Like other girls

Britta Lundin

Book - 2021

""What if I played football?" I ask. As soon as it's out of my mouth, I feel stupid. Even suggesting it feels like I've overstepped some kind of invisible line we've all agreed not to discuss. We don't talk about how Mara is different from other girls. We don't talk about how Mara is gay but no one says so. But when I do stuff like this, I worry it gets harder for us all to ignore what's right in front of us. I direct my gaze to Quinn. "What do you think?" "I think it's frickin' genius," he says. After getting kicked off the basketball team for a fight that was absolutely totally not her fault (okay maybe a little her fault), Mara is dying to find a new sport to play... to prove to her coach that she can be a team player. A lifelong football fan, Mara decides to hit the gridiron with her brother, Noah, and best friend, Quinn-and she turns out to be a natural. But joining the team sets off a chain of events in her small Oregon town-and within her family-that she never could have predicted. Inspired by what they see as Mara's political statement, four other girls join the team. Now Mara's lumped in as one of the girls-one of the girls who can't throw, can't kick, and doesn't know a fullback from a linebacker. Complicating matters is the fact that Valentina, Mara's crush, is one of the new players, as is Carly, Mara's nemesis-the girl Mara fought with when she was kicked off the basketball team. What results is a coming-of-age story that is at once tear-jerking and funny, thought-provoking and real, as Mara's preconceived notions about gender, sports, sexuality, and friendship are turned upside down." -- jacket flap

Saved in:

Young Adult Area Show me where

1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
Young Adult Area YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Lundin Britta Checked In
Young adult fiction
Sports fiction
Los Angeles : Hyperion 2021.
Main Author
Britta Lundin (author)
First edition
Physical Description
373 pages ; 22 cm
Ages 14-18.
Grades 10-12.
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

After Mara is kicked off the basketball team for fighting, her coach gives her an ultimatum--go one season on another team sport without losing her temper or her basketball hiatus will be permanent. When she joins the football team she doesn't expect to fall in love with the sport. And she definitely doesn't expect to inspire four more girls, including her biggest crush and greatest enemy, to join the team as well. Like Other Girls is a smart look at what gender equality looks like in practice and how easy it can be for a girl to get sucked into a misogynistic mindset when that's been the loudest force in her community. The novel's greatest strength is Mara's realistic, multidimensional presence as she works through a series of essential feminist questions. Lundin has created a book about sports, friendship, and discovering you've always had a place in the world--you just have to claim it. A different but complementary vibe from Catherine Gilbert Murdock's Dairy Queen (2006) and Kris Hui Lee's Out of Left Field (2018).

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Closeted Mara Deeble, who's always been one of the guys, confronts her own internalized misogyny after she joins her high school's football team and four other girls follow suit. In rural Elkhorn, Oregon, life revolves around ranching, church, and sports--but Mara's aggression got her kicked off the basketball team last winter, and Coach Joyce won't let her rejoin without proof that she can play a team sport without fighting. She's certainly not trying to make a feminist statement when she joins her quarterback brother on the football team, but after her intense, out-and-proud lesbian archnemesis, Carly Nakata; her gorgeous, tomboyish crush, Valentina Cortez; and two more girls join too, claiming Mara inspired them, everyone's talking about gender--and holding Mara to standards she's uninterested in meeting. Mara is refreshingly, authentically imperfect: judgmental, impulsive, and terrified of being vulnerable yet desperate to be understood. While the Elkhorn Five face open resentment and harassment from the male players, it's Mara's mother's perplexed disappointment that's especially piercing. Thankfully, Mara finds a kindred spirit in Jupiter, an unapologetically butch farmer who is new to town and whose presence feels like "a nice long exhale." Jupiter offers Mara--and readers--new perspectives on gender presentation and sexuality. Most characters appear White; several are cued as Latinx, and Carly is biracial (Asian/White). Readers need not like (or understand) football to wholeheartedly cheer for the Elkhorn Five. Fiercely charming and achingly relatable--a glorious, empowering touchdown. (Fiction. 12-18) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.