were a little overdramatic, particularly several involving Ryan's "friend" Seth. Perhaps I've just been blessed to not encounter much bullying in my lifetime, but I found the antagonism towards Fred's ancestry to be a little over the top. However, I appreciated that she never used her minority or financial status as an excuse, nor did she ever try to attain special treatment as the only girl on an all-boys golf team. Introverted or not, she did stand up for herself at the most pivotal points, and thankfully, Ryan eventually did the same.

Overall, I enjoyed Hooked and I'm really excited to see what's next for a couple of the secondary characters in Liz Fichera's sequel, Played, which releases next year. Contemporary fans, if you like an occasional dose of intense storytelling over light and fluffy romance, definitely give this one a shot.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

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