Ginger Scott has done a great job creating a real coming of age story with Waiting on the Sidelines, which follows Nolan from her freshman year of high school to her first semester of college. I liked that the book spanned more than four years and allowed readers to really get to know Nolan and see her change from an insecure girl to a confident young woman.
Scott perfectly captures what it is like to be a teenage girl trying to find herself: the awkwardness of a girl with a crush, the self-doubt and hurt that comes with bullying, the uncertainty of figuring out who you are, the emotions of a girl’s first kiss, falling in love for the first time, and experiencing the pain of heartbreak, and then trying to heal it.
Growing up is a learning experience and as I read, I felt like I was growing up right alongside Nolan, experiencing her victories, her failures, her mistakes, her pain. Like any girl, she has her moments of strength and weakness, her good decisions and bad ones. She tries and fumbles, catches herself, and tries again. Through it all, she slowly discovers herself. Learns her passions, faces her fears, and figures out the direction she wants her life to go in. Her relationships are a roller coaster of highs and lows, love and pain. Like any teenage girl, she is figuring out who and what she wants. She learns when to hold on and when to let go. And while I didn’t always agree with the choices she made, (how many times can she forgive Reed for hurting her and still love him?) I liked that she was a strong character.
I also really liked the supporting characters. We all had that one classmate who wanted every guy she shouldn’t have or that one guy who faked being sweet just to get in a girl’s pants, and, of course, a group of best friends we couldn’t live without. This book is a good read for young adults whom I think will be able to relate to the story and its very true-to-life characters.