Nolan Lennox had things figured out. Named after a baseball legend, she enjoyed being the Tomboy, her closet 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 to ever 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 and wonders if her humble upbringing can compete with the afforded luxuries of her privileged peers.
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?
Waiting on the Sidelines explores young love to its fullest, exposing how real young heartbreak and passion is and how important it is to discover yourself and hold onto your own identity. The story follows two young characters as they deal with mature situations, including the prevalence of bullying and promiscuity in today’s high school setting. Ultimately, Waiting on the Sidelines is a story of hope, honesty and those powerful, first true loves—the ones worth holding onto at any cost.
Goodreads- Waiting On the Sidelines
They fell in love in high school and found their way back to one another despite the odds. But can first loves really be forever? For Reed Johnson, the dream was always football. But then Nolan Lennox took over his heart. Is he willing to give up his first love just to keep his true love? Or will he be too late?
Reed and Nolan’s story continues in "Going Long," sequel to "Waiting on the Sidelines."
Goodreads- Going Long
This Book Nerd Says:
I read these two books back to back and so I'm going to merge these two reviews together. The story begins when the main characters are still quite young so it's something to keep in mind as you begin the roller coaster ride that is Nolan and Reed's love story.
Nolan is a tomboy, who loves to wear shorts and baggy tee shirts with her sneakers more than she loves dressing up to show off for the boys around her. She has a loving family who though they aren't wealthy, they are close knit. I love that Nolan loves them and often defends her family without hesitation <--- LOVE that.
Reed is the new hotshot football player who catches Nolan's eye.
Problem is the first time I "met" Reed my thought was JERK.
Don't worry it gets better... then worse... then better again.
On my notes this is what I had under Reed:
JERK -> Sweetheart --> JERK! --> aww mah gosh I love him
He wasn't alone in my rollercoaster of feels. Nolan took me on a doozy of a ride as well. There were so many moments that I was slapping my forehead in frustration with her. I had to remind myself that not only were the main characters young and still maturing, but that Nolan, in particular, had felt overlooked by most of the boys in her school and so her naivety wasn't without reason.
Waiting On The Sidelines is told from Nolan's POV as they meet in the days right before school starts for the year. From the rocky start their relationship has, they develop a friendship that's colored with something that's obviously more than friendship. Something that everyone around them seems to see, something that's incredibly obvious to us readers.
That's one of the first uh oh moments I had with the book.
There's Sean... an important background character that I adore.
First, I felt bad for him a little bit, then my heart broke for him 'a lot a bit'.
And then there's Tatum... the girl you just have to hate because she's so dang mean!
It's obvious that Reed knows how to give the town what they want... victories. But it's just as apparent that he's under a massive amount of pressure from everyone around. So it's a matter of time that he either explodes or implodes, and Reed gives us a show of both.
Going Long picks up while Nolan and Reed are in college.
Despite the distance between them Reed is determined to make things work between them, to be there for her. Since this book is written in alternating POVs we get a better picture of the mental process of both of the characters. That's definitely appreciated because it you thought Waiting On The Sidelines was a rollercoaster then Going Long will have you yelling at the characters... like I did.
Geez, if Tatum was bad and Tyler was frustrating... wait until you meet Gavin. I wanted to commit literary homicide.
Despite the up and downs that Nolan and Reed take you on from start to finish, one thing is constant: how they feel about each other.
And that my booknerdian friends is what makes this series sweet. From their absolutely swoon worthy first kiss to the the last glimpse we get of them on the page, it was so heart twisting adorable.
But in all honesty my favorite things about both books were their friends. We already talked about how much I love Sean. But Nolan has two world class besties in Sierra and Sarah, seriously thank goodness for them. Both of them are on opposite sides of the "bff reactory" scale but both of them are amazing for Nolan. Because we all need a friend(s) that will drop everything to be there for you, those who will fight your battles for you, who will ground you & tell you when you're being stupid; just the same as we need friend(s) to just listen sometimes and let us find our own answers, those who let us find our own strength.
I'm giving both books a solid 3.5 stars!