Nolan Lennox had things figured out. Named after a baseball legend, she enjoyed being the tomboy. Her closet was filled with her brother's hand-me-downs, cut-off jeans, and soccer shorts. But when her first trip to high school results in a broken heart from the first boy ever to make her heart flutter and cruel words from an older girl she once thought a family friend, Nolan starts to question the very person she thought she was.
Throughout the next four years, Nolan struggles to maintain herself throughout her path of discovery, learning just how cruel teenagers can be through the pressures of underage drinking, sexuality, and class. And despite how life seems to continue to work against her, she still manages to listen to her heart, falling deeper and deeper for the guy the entire town adores, even if he only sees her as a friend. Can Nolan strike a compromise between her own integrity and the boy she loves? And can she make him notice her before it's too late?
Reed Johnson came to Coolidge High School with a lot of fanfare. The son of a hometown football legend and the brother of a local football hero, Reed wore all the pressures of carrying a town without hope into the spotlight. Thankfully he had the talent to back it up. But when he meets a girl who makes him think twice about exactly what being a hero means, he starts to wonder if following in his brother's footsteps might be all wrong.
Nolan Lennox was everything that was opposite of expected. She didn't flirt, she didn't drink, and she didn't sleep around. Nothing about her was easy, but something about her made Reed want to try harder. Though she didn't look the part, she seemed to be spending a lot of time in Reed's thoughts, and he wondered if she could be the one who made it all worthwhile. But could Reed handle letting her down? And would breaking her heart break him beyond repair?
©2013 Ginger Scott (Ginger Eiden) (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
I rarely am moved to write a review but felt compelled to write this one - while I am far from a young adult (even my children are beyond young adult ) I could relate to the trials of Reed and Nolan. I come from a time when people were kinder to each other or at least that is how I remember my high school years. That said I am familiar with the likes of Tatum and later Dylan, those beautiful, smart "in crowd" girls who feed on hurting others. It is a sad commentary on our society that their actions are rewarded and accepted rather than shunned, that was not the case when I was a teenager.
Recently an article appeared on the net looking at what markers were indications for success. No surprise to me, and I am sure to those of my generation, the markers were kindness and ability to share at a young age. I am more than lucky to have raised four successful and wonderful children who are truly good people. To those out there who have suffered at the hands of cruel and callous peers, take heart you shall overcome as my children have and as Nolan and Reed ultimately do.
Avid reader who hates it when editors or writers butcher the English language. Honest reviewer.
Maybe, I'm just in a bad mood but Reed is a jerk & Nolan deserves way better. But when you fall in love, it's hard to be rational. Oh well, I'm willing to read the 2nd but no promises.
Engaging, Drama, Angst
I loved the small stalwart group of true friends who surround both the hero and heroine.
Darrell's performance was animated, and she did a good job differentiating between characters--both male and female.
Waiting on the Sidelines was Ginger Scott’s debut novel. I’ve read all of her recent books, and I thought it was time to go back to the beginning. I was not disappointed. Waiting on the Sidelines is quintessential Young Adult. If ever there was a book that would bring you back to the best and worst of high school, Waiting on the Sidelines is it.
The title Waiting on the Sidelines captures not only the football theme, but it is also a reference to the heroine, Nolan Lennox. She is smart and athletic, but she is socially insecure. While she loves her close-knit family deeply, she feels her lower-middle class upbringing is a brand she wears identifying her as a target for the jabs and jokes of the cool, wealthy, and popular kids. Nolan’s insecurities keep her on the sidelines, feeling like an outsider most of the time.
Waiting on the Sidelines is definitely YA, however, there are some rather mature themes for this genre—underage drinking, sex, bullying. Scott handles these themes realistically. From the Nerds to the Jocks to the Queen Bees, Scott has nailed the high school social structure and common behaviors of the various groups. The angst and drama know no bounds. The peaks and valleys of hormones, crushes, on-off romances, and mean-girl pranks kept my heart racing and my stomach in knots. I went through it all with Nolan and Reed. Their raging hormones and false starts as well as the solid friends who bolstered them through their toughest trials made Waiting on the Sidelines an emotional read. Nolan and Reed’s self-discovery, life lessons and first loves would be a great book club discussion material or could provide a meaningful start to a conversation with your own young adult.
