HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE by Dahlia Adler
Amber McCloud has one big dream for high school: become cheer captain. It’s her ticket out of Atherton, Florida and the only way any college will take a second glance at her application. And at the start of her junior year, it’s looking promising. But after the school’s beloved quarterback dies in a car accident over the summer, no one is thrilled to learn that he’s being replaced by a stranger from another school—Jack Walsh. They’re even less thrilled once they discover that “Jack” is actually short for “Jaclyn.” No one wants a girl leading the team, no matter how good she is.
If Amber wants to secure the captain gig, she has to prove that she can lead the squad, but while the rest of the cheerleaders (in addition to most of the football team) are set on bullying Jack and taking her down, Amber is developing a crush on the new QB. Amber and Jack quickly fall for each other, and Amber has to choose whether to stand up for Jack and risk losing her dream of being captain, or join in with the squad and risk losing Jack.
This sapphic, sporty romance is such a fun read, I didn’t want to put it down. The queer twist on the classic cheerleader + quarterback trope had me hooked. It’s lighthearted and sweet, and the witty banter between Amber and Jack is so charming and highlights their off-the-charts chemistry. I loved watching them fall for each other while they navigate the mess that high school can be. Readers who enjoyed TELL ME HOW YOU REALLY FEEL by Aminah Mae Safi, SHE DRIVES ME CRAZY by Kelly Quindlen, or ONLY MOSTLY DEVASTATED by Sophie Gonzales are sure to adore HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE.
“Adler keeps the pages turning with well-mapped tension and compelling characters, using clichés to her advantage as she builds an appealing and heartfelt romance . . . Bubbly but not naïve: a worthy rendition of a classic high school story.” —Kirkus Reviews