Blurb (from Goodreads):
Between finishing late school projects and looking after her brothers and sister, Faith Patel barely has time to play soccer. And when she's at practice, surrounded by girls who can afford to play in club leagues, she doesn't even feel like part of the team. So when Coach Berg starts to give Faith extra attention, she feels . . . really special. It might be crazy, but suddenly Faith has a crush on her coach. Can she keep her head in the game?
The situation gets worse after Faith's frenemy Caitlyn decides that Faith's getting special treatment. Will Caitlyn tell the rest of the teamand make Faith into a total outcast?
My rating: 5 out of 10 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Lerner Publishing Group and Netgalley.)
All Faith Patel wants to do is play Soccer (or football to us British peeps), but most of her time is spent looking after her younger sister and brothers, as her mum works nights as a nurse and her father is dead.
When her coach suggests she play midfield rather than defence, she jumps at the opportunity, but another girl on the team (Caitlyn) is jealous and starts suggesting that maybe the coach is being nice to Faith because they are having some kind of affair.
This is totally untrue, but the more Caitlyn keeps suggesting it, the more Faith wonders if maybe the coach does have more than professional feelings towards her, and starts to develop a bit of a crush. She then somehow convinces herself that what Caitlyn is saying is true – Faith and Coach Berg are in love, so she tries to make a pass at him!
What will become of Faith and Coach Berg?
This book was a quick read, and totally reminded me of the film ‘Bend it like Beckham’ – about the Indian girl who wanted to play football/soccer. ‘Bend it like Beckham’ wasn’t quite so cringe-worthy though.
I found Faith a little odd to be honest. If someone had suggested that I was having an affair with a teacher, I would have then avoided him like the plague, not developed a crush, and when she then started wearing lip gloss and mascara to football practise, I have to admit that I cringed a bit.
When she then started thinking about ‘being’ with him, and asking him about what cologne he was wearing, I just couldn’t believe it, it seemed so wrong, and when she actually tried to convince herself that they were in love, and tried to get him to kiss her, I actually had to close my eyes and hide!
What made this even worse was that to me it was obvious that the coach didn’t have feelings for her. I was a little shocked at how stupid the coach was portrayed to be when he accepted Faith’s help doing some counting of sports equipment though early on in the book. He allowed her to help him take inventory of equipment when they were alone together. I can’t imagine that in this day and age any male teacher would allow himself to be alone with a female pupil un-chaperoned, as any allegation of any sexual harassment of any type would most likely immediately end his career, even if proved to be false.
Overall; this book was short, made me cringe, and made me laugh (and not in a good way).
5 out of 10.
'Offside' is due for release on January 28th 2013.