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Title: Like Other Girls
Authors(s): Britta Lundin
Publication Date: August 3, 2021
Edition: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook; 384 pgs
SourceRockstar Book Tours
PurchaseAmazon - Kindle - B&N - BAM! - iBooks - Kobo - TBD - Bookshop.org
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.  Please note the purchase links above are affiliate links.

Tour Schedule

Week One
8/1/2021  - 2 Teen Book Reviews - Review
8/2/2021 - BookHounds YA - Excerpt
8/3/2021 - Rajiv's Reviews - Review
8/4/2021 - Kait Plus Books - Excerpt
8/5/2021 - Lifestyle of Me - Review
8/6/2021 - onemused - Review
8/7/2021 - booksaremagictoo - Review

Week Two
8/8/2021 - EveryonesLibrarian - Review
8/9/2021 - @curlygrannylovestoread - Review
8/11/2021 - A Bookish Dream - Review
8/12/2021 - Nonbinary Knight Reads - Review
8/14/2021 - Fyrekatz Blog - Review

Week Three
8/15/2021 - @coffeebooksandmascara - Review
8/16/2021 - Midnightbooklover - IG Post
8/17/2021 - A Gingerly Review - Excerpt/IG post
8/18/2021 - The Bookwyrm's Den - Review
8/19/2021 - @drewsim12 - Review
8/20/2021 - Adrianna.reads - Review
8/21/2021 - Mallory Books - Review

Week Four
8/22/2021 - GivernyReads - Review
8/23/2021 - popthebutterfly - Review
8/24/2021 - @pagesofyellow - Review
8/25/2021 - My Fictional Oasis - Review
8/26/2021 - Perusewithcoffee - Review
8/27/2021 - The Phantom Paragrapher - Review
8/28/2021 - Eli to the nth - Review

Week Five
8/29/2021 - @fictitious.fox - Review
8/30/2021 - Bibliosini - Review
8/31/2021 - Two Points of Interest - Review

The Summary

"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.

Britta Lundin's sophomore novel will give readers all the feels, and make them stand up and cheer.
My Review

All Mara Deeble wants to do is get back on the girls basketball team.  Unfortunately, due to her outburst last season on the court, that chance is looking slim.  But her coach is willing to give her one last chance, if Mara can prove that she is capable of playing on a team sport in the fall before basketball season starts.  Mara is willing to do anything to get back on the team, anything that is besides playing volleyball.

But all Coach Joyce said was a team sport.  So Mara decides she's going to join her brother, Noah, and her best friend, Quinn, on the football team.  But with Mara trying out for the team, four other girls go to try out as well, including Carly (Mara's annoying ex-teammate), and Valentina (Mara's crush).  But with the other girls comes a spotlight and conversation on gender and gender equality that Mara isn't ready to have.  All Mara wants to do is play football, but can she do only that when faced with the misogyny and discrimination on her own team.

First things first, I adored this book.  Britta Lundin crafted a captivating main character.  You can't help but like Mara and feel for her through all the ups and downs she experiences.  She is a girl figuring out who she is in a community where anyone outside the norm is typically judged.  As a young woman contending with religious parents, a close-minded small town, and her own sexuality, Mara doesn't fit 100% in either the feminine realm or the masculine realm.  She doesn't know how to relate to other girls her age, ones who wear dresses and care about makeup or hair, and then the boys see her as an interloper, especially when the four other girls join the team.

What I really liked is that Mara is given space to not be perfect.  Crafting an authentic voice is sometimes hard; but Mara really rings true.  She is aggressive and has a temper. But with that temper comes passion and drive.  She judges the other girls, while she struggles to be judged for her talents, not her gender.  Mara goes through some very rocky relationship dynamics, realizing that people she may have know her entire life do not truly see her.  

And the backdrop of it all is the rough and tumble sport of football.  A character all on its own, the way the scrimmages and games are incorporated is never overbearing.  Each part has a purpose and is explained beautifully in relationship to Mara's fight off the field.  I believe that even non-sports fans would enjoy this book because football is being utilized as a vehicle for many different aspects of the story.

Overall, Like Other Girls by Britta Lundin is a tough and tender read.  A coming of age story that doesn't just focus on one aspect of a young woman's life, but on the multifaceted person she truly is.  Quick and fast-paced, but still full of nuance (ooh and a little romance), I believe this is a must-read, especially coming into football season!  Pick up a copy now, wherever books are sold, or check out the giveaway below for a chance to win a finished copy.