Waiting on the Sidelines is a little bit Friday Night Lights and a little bit My So Called Life. You’ll pray for Nolan and Reed to make the right choices, you’ll thank their great friends for their support, and you’ll cheer when Nolan figures out that a happy ending sometimes means the girl gets self respect and instead of the guy who doesn’t always have her back.
Honestly, I love how each book Ginger Scott writes is completely different. She has this angst epic high school story and then she has her warming coming-to-age college series I love as well. You never know what kind of characters you will get and I love that.
I would compare the writing style to KA Linde. That is the best way I can compare Waiting on the Sidelines to other books. Because of the angst and intense love story between the two main characters. Also, the main characters use secondary characters to hurt each other (very typical of KA Linde books).
This is my first Laura Darrell’s narration and she has a very unique voice. It’s youthful but it’s not girly. I thought she fit Nolan perfectly. I didn’t want a too girly voice for Nolan. I also like Laura’s transitions to other characters. I am a fan of dual POV books, but from start to finish I enjoyed Laura’s voice. She was a great narrator.
I had reactions all over the place. I was happy, stressed, anxious and I pulled a lot of my hairs out, but I couldn’t image it any other way.
Full Book Review
4 Angst and Second Chance Stars
I LOVE Ginger Scott books. When you read Ginger Scott books, you will get an epic story. I’m talking about, massive drama, big love and Heroes you love to hate.
This will be an audio review of Waiting on the Sidelines. This is a standalone novel, however, there is a sequel which continues the story.
In full disclosure I am not a fan of angst. It’s something I’m slowly working on and I think I am making progress. I am liking it a bit more because come on, as much as I rant, pulling out your hair while you read is kind of fun. I mean, it makes the ending much more rewarding right? Waiting on the Sidelines reminds me a lot of how KA Linde writes. Very angsty and very romantic.
This is not an easy story to listen to, BUT I couldn’t imagine it any other way. I am glad I did the audio version because I GOT emotions, the pain, the hardships and EPIC love.
Nolan and Reed are two high school teenagers. The story is about their high school experiences. I LOVE high school reads. There’s something about young love that makes it so innocent and more intense. This book is YA, so there’s nothing hanky panky about it, BUT I really like that.
Nolan is a true fifteen year old. As much as I love reading my NA books where sixteen year olds are having relations, I love how sweet and naive Nolan is at first. She hasn’t even had her first kiss. I can completely relate! I didn’t have mine until I was nineteen. When Nolan and Reed first meet, Nolan has a mega crush on Reed.
Reed is the star football player and heartthrob of the school. He’s a “good” guy, but he’s also a teenage boy and full of hormones. He’s dating a mean girl and doesn’t really care as long as she puts out.
Nolan and Reed forge this odd friendship at first and I have to say, it’s addictive. Nolan’s unrequited love was painfully consuming to read. Nolan hides her feelings for Reed very well, but Reed’s girlfriend knows better and tries to make Nolan’s life not so great.
I couldn’t get over the Nolan and Reed dynamics. It was a roller coaster of feelings. There would be tender moments between Nolan and Reed, but something always happens and it’s like they make progress in their relationship and then take two steps back. This happens throughout the book.
Reed is the Hero you will hate. I’m just being honest. He’s not an easy character to read or love. I secretly like these Heroes because they don’t fit into the simple male hero box. You have to remember he’s a teenage boy and doesn’t understand his reaction towards Nolan is somewhat harmful.
I love how strong Nolan is and what type of woman she grows to be. She slowly gains her independence and stands up for herself. There are moments that I’m shouting at Nolan. She loves Reed so deeply she almost does everything and anything for him.
Nolan and Reed’s relationship isn’t healthy by any means, but that what makes this story even more vibrant. They play this dance of cat and mouse of who can hurt and love each other the most.
Waiting on the Sidelines is definitely for the angst lovers. You will be rooting for Nolan and Reed to the end of the book.
If you like angst, if you want a back and forth epic love story that is filled with tension, hate and love, then this one is for you.
I would have given this story 4 stars, but the ending was rushed and didn't seem believable after their circumstances. Great narration, sweet story overall.
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