Off Pitch, by Brianna Kienitz
Series: Pitch Prodigies, Book 1
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: October 9, 2017
Rating: DNF at 24%
Soccer star Adeline Fahey has never taken an interest in the world outside of the pitch. The daughter of wealthy Irish immigrants, and a straight-A student, she sees nothing but the goal—finish her last two years of school and join a professional soccer team—no ifs, ands, or buts.
Then Gabriella Soto, a cello prodigy in her own right and the teaching assistant in Adeline’s dreaded Beginning Spanish class, walks onto her playing field.
After a drunken night in a T-rex costume boots their hearts onto a collision course, Adeline and Gabriella must tackle a field of school scandal, homophobic parents, and their own passionate career goals to have a shot at something more. In the face of so many obstacles, Adeline and Gabriella fear that their love may not be strong enough to score them the championship relationship they never knew they wanted.
Orientation Unknown (DNF)
Being both a footie fan and always on the lookout for some quality F/F romance, I was excited to check out Off Pitch by this new-to-me author. Sadly, the book did not work for me.
I’ve never been fussy about first person POVs but I really struggled with Adeline’s character voice. Right from the very first paragraph, I couldn’t help but cringe at lines like “My bedeviled locks clung to my sweaty foreheard” and “I sighed with contentment at my own spectacular skill.” Besides sounding stiff and unnatural (I mean, Who talks like that?), her character was self-absorbed and pretentious – and not in a humorous or cheeky way).
Figuring I just needed some time to warm up to the character, I forged on only to find myself waiting for something, anything, to happen. The book’s pacing was painfully slow. For instance, nearly an entire chapter was dedicated to a play-by-play of Adeline’s first soccer match of the season, the sole purpose of which seemed to be a brief and awkward post-match encounter between her and her love interest Gabriella. Despite the on-pitch action being well-written, there was absolutely no need for 99% of it – and I say this as a diehard soccer fan.
By the fifth chapter, several months had gone by with little incident and minimal interaction between our two heroines.The story picks up quite a bit during the drunk night out mentioned in the blurb. However once again, the first person voice became a problem for me when her character went on to narrate every detail from that night, word for word, despite being falling down drunk, slurred gibberish and all. I DNFed soon after.
I thought the author showed promise but the book could have used some major editing to help with the flow. Ultimately though, I couldn’t connect with the heroine and I don’t think the first person POV did the character (or the author) any favors.
Hi! Brianna here: writer, reader, lesbian, Leo, lover of alliterations, etc…etc…etc…
I don’t know what genre boundaries are but everything I write is LGBT+ (mostly woman x woman). So far, my works include science fiction and romance of the young adult and new adult variety (respectively).
If you want to know more about me, you can find me hanging out at the weird kids table on:
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.