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.
Waiting on the Sidelines is about the anxieties young girls feel over not being good enough, pretty enough, sexy enough, rich enough or daring enough to fit in. It’s about wanting someone so badly but not feeling confident enough in yourself to put your heart on the line. And it’s about desperately craving attention, but also fighting to blend in. My story follows Nolan Lennox, a girl with a boy’s name, as she matures through high school and struggles with being tortured by a cruel bully and loving the emotionally flawed quarterback who is beloved by their small Arizona town. Character-driven, Waiting on the Sidelines takes you along for every heartbreak, celebration and moment of self-doubt Nolan has as she becomes a woman. Readers experience the rush of Nolan’s first kiss as well as the crushing shame she harbors over her own weakness and inability to stand up to her tormentors. Ultimately, you are immersed in the small town and will come away feeling as if you are also one of Nolan’s closest friends, and possibly in love with the same, irresistible boy she is.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This just might be my favorite YA ever
Nolan has never really fit in the way other girls do. She’s not entirely without friends, but she’s not the eyelash-batting socialite defines most teenage girls. She’s a tomboy, prefers sporty to dressy, and enjoys her lower middle class life without worrying about what other people say and think. Until she meets Reed. In one day he sets her heart to fluttering and then sends it crashing to the ground, and he doesn’t have a clue. The next four years is an emotional roller coaster of friendship, insecurity, teenage angst, first love, mean girls, heartbreak, and growing up — and it’s just incredible.
Reed is every bit a teenage boy. He’s smart and clueless, ruled by his hormones and distracted by his heart, capable of incredible sweetness and unbelievable stupidity, and when I wasn’t hating him, I was absolutely in love with him. It’s obvious he cares for Nolan, first as a friend and then as so much more, but he’s just a kid, too, and he makes plenty of mistakes along the way.
It’s really not possible for me to sum up the story accurately, at least not in any way that truly describes how great it is. There are so many moments to love, and listing them all out here would just ruin the magic. But if ever there were a book that perfectly accounted for every bit of awkwardness and wonder that is high school life and love, Waiting on the Sidelines is it. Forget my review and just buy it, borrow it, read it over a stranger’s shoulder… Doesn’t matter how you get to it, but definitely read it. This just might be my favorite YA ever.
A coming of age that keeps you reading
This book is possibly one of my favorite reads of the year. It is about Nolan and her experience dealing with all things in high school- friends, starting high school, boys, rumors, etc. I loved how relatable Nolan and her story is. There are some personal touches in the book. And because I lived in Tucson for 6 years, there are some real places that gave the book an extra spark.
This book is a must read coming of age, page turning book that deserves to be on your shelf.
They are stupid!!
The book was good I suppose. But Nolan asks Reed for too much, and she expects things from him when she’s doing what she wants. She’s a hypocrite. And their relationship is toxic if you ask me. How the heck are you going to just keep putting yourself through that. She’s too forgiving, she only truly expressed herself to him when she was mad. So was so fixed on him not leaving and kept her feelings at bay. Reed wasn’t really a good person but she isn’t a victim either, because she puts up with it. They’re both stupid.