Review: Sidelined by Kendra C. Highley

Sidelined by Kendra C. Highley
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Source: Gifted by publisher
Reviewed by: Nahomi
Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBookstore

*This ebook was given to me by the publisher for reviewing purposes. It did not influence my review in any way*

My rating: 4 stars out of 5 stars

There's more than one way to suffer...
 After being pushed to excel her entire life, high school basketball star Genna Pierce is finally where she wants to be. University scouts are taking notice, her team is on its way to the state tourney, and Jake Butler, the hot boy she's daydreamed about since ninth grade, is showing some definite interest. When he asks her out and their relationship takes off, Genna believes things can't get better.

Then, it's over.

A freak accident ends her career before it's even begun. Her parents are fighting more than ever, her friends don't understand what she's going through, and she's not sure who she is without basketball. And while he tries to be there for her, Genna doesn't understand how Jake could ever want the broken version of the girl he fell for.

Her life in a tailspin, Genna turns to the only solace that eases her pain: Vicodin.

     I've only read one other book that deals with addiction and I wasn't amazed. So, when I read the synopsis I was a little skeptical, but I decided to give it a try, and was pleasantly surprised. I feel the author did a great job telling Genna’s story; her experience feels authentic, not over the top or cliché. The plot was well developed and the pacing was just right for this story. The dialogue was realistic and believable. Ms. Highley really pays attention to the details which give this story its authenticity. 

Genna our main character is not the typical teenage girl. She’s a perfectionist and has worked her entire life to attain her dream of playing college basketball. When her dream is shattered after having an accident, Genna is left lost and broken in more ways than one. Have you heard of the expression when it rains it pours? Well, that phrase describes her situation perfectly. So much so that I felt bad for her at times; but by the end of the story I found myself rooting for Genna.

In the beginning of the story I was unable to connect with Genna, although as the story progresses that changed. In a short period of time she has to go through a lot of bad experiences and deal with situations that would be difficult to deal with for anyone no matter the age. There were points in the story when I wanted to shake her, because she seemed to have tunnel vision and was stuck in the same rut. I like that her character is strong with a fighting spirit. Once she finally admitted she had a problem and made the decision to stay clean, it was amazing to see her recover. I loved how Genna was able to turn her life around and find a new path where she could be happy as well.

Now on to the love interest Jake. I haven’t read a character like Jake before this. He’s not the bad boy but he isn't a goody goody either. Jake is the cute flirt/player that Genna’s had a crush on since 9th grade. He’s trying to change his ways in order to be with Genna, and when they are finally starting their relationship the accident happens and everything changes. Jake is sweet and supportive and has a way of sneaking into your heart as the story progresses. There were times that I found myself swooning over him.

Bottom line: Sidelined is a touching story that left me feeling exhausted and hopeful and the same time. I would recommend this book if you’re looking to get a different perspective on life.


  1. I don't think I've read any books about addiction either, at least not as the main storyline. It sounds like this one was well done and Jake sounds like a great love interest. Great review! ~Pam


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