From the author of Some Girls Do comes another heartfelt YA sapphic romance—starring a baseball pitcher and a student umpire who are definitely not supposed to fall for one another.
“Sapphic sports romance perfection. Swoony and romantic, but unafraid to tackle grief, family expectations, and fighting for your dreams, this is a home run of a book.” —Rachael Lippincott, coauthor of the #1 New York Times Bestsellers Five Feet Apart and She Gets the Girl
June is the star pitcher of her elite club baseball team—with an ego to match—and she's a shoo-in to be recruited at the college level, like her parents have always envisioned. That is, if she can play through an overuse injury that has recently gone from bad to worse.
Ivy isn't just reffing to pay off her athletic fees or make some extra cash on the side. She wants to someday officiate at the professional level, even if her parents would rather she go to college instead.
The first time they cross paths, Ivy throws June out of a game for grandstanding. Still, they quickly grow from enemies to begrudging friends . . . and then something more. But the rules state that players and umpires are prohibited from dating.
As June's shoulder worsens, and a rival discovers the girls' secret and threatens to expose them, everything the two have worked so hard for is at risk. Now both must choose: follow their dreams . . . or follow their hearts?
Dugan (The Last Girl Standing) emphasizes choosing one's own path and the uneven grieving process in this charming queer romance. Ivy, 18, and June, 17, have a lot in common: they're each pursuing a career in sports; they've lost their brother and mother, respectively, to cancer; and they're slowly buckling under the weight of their families' expectations. Ivy's desire to dedicate her time to becoming a referee for the NFL puts her at odds with her mother, who insists that Ivy attend college as a backup; meanwhile, baseball pitcher June pushes herself to the point of injury while trying to make a name for herself amid the shadow of her former minor league baseball player father. When Ivy umps for one of June's games, the two use their shared history as a jumping-off point for a relationship based on mutual understanding, but their parents' opinions, the athletic code of ethics they live by, and the pressure they place on themselves soon have them questioning what they want, not only in love but in life. Without sacrificing the banter or sincerity that make up this winning romance, Dugan skillfully crafts parallel story lines in which the weight of loss and pressure to succeed haunt the protagonists throughout their everyday lives as they work toward their own futures. Major characters cue as white. Ages 12–up.