on July 15, 2016
Nico Medina’s world is eleven miles away from mine. During the day, it’s a place where doors are open—where homes are lived in, and neighbors love. But when the sun sets, it becomes a place where young boys are afraid, where eyes watch from idling cars that hide in the shadows and wicked smoke flows from pipes.
West End is the kind of place that people survive. It buries them—one at a time, one way or another. And when Nico was a little boy, his mom always told him to run.
I’m Reagan Prescott—coach’s daughter, sister to the prodigal son, daughter in the perfect family. Life on top. Lies.My world is the ugly one. Private school politics and one of the best high school football programs in the country can break even the toughest souls. Our darkness plays out in whispers and rumors, and money and status trump all. I would know—I’ve watched it kill my family slowly, strangling us for years.
In our twisted world, a boy from West End is the only shining light.
I hated him before I needed him.I fell for him fast.I loved him when it was almost too late.
When two ugly worlds collide, even the strongest fall.
But my world…it hasn’t met the boy from West End.
Whose house is this?
I’m in love with this book, period. This was such a great read for me. As a sports nerd and a huge football fan, this book was everything I expected it to be and then some. This book reminded me why I love YA so much and why I should read YA more often. The High School experiences, the anticipation, that first touch, the first kiss, the first love, this book had all of that, and I enjoyed every second of it.
“The difference between our two worlds is impossible not to notice the second my feet step onto the bare concrete floors of Nico’s home.”
Cornwall is a prestigious private school with a legendary football program. “Honor. Brotherhood. Tradition.”, those are the foundations of it and success is what everyone strives for. If you’ve ever watched Friday Night Lights (the TV show, which is perfection), it’s a very similar concept. A football program that is hugely competitive and where the expectations are extremely high for all involved, coaches, players, even the community.
Reagan Prescott is the coach’s daughter, and the main narrator of this story. She was born into privilege and opportunity. She’s smart and beautiful and dreams of going to film school. She also bleeds football, it’s in her veins and “The Tradition” (Cornwall’s football team) is a huge part of her life and her identity. Reagan also shows us the ugly side of that football tradition, the politics, the backstabbing, the insecurities and instability of a system that solely depends on winning. So, on the surface, her life is perfect but it is all a huge façade.
“The price of winning is steep, and sometimes it doesn’t seem worth it.”
Nico Medina is the hero of this story, and let me tell you he is the HERO in every sense of the word. He makes this book extraordinary. Nico is from the West End, the wrong side of the tracks. A “dangerous” place, a place full of “at risk” youth, a place no one on the other side wants to acknowledge it exists. Nico is academically gifted and extraordinary; he goes to Cornwall on a scholarship and is in line to be valedictorian. He and Reagan often butt heads because they’re basically the same person but she definitely knows Nico is very special. I’m not sure what it is, but the way we see Nico through Reagan’s eyes is perfection.
“Nico is a wild stallion full of promise and gifts, and I’m not sure if he can be tamed. I’m not sure if he should.”
Nico is also a gifted athlete; he’s passionate about football although he does not play any organized sports in school. When the team’s quarterback, who happens to be Reagan’s brother, gets injured, she convinces Nico to try out for the team in an effort to save her father’s job and the football season and that’s when the story truly begins.
“This is what makes football great. The moments when impossible happens; the boys who make impossible happen.”
The story is a little bit enemies to lovers and also a little bit forbidden since she’s the coach’s daughter and they come from different sides of the tracks. Their friendship soon evolves into something beautiful and they realize that those barriers they thought they had and seemed impossible for them to be together were far from it.
“Look at me like you expect more. Look at me like it isn’t going to be easy.” Nico breathes the words against my lips, pausing when his bottom lip connects with my top, the faintness of the touch so much better than any other real kiss I’ve had. “Make me earn it,” he says, pausing again to take my top lip between both of his. “I’ll earn it. I’ll never stop trying to earn it…to earn you.”
I really don’t want to say anything more about this book, it’s one of those you should experience for yourself and you’ll see it brings all the feels. I adored Reagan, and I loved Nico with all my heart. I also loved all of the secondary characters, Reagan’s family and Nico’s family, and all of their friends. This book is simply amazing. It’s about, love, family, brotherhood, trust. It’s about how we’re really not that different. It breaks barriers and as a sports romance, it is at the very top of my list now.
“We do things in life to make others happy. We make sacrifices because that feeling—the one I once thought was altruism, but have since learned is just love—it makes us feel good. We give, but it’s never selfless. Nico has given so much. He’s lost more than his share, and he’s sacrificed beyond what is right.”
If you are a sports romance fan and a football fan, you MUST read this book, you won’t be disappointed. And if you’re not, you still MUST read this book, you won’t be disappointed. You will totally love Nico and Reagan and their story. This is my first Ginger Scott book and it will definitely not be my last!
“Loving you—it makes me feel alive.”
**An ARC was generously provided by the author and Wordsmith Publicity in exchange for an honest review**
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