Book: Rush Me by Allison Parr, Carina Press, On Sale Now
Book Info: New Adult Sports Romance, Audiobook purchased via Audible, review copy also provided by Carina Press via NetGalley. Audiobook running time: 10 hrs, 20 mins. Read by: Daniella Rabbani. Also available as an e-book.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
I’m on a roll with reading sporty New Adult titles! They are surprisingly enjoyable, even though I’m not remotely a jock. Rush Me is Allison Parr’s debut novel and features a twenty-something girl named Rachael who works as an unpaid YA publishing intern and temp. She’s struggling to make ends meet, her parents still support her, and if she doesn’t land a permanent position soon she’ll have to give up her dream to work in publishing. Her world is turned upside down when she gets lost and stumbles not into her theater friends’ party, but a pro football party! Leopards Quarterback Ryan Carter and bookish Rachael Hamilton start off on the wrong foot, but before long I rooted for this unconventional couple.
To keep things fresh and fun for me I’m going to try something new with this review and make it a top ten list.
Top 10 Thoughts on Rush Me:
1. Opposites Attract – On the surface Ryan and Rachael have nothing in common. Football is not on her radar at all, and she’s never heard of superstar Ryan Carter. Rachael is a more academic type, and Ryan is a star quarterback. At first glance it appears she and Ryan could not be more mismatched, though the chemistry is there and I rooted for them.
2. I heart NY – Rush Me is set in New York and showcases the city through trips to familiar landmarks like Ellis Island, Max Brenner, The Strand, fancy restaurants, off-Broadway plays, football stadiums and publishing houses.
3. Frenemies and High School Reunions – Rachael has a long-standing feud with a girl who bullied her in high school. Now the girl is dating her brother! I don’t get the appeal of high school reunions personally though I think they are fun to read about or see in movies. Rachael still hangs with her high school friends but never got over Mean Girl Sophie Salisbury.
4. Football Family – Ryan’s teammates are great guys and like hanging out together outside the stadium for family dinners. Loved that they attended Pride and Prejudice the Musical to support Rachael’s actress roommate! Lots of story potential with these guys for companion books. One standout player is the rookie and California transplant Abe. He latches on to Rachael to host Jewish Friday night dinners and genuinely likes her friendship.
5. Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose - Speaking of football, all I know about football I learned from Friday Night Lights. And this book has just enough of the game tapes, team rivalry, and stadium flavor to add some authenticity to a story with a pro-football player love interest. Parr also touches on women covering football, locker room interviews, and some misogynistic reporters.
6. The I Hate Rachel Green Club - I don’t really hate Rachael, but she’s a little frustrating at times. She’s a young 23, and doesn’t have a lot of experience with relationships so she makes some missteps along the way. Rachael is stubborn but has a good heart, and wants to pay her own way even though there’s such a big disparity between hers and Ryan’s income.
7. QB1 – Ryan is #7 on the Leopard’s just like another fave quarterback of mine, FNL’s Matt Saracen. There are many sides to Ryan “The General” Carter, and he vehemently fights against the dumb jock stereotype. He’s as stubborn as Rachael, and also inexperienced with serious relationships, so these two have their work cut out for them.
8. The Office – Rachael’s a go-getter who is trying to carve her own path in the publishing world by polishing up an unsolicited manuscript she falls in love with. Twenty-somethings will relate to Rachael’s search for the perfect job and the office politics she deals with. And she has a biting sense of humor!
9. The Audience is Listening – I’m a little iffy on Daniella Rabbani’s audiobook narration. I liked the rasp in her voice and her sassy portrayal of Rachael. However, the delivery overall was overstated for my taste, and the pacing and phrasing was off at times. Around halfway into the book, I became less distracted with the narration though and more involved with the story. I wouldn’t recommend trying this audiobook as your first audiobook experience, but for what it’s worth I did finish the audiobook in its entirety and didn’t switch to the e-book edition. Some of Rabbani’s voices were pretty funny I have to say – like her voice for Ryan’s grandma always made me laugh.
10. The End Zone - Rush Me is my favorite type of New Adult book and features a healthy balance of work issues, friendship and romance. Rachael is trying to carve her own place in the world and to be independent, while being in her first serious (and very high profile) relationship. Yes, the relationship is a little far-fetched but that didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the book. Allison Parr crafted a fun, witty, well-paced book with a lot of charming details. And there are more books in the works- yay!