Final Rating


Last Winter

WHEN MY EYES OPEN AGAIN, IT’S TO THE SIGHT OF MY teammates’ worried faces looking down at me. I couldn’t speak even if I wanted to, which I don’t. I want to sprint down the court, throw an elbow into the Hixon point guard’s face, then sink a three over her outstretched fingers.

It’s not the dirty shoulder check that bothers me, it’s not that the useless refs apparently didn’t see it. It’s not even that I hit my head so hard on the floor that bright sparks fly across my vision and pain ricochets around my brain. What bothers me is the look on everyone’s faces, like I’m some fragile tchotchke on their grandmother’s shelf that shatters if you look at it sideways. I’m fine.

“Okay, Mara, shake it off!” Coach Joyce chirps peppily.

Shaking it off isn’t going to win this game. I need to make Hixon pay. I check the clock, the stars trailing my eyeline. Three minutes left. My balance lags a second behind my body as I get to my feet. Coach Joyce calls a time out.

“How you doing?” Coach asks me in the huddle.

“Fine,” I say. “Let’s do this.” But I can feel Carly Nakata’s eyes on me like she’s going deer hunting and I’m the doe. As if I don’t have enough problems.

Coach pulls out her whiteboard to talk strategy as Carly whis­pers to me, “Are you seeing stars?”

“No,” I snap, even as the arrows on Coach’s whiteboard swim, crossing and uncrossing. Not that it matters. I don’t need a dia­gram to know she’s telling me to attack. I glance over my shoulder at the point guard, who’s sucking down water on her sideline. I have five inches on her and three fouls left. She messed with the wrong player. Dark spots form on the edges of my vision. I blink them away.

“You’re not focusing,” Carly says.

“Because you’re talking to me,” I growl.

“No, your eyes—”

“Mara, Carly,” Coach says. “I need your attention.” And now I’m pissed Carly’s getting me in trouble, on top of everything.

“Coach, I think Mara has a concussion,” Carly says, and right then, I could scream.

“I said I’m fine,” I tell Carly through gritted teeth. After I take out the point guard, maybe I need to come after Carly next.

“Look at her eyes,” Carly insists, and Coach does. I try to look as unconcussed as possible, whatever that means. Bright-eyed, I guess, alert. No one’s taking me out of this game. Not this deep in the season. Not when it’s tied up.

I don’t know what Coach sees, but she jerks her head toward the bench. “Sit it out,” she tells me.

“Are you kidding?” The ref blows her whistle. Time out’s over. I have to get back on the court. I’m not letting that point guard just get away with this.

“Take a seat, Mara.”

“Coach, there’s three minutes left.”

But Coach walks away, turning her focus back to the players still in this game. The Hixon point guard catches my eye as she jogs back onto the court and smirks. My temperature spikes. It’s like she’s in some conspiracy with Carly to keep me out of the game for the final seconds. A dirty hit I can handle, but what took me out at the knees was my own damn teammate. I turn, searching, and see Carly refilling her water bottle at the cooler.

I’m only dimly aware of the game resuming, the squeak of shoes on the glossy boards, the grunts and breathing of my teammates as they search for a chink in the armor of an evenly matched team that they won’t find. The only way to win this game is grit and effort, and I can’t give that because Carly decided to play doctor. Whose team is she on? I could have won this for us. At least, I could have helped. And instead, I’m standing here with nothing to do but watch the seconds tick down, while Carly’s biggest concern is apparently staying hydrated.

“Hey,” I say, and she turns, her cap halfway on her water bottle.

It goes flying when I hit her. I was aiming for the kidneys, but she’s so much shorter than me, I basically hit her in the boob. She staggers backward, her water bottle falling, glugging water onto the floor. Her foot catches on the leg of the water table and she loses her balance, falling into it. I have to hop back to avoid the cooler falling with a crash, the top popping off, water flowing onto the court. A whistle blows and the game stops. The crowd quiets. Finally, the stars clear from my vision as I look around and see everyone’s eyes on me.

Carly sort of grunts and grasps her boob. I look at Coach, and her eyes hold a fury I’ve never seen before.


“You’re outta here,” she says, voice thick with anger, pointing to the locker room.



And that’s how I get thrown off the basketball team.

About the Author

Britta Lundin is a TV writer and author. She’s written for shows such as Riverdale, Betty, and The Big Leap and is the author of the young adult novels Like Other Girls (out August 2021) and Ship It. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she lives with her wife, kid, and dog in Los Angeles.

3 winners will receive a finished copy of LIKE OTHER GIRLS, US Only.


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