Saturday, September 19, 2015

REVIEW... The End Game by Kate McCarthy

“Professional athletes are pillars of their respective communities. They are heroes in the eyes of boys and girls and are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that positively represents their community.”

The public loves a good scandal. Seeing someone fall from the pinnacle of success makes a great headline. No one knows that better than I do. What started out as a promising career in college football, spiraled into scandal and shame.

But being a hero is easier said then done. Especially when there are those who expected to see the great Brody Madden fail. I craved nothing except being the best—willing to do anything to prove them wrong. But I went too far, and I tried too hard, and it broke me.

“At the time of going to print, Jordan Elliott was unavailable for comment.”

I met Brody Madden in my senior year of college. An Australian native on an international scholarship, I was the female soccer sensation with stars in her eyes and no room for a hotshot wide receiver with a chip on his shoulder.

But a heart bursting with ambition and a driving fire to succeed isn’t made of stone. I became his strength, his obsession, and the greatest love of his life. Only I wasn’t there when he needed me most.

This is a story about love and a game that takes everything. Where the path to glory is paved with sacrifice. Where pressure makes you, or breaks you, and triumph is born in the ashes of failure. Where two people’s end game will change everything.

This Book Nerd Says: 

I must say this book caught me by surprise. I love a NA Sports book so I absolutely jumped for this one just by reading the synopsis. 
The End Game throws us into the story of not just one driven athlete but two. 
Jordan comes to Texas from Australia with one goal in mind, making her dream as a pro-soccer player come true. When she's thrust into the path of Brody Madden, something she didn't want becomes something she didn't want to live without. 
Sounds typical? Maybe. But The End Game is anything but typical... 

The story was tumultuous, I won't lie. But once I finally got sucked into it (at about 15%) I was completely hooked until the end. There are ups and there are downs... then there are more ups and more downs, but through it all there was this gritty reality to the behind the facade life of a athlete. The pressure to be the better team blurs easily with being the best at all and any cost. 
Brody has a lot of struggles that start with never having the necessary love and support from the right people. Having to earn his every bit of his self-worth on the football field, when the pressure gets greater he doesn't know how to truly believe in himself. 
Brody took my heart on the ride of a lifetime on the emotional roller coaster. 

Because of this it was easy to really feel a connection with Jordan. I enjoyed the deeper dimension her character brought to an already complex story. Jordan is an athlete on the top of her game. She is unapologetic about how good she is, and this is very much a positive. Since they both have dreams on a similar track it was interesting to see how differently their situations played out even as their hopes and dreams blended together. 

It's a messy, difficult, hard fought, never say die kind of love story that really impressed me. It opens up the room for really thinking about the price of fame and glory that comes along with magazine covers and endorsement deals. 
Behind Jordan and Brody, there are also a fantastic supporting cast of characters that drew me in just as much and give us some of the lighter moments that made me smile. 

It was a bit of a longer read but I definitely don't regret a moment of it. 
I'm giving this one 4 lovely stars!

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