ARC Review – Announcing Trouble by Amy Fellner Dominy

Happy Monday everyone! I’ve got a slightly belated ARC review here – I meant to post it last Thursday, ended up traveling for work, and now, here we are. But never fear, because here it is! And as you’ll see, I wanted to make sure I did right by this review, which is why I waited to post instead of trying to cobble something together. I’ve been reviewing books for Entangled as a blogger for a couple of years now, and they have almost always been solid. This one is a little more on the border, but let’s get into it.

In Announcing Trouble, Josie Walters hates baseball more than anything else in her life. She hasn’t been to a game since before her dad left, and if she hates anything more than baseball, it’s baseball players. But she spent spring break of her senior year of high school helping her mom with their business rather than hanging out with her best friend Mai, and in that week, Mai met and started crushing on a ballplayer. That’s how Josie ended up at a game again. Once she was there, she couldn’t stand listening to the color commentator in the announcer’s box… so she stormed in and told him how bad he was. That’s how she ended up announcing a couple innings with Garrett Reeves, an injured ballplayer with something to prove.

Garrett follows her around until she agrees to keep announcing with him for a broadcast journalism contest through Arizona State, which would allow them to call an inning of a Diamondbacks game if they won. Which would mean she made it to the majors when her deadbeat dad never could. So yeah, she agrees to announce with him for the remaining six weeks of the season.

It has nothing to do with Garrett. Nothing. Not a thing. 😉

announcing trouble


3 Things I Loved

  1. Garrett. The author was trying to paint baseball players as jerks, at least for the first part of the book. But even from the first time Garrett was introduced, it was clear that he was a good person, and I like that. He’s driven, he’s funny, and he has eyes for Josie… for some reason. More on that in a minute.
  2. Mai. Oh man, I want a book from Mai’s perspective. Talk about smart and driven – she’s planning her valedictorian speech throughout the book. But she also has an “existential crisis” (her words), and she’s working through it by crushing on a baseball player. Can’t really fault her for that!
  3. Baseball. I LOVE baseball. I was raised on it a lot like Josie was – my dad taught me how to keep a scorebook when I was very young, and I know the ins and outs of the game almost as well as Josie. So this book was really fun for me.

Dislikes/Problematic Content

You’ll see that I liked a lot about this book, but there were definitely things I didn’t like, too. So today, I’m going to do another list of three:

  1. Josie (and her mom). Josie was not a protagonist who had much going for her. I understand that the story kind of had to be told from her perspective, but she’s arrogant and annoying and very VERY self-righteous. And her stereotype about baseball players all being jerks just because they loved the game was absolutely ridiculous. Yes, her dad was a jerk. That doesn’t mean ALL baseball players are jerks. It’s just a stupid connection to make. And I was thinking that it was just a weird point the author was trying to make until Josie’s mom was introduced. And WOW. Not a great mom. She drilled into Josie’s head that it was only baseball players who were jerks, basically, rather than teaching her the characteristics of an ACTUAL jerk. Mind boggling. So yeah, they were annoying af, and if I didn’t like Garrett and Mai so much, I honestly may have DNFed this book. So I truly have no idea what either of them saw in the two-dimensional character that was Josie.
  2. The writing. It was mostly solid, but there were some moments that were very VERY bad. I won’t drag the writer with examples, because honestly, it’s as much an editing problem as a writing problem. All I’ll say is this – don’t tell me something obvious. Write it so I feel it. If nothing else, though, this book made me appreciate how well-written some of my faves truly are.
  3. How heteronormal this book is. There was an attempt at diversity with Mai and some of the characters on the margins, but the main issue I came to was the heteronormativity of the book. At one point, Josie said something about ‘soulmate’ and ‘guy’ in a way that made it seem like the AUTHOR thought there was no other way to be – again, I’m not going to drag anyone here, that’s not what I’m trying to do. I’m just… getting a little disappointed in Entangled, at this point. You can write a romance novel between a man and a woman (or in this case, a girl and a boy, since they’re in high school) without making it appear that other options DON’T EXIST. See what I’m saying here?

Rating

A reminder of the rating scale:

  • Red = DNF, I hated everything
  • Orange = Ugh, no thank you
  • Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
  • Green = This was good! 
  • Blue = Oh my gosh, I loved this book!
  • Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart and EVERYONE should be reading it!

Ah man, I’m having trouble looking back on this book without seeing the problems. Taking everything I said about it, I’m giving Announcing Trouble a YELLOW rating. I’ve definitely read worse, but this really wasn’t great.


Thank you to Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Was I too honest? Hopefully not.

Happy reading!

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