Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte
✯✯✯✯✯ “shake it off” stars
“I’m not letting you go. It’s you and me, and we’ll be strong together, okay?”
To refer to this book as a ‘sports romance’ would be an injustice. Sure, the story centres round a female soccer player and a football player and their goals to reach the peak of their game but that’s secondary to the personal and emotional struggles they face in themselves and their love.
We assumed The End Game to be a sweet sports themed romance and were quite unprepared for the depth of story and sheer gut wrenching emotions we were to experience as Jordan and Brody’s journey unfolded. Really, we should have known Kate McCarthy would deliver a hit to the heart, after all, her writing always feels so personal, so real. In this case as she painstakingly spent time developing her characters, building their relationship and constructing her story, she afforded us the luxury of getting to really know the characters, to the point where their struggles felt almost personal. Brody and Jordan owned us as we lived and breathed every moment of triumph, failure, happiness and hurt.
“Jordan….we all need that one person who sees us. The one person who gives it to us straight and tells us how it is. We need that one person who isn’t afraid to get in our face and scream back. That person who won’t ever hesitate to call you on your shit because they love you. That one person who’ll be there for you no matter what. You’re that person.”
The End Game is indeed a searing love story but it was also a life story, in essence the successes and failures and the pursuit of happiness. It’s a story of victory over adversity, of believing in yourself and trusting in the one person who knows your flaws and loves you. Because of them and in spite of them. This story touched our hearts!
Jordan and Brody’s story was as sad as it was happy, as tragic as it was joyful as hopeless as it was hopeful and we shed many tears as Kate McCarthy’s exquisite words flowed from the pages. We FELT it all. Brody and Jordan shared a love that would encounter what seemed insurmountable obstacles but it was a love that was worth fighting for and it was a battle that would be fiercely fought.
‘I’m not the strong one here. Jordan is. She always has been. Jordan is like the strongest oak in the forest. Nothing can fell her, yet here she is, half-naked in my arms and falling apart. It’s breaking my heart.’
Brody was beautiful yet damaged character. Outwardly he seemed to have it all, inwardly he was plagued by self-loathing and self-doubt and he broke our hearts many a time. What a beautiful soul he was, he found his way deep into our hearts that’s for sure.
“I need to believe in something.”
“Then believe in yourself.”
Jordan was an outstanding heroine. This plucky young lady, so loyal and loving showed a maturity beyond her years as she strove to achieve success in love and her career whilst being the strength Brody needed.
“Out there on the field, the game is everything. It builds you up, breaks you down, and it bleeds you dry. But I love it. It’s the only place I’m free.”
Together Jordan and Brody were a force to be reckoned with. A desire for love, a drive to succeed a will to make it all work…but at what cost?
“Home’s not a place where you live. It’s a feeling. You can be anywhere, Jordan. Home will follow you if you follow your heart.”
**Reviewed from an ARC Copy provided by the author, with thanks.**
Also by Kate McCarthy
Standalone TB Rec