My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publication Date: March 20th, 2015
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 16+
Genres & Themes: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
When the man you worshipped as a kid becomes your coach, it’s supposed to be the greatest thing in the world. Keywords: supposed to.
It didn’t take a week for twenty-seven-year-old Sal Casillas to wonder what she’d seen in the international soccer icon—why she’d ever had his posters on her wall, or ever envisioned marrying him and having super-playing soccer babies.
Sal had long ago gotten over the worst non-break-up in the history of imaginary relationships with a man that hadn’t known she’d existed. So she isn’t prepared for this version of Reiner Kulti who shows up to her team’s season: a quiet, reclusive, shadow of the explosive, passionate man he’d once been.
Nothing could have prepared her for the man she got to know.
Or the murderous urges he brought out in her.
What an adventure. Almost six hundred pages long. I feel like I know Sal inside and out. God, I haven’t read a book this voluminous in a long time, because I lack patience. But surprisingly, I didn’t mind taking my time with this one.
Every chapter was a new surprise. I enjoyed the genuine writing style. It was not at all pretentious. I wouldn’t say it was incredibly lyrical either. In fact, it was pretty repetitive when you think about it, but it was so accessible I was always in the mood for it.
Sports romance. How can you not like that? Actually, I picked this book up because I heard it was a slow romance and that’s exactly what I needed. I took a long break from new adult books because most of them have insta-love or insta-lust and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I needed out. But now I want in again, because Zapata has reawakened my interest in new adult books.
How refreshing that the main character is a football player herself. I’m just tired of silly, or even intelligent, girls falling for jocks. I mean, it’s a fantasy, I do get it, and I guess those guys are indeed quite sexy, but it’s become sort of a cliché for me. That’s why I loved this so much. Sal plays football professionally. So does her love interest.
But get this: they don’t kiss in the first chapter. Or fifth. Or tenth. Or twentieth. You get the idea. This is a true slow romance. Don’t worry about it, though. I know many people are bored without romance in their reads. This isn’t like that. Sal and Kulti—hence the title, grrr—are enemies, then friends, then best friends, then lovers. Isn’t that wonderful? It makes the love story even more realistic.
It’s true that everything is slow, but so is life. What’s fortunate about that is the fact that because everything is so realistically-paced, there is obvious progression in the story and great characterization. We actually get to know the heroine very well. I could definitely see this becoming a successful and addictive TV series. Oh I just love love-hate relationships. Gimme, gimme.
Unlike sixteen-year-old Sal, I’m not crazy about Kulti. I mean, he is sexy, but he’s not really of the romantic type. Sure, he’s serious, giving him a mysterious vibe, and I was curious about him, and yeah he and Sal did have a relationship they both enjoyed. But I could never date a guy who would call me names—idiot, stupid—even if in a playful, affectionate manner. And I prefer someone who smiles frequently. Bah, he’s not my type. That’s why I can’t give this book 5 full stars. And also because the writing style could have been better. But it was amazing still. Read it, buddies.