Likely My Book of the Summer
5 out of 5 stars
When I first heard about this I noticed right away that this is a combination of two of my top five narrators all in one book. Yes, please. I saw Natalie Naudus talk briefly about how much she loved this book on her TikTok and I knew I had to dive into it as soon as I could. Then I realized it was a Dahlia Adler book and I was even more pumped. She wrote “Cool For The Summer” which I thoroughly enjoyed last year (and posted my review 368 or so days ago).
Jumping into Home Field Advantage I had a smile on my face from the opening chapters. Hearing Naudus and Prince narrate the same book from two different points of view had me smiling ear to ear. But this book… it’s so damn good. Adler was able to write characters that I instantly fell in love with. And she combined that with a great coming-of-age/self-discovery plot-line on both sides. So good. Amber was the one I was more worried about liking – I wasn’t sure how a cheerleader (and one who wanted to be cheer captain) was going to play out, but she was so cute and likable from the very beginning. There were a few times Adler sprinkled in some things that made me worry or doubt she was as great as I thought, but she definitely redeemed herself later in the book.
Then there’s Jack. Now, I went to school with a Jack-like person. She didn’t want to play softball, she wanted to play baseball with the boys. And there was a good reason. She was flat-out better than any of us. And I mean that from T-Ball all the way up to high school. I was convinced she was going to do what Jack did (if our school didn’t let her play – go find one that did) — but alas she didn’t because of all the things that Jack ended up putting up with. Which, I will admit that Adler nailed whether this was set in the late 90s/early 2000s like when I was in high school or today. I know that the kids today have come a long way but I also know that bullying people because they’re different hasn’t gone away. Especially if they’re different AND better than you.
So, yeah… this book hit home for me in my personal life, but it was also just the cutest and sweetest book. As I mentioned above, it has a lot of scenes where each character has to grow, find themselves, etc. But Adler was able to weave those stories into the overarching storyline and really took this from a really good book to an excellent one.
It’s weird finishing a book and knowing you’re going to have a book hangover. Home Field Advantage had me smiling throughout and in the last chapters I had a perpetual well of tears that were almost falling (and I won’t say if it was happy or sad reasons – it depended on the chapter).
I went even more long-winded than I expected – but I just wanted anyone who took the time to read this review to understand that even though this one hit home for me, ignoring that part, it was still easily one of the best books I’ve read this year.
Amber McCloud’s dream is to become cheer captain at the end of the year, but it’s an extra-tall order to be joyful and spirited when the quarterback of your team has been killed in a car accident. For both the team and the squad, watching Robbie get replaced by newcomer Jack Walsh is brutal. And when it turns out Jack is actually short for Jaclyn, all hell breaks loose.
The players refuse to be led by a girl, the cheerleaders are mad about the changes to their traditions, and the fact that Robbie’s been not only replaced but outshined by a QB who wears a sports bra has more than a few Atherton Alligators in a rage. Amber tries for some semblance of unity, but it quickly becomes clear that she’s only got a future on the squad and with her friends if she helps them take Jack down.
Just one problem: Amber and Jack are falling for each other, and if Amber can’t stand up for Jack and figure out how to get everyone to fall in line, her dream may come at the cost of her heart.
Dahlia Adler’s Home Field Advantage is a sparkling romance about fighting for what—or who—you truly want.
Book Riot, “22 Great New Books to Read in 2022”
Buzzfeed, “40 More Highly Anticipated YA Books Coming Out In 2022”
Goodreads, “The 68 Most Anticipated YA Novels of 2022”
Nerd Daily, “Must-Have 2022 Queer Book Releases”
Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler
Narrator: Natalie Naudus, Lori Prince
Length: 7 hrs and 7 mins
Published by OrangeSky Audio on June 7th 2022
Genres: Coming of Age, Sports Romance, LesFic/Sapphic Fiction
Buy from Audible
Also by this author: Cool for the Summer