Book Blog

First Down by Grace Reilly

James just transferred to Mckee University after being kicked out of his last school, which almost ended his chances to play in the NFL. Well, at his last school he ended up failing a writing class, and they are making him retake it, but he is not doing so well. He ends up sitting next to Bex and he is trying everything he can to get her to tutor him (The Deal vibes, anyone?). He is offering her everything he can think of, but she keeps saying no. Bex has an ex-boyfriend that cheated on her, and he won’t leave her alone and wants to get back together. Her ex also happens to be James’ new teammate. Bex tells him that she will help him if he pretends to date her, hoping that that will get her gross ex to leave her alone. They become friends and the lines become a little blurred. We learn about why James was kicked out of his last school, and that due to this reason, James’ dad wants him to only focus on school and football and not on girls. 

Both Bex and James had to learn how to compromise, and that they couldn’t just either give everything and get nothing in return and vice versa. Those parts were a little rough to read, especially as someone who has been through that, but I also feel like it showed how relationships are supposed to work, romantically or platonically. I really like how when they were on their fake dates, it wasn’t awkward and they forgot that they were supposed to be faking because they were enjoying themselves and actually wanted to be there. I did not like anything with the gross ex, or how Bex was so unwilling to even consider a different future, or to even work on a compromise, but I guess it all worked out in the end. I definitely plan to read more books by Grace Reilly, and will soon be reading the second book in this series! I think this book really showed how people can feel like something is their fault even when it is not, and I really like how instead of portraying James like a selfish dick, it showed how much he is struggling with what happened. I also like the way Bex went about trying to help him through it, and that her telling him it wasn’t his fault didn’t make him instantly better, but it also never made him feel worse. 

Did you think at the beginning that James would be a player, and how did you feel when you found out he wasn’t? 


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