This is a spoiler-free review.
Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler
Expected publication June 7th 2022 by Wednesday Books.
In this sweet and funny new f/f romance from the author of Cool for the Summer, a cheerleader and the school’s newest quarterback are playing to win, but might lose their hearts in the process.
Amber McCloud’s dream is to become cheer captain at the end of the year, but it’s an extra-tall order to be joyful and spirited when the quarterback of your team has been killed in a car accident. For both the team and the squad, watching Robbie get replaced by newcomer Jack Walsh is brutal. And when it turns out Jack is actually short for Jaclyn, all hell breaks loose.
The players refuse to be led by a girl, the cheerleaders are mad about the changes to their traditions, and the fact that Robbie’s been not only replaced but outshined by a QB who wears a sports bra has more than a few Atherton Alligators in a rage. Amber tries for some semblance of unity, but it quickly becomes clear that she’s only got a future on the squad and with her friends if she helps them take Jack down.
Just one problem: Amber and Jack are falling for each other, and if Amber can’t stand up for Jack and figure out how to get everyone to fall in line, her dream may come at the cost of her heart.
Dahlia Adler’s Home Field Advantage is a sparkling romance about fighting for what – or who – you truly want.
Thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours and the publisher, Wednesday Books/St. Martin’s Press, for providing me with an e-ARC of this book via NetGalley. All thoughts are my own.
Cool for the Summer was one of my favorite reads from 2021, so you know I was pumped when I found out about Dahlia Adler’s newest novel, Home Field Advantage! As a queer girl who used to be a cheerleader herself back in the day, I definitely had high hopes for this novel.
And, oh my god, this book did not let me down!
This is the sort of book I wish could have been around when I was in high school. It literally would have defined me. I probably would have walked around never letting it out of my sight, always attached to my person or tucked away in my bag – for MONTHS. It would have been transformative. 📣🏈💕
While I’m no longer that teen I once was – and, coincidentally not the target audience for this novel – I still really, really loved this story. It was just so sweet, and heartfelt, and played on my emotions in just the right way. I literally sped-read through this thing in a day. I could not put. it. down.
A previous critique I made about Adler’s previous novel, Cool for the Summer, was that I felt some of the characters were a little underdeveloped, and I felt like she improved upon that so much in Home Field Advantage. While it is a shorter novel, there are still quite a number of characters, and I felt Adler did a really good job of expanding the supporting cast to have more depth and their own storylines and struggles alongside Jack and Amber.
Speaking of Jack and Amber’s storyline, it was fantastic. I am such a sucker for a good, dual POV romance, and Home Field Advantage truly delivered. 🙈 I thought for a shorter novel it perfectly walked the line between creating conflict the characters had to overcome (hello small-town homophobia, my old, not-so-dear friend) and spotlighting the swoon-worthy budding romantic relationship between the two leads.
I’m also a big fan of the miscommunication trope (when done properly) because it’s probably the most realistic thing a romance novel could include (haha), and Adler handles that perfectly here. There are very real, believable, and relatable reasons for the barriers Amber and Jack face when trying to make their relationship work, and it was great to see them overcome them and rise above it all together. 💓
Look, at this point, if I wasn’t already, I am now Dahlia Adler fan-girl for certain. This book was such a cute read that had my stomach all aflutter, and a must-read for anyone who is a fan of queer YA romances.
(Though I do have to admit I shriveled up inside a little bit when But I’m a Cheerleader was called “old”! Even if it is…!!! 👵🏻 My girlfriend and I literally have a running joke that I’m Natasha Lyonn and she’s Clea DuVall, and I don’t want to be old just yet, lol!!!)
About the Author
Dahlia Adler (she/her) is an Editor of mathematics by day, a Buzzfeed blogger and LGBTQReads overlord by night, and a Young Adult and Romance author at every spare moment in between. Her novels include the Radleigh University trilogy, Kids’ Indie Next pick Cool for the Summer, and Home Field Advantage, and she is the editor of the anthologies His Hideous Heart (a Junior Library Guild selection), That Way Madness Lies, At Midnight, and, with Jennifer Iacopelli, Out of Our League (upcoming from Feiwel & Friends). Dahlia lives in New York with her family and an obscene number of books, and can be found on Twitter and Instagram at @MissDahlELama.
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