By: Melanie | June 15, 2013 | (17) Comments

Title: Hooked
Author: Liz Fichera
Publisher: Harlequin Australia
Genre: YA, contemporary, romance
Series: Hooked #1
Release Date: February 1, 2013
Pages: 368
Source: Received via giveaway at Cuddlebuggery

When Native American Fredricka ‘Fred’ Oday is invited to become the only girl on the school’s golf team, she can’t say no. This is an opportunity to shine, win a scholarship and go to university, something no one in her family has done.

But Fred’s presence on the team isn’t exactly welcome — especially not to rich golden boy Ryan Berenger, whose best friend was kicked off the team to make a spot for Fred.

But there’s no denying that things are happening between the girl with the killer swing and the boy with the killer smile…


Thank you Cuddlebuggery for sending me this copy!

‘But then in first period English, for the very first time, he looked at me: Ryan Berenger. The pretentious, moody guy, who couldn’t be bothered to have dinner with his family, the one who always had his arm around the bleached-blonde girl from the pom squad.’

One of these days I am going to read the beginning of a contemporary novel then predict how the romance builds-up. Chances are, I’m going to get a gold star. Now that I’ve become more attentive about the contemporary genre, I am starting to realise that the romance is pretty much the same. While the complications may be different, it’s the same stereotypes and same ending. While Hooked was no exception, I did enjoy the plot and depth this novel expanded towards.

We have the world’s greatest twist at the beginning. Meet Fred Oday, she’s a girl. *gasps all around* But it was a difficulty for me to wrap my head around it for the first few chapters, eventually, the name stuck with me like glue. When Fred replaces a rich white boy in the school boys golf team, she realises that she is in a lot of trouble. From the sardonic remarks and teases, Fred attempts to adjust with the unfortunate events- anything to let herself play golf. However it doesn’t help that she’s a girl, or that she’s a native American.

What really concerned me about Hooked were the characters. They were so mediocrely typical. Not that they were disastrous in terms of personality but they certainly were not agreeable. Fred is a rather irritating character- she’s constantly second guessing herself and tends to block out conversations when she feels like it. Her complexion definitely leans towards sensitive and annoying. Then we have Ryan. He’s got ego of a trite quarter-back player. Except he undergoes some minor character development which was nice for a change. I guess what scares me most is that the characters are insignificant therefore, like some people have mentioned, are forgettable and dismissing.

The romance was something I preferred than the characters. While I couldn’t connect truly and wholly towards the love interests, I was fascinated by the chemistry and endurance that lingered throughout. There are a few bumpy cracks along the ride that sung cliché but the bulk lay towards entertaining.

Another aspect that I enjoyed- in fact my ultimately preferred quality of Hooked had to be it’s deeper meanings and plot line. It’s rare to find such topics of racism and poor and rich incorporated in a seemingly light summer read. Fichera’s skills by not making the racism coming out forced and rude was admirable. However, the racism layer fell short of a but as we did not get to know a lot of Fred’s heritage. Nevertheless, the rich and poor comparison was effective and sometimes touching.

The plot of this contemporary was like no other. We have our wonderful golf matches which also have a hidden meaning of patronising condensation- which can be linked back to racism. Throughout, I was adoring Fichera’s plot and how the multiple morals leaked in between.

A sweet, yet deep novel, Hooked may disappoint at a first glance. But can represent some important messages that should be addressed and observed. Overall, an absorbing novel.

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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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17 Responses to Hooked By Liz Fichera

  1. Book Blather says:

    I bought this one when it had the former cover, I hope I have a better time with it. 🙂 I do quite like deeper themes in my stories, so I might. 🙂

  2. Melanie, I love that you call this “sweet, yet deep.” I often look for that in contemps, and I think that’s the perfect blend for a wary contemporary reader like myself. I’ve never heard of this one before, but you’ve convinced me to add it to my TBR. Wonderful, thorough review, lady! 🙂

  3. This seems so good! I LOVE Contemporary novels, and the fact that this novel is ‘sweet’ and ‘deep’ at the same time means I really want to read it! I like what you said about it being surprisingly deep for a Summer novel, that’s awesome. 😀 Great review, Melanie! I love your blog! <3 x

  4. Rachel says:

    I have this one for review as well, Melanie but I’ve put off reading it because I’ve seen mixed reviews and the page count is sort of long. I hate having to read for so long when I’m not enjoying something, but even with your lower rating you review gives me hope that I might enjoy this more than I thought. Wonderful review! 🙂

    • Melanie says:

      This book is pretty much the average length for me but the US cover was off putting. I like the UK-AUS way better. Hope you end up satisfied!

  5. Ariella Lee says:

    I’ve seen this one but with a different cover. I’ve seen mostly neutral / negative reviews so I think I’ll pass this one on. Good review all the same, Melanie 🙂

    -Ariella @ Secrets of Lost Words

  6. Aneeqah says:

    I’m not the biggest contemporary fan out there, so when I do read contemp novels, the one thing I can’t stand is dull characters. Because characters are what essentially drives these novels, I always love seeing deep, rich, and un-stereotypical characters. So it’s pretty disappointing that both characters are dull. Although it IS nice that Ryan goes through some minor development! And the plot actually seems pretty good. And LOL at the plot twist that Fred is a girl, bahaha. I’m liking the sound of this slight depth regarding racism in this book- I really wish that was discussed more in YA, actually.

    Awesome review, Mel! I think I’m going to have to pass on this one- even with a great plot, it’s nothing without good characters for me. 😉

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

    • Melanie says:

      Same here! But I guess this was one of the rare cases when I didn’t awfully mind the characters for the plot was insanely good for a contemp.

  7. I enjoyed this one — I agree that it’s great when a YA romance will also address issues like race and class. Great review! Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

  8. Evie Seo says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Evie Seo says:

    There is nothing that I hate more than cliched, flat characters. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed the chemistry and other aspects of the story – I really like the cover and am very curious about this book! Thanks for an honest, informative review!!! <3

    Evie @Bookish

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