Thank you to Feiwel & Friends for a copy of You Don’t Have a Shot in exchange for an honest review.


Valentina “Vale” Castillo-Green’s life revolves around soccer. Her friends, her future and her father’s intense expectations are all wrapped up in the beautiful game. But after she incites a fight during playoffs with her long-time rival, Leticia Ortiz, everything she’s been working toward seems to disappear.

Embarrassed and desperate to be anywhere but home, Vale escapes to her beloved childhood soccer camp for a summer of relaxation and redemption … only to find out that she and the endlessly aggravating Leticia will be co-captaining a team that could play in front of college scouts. But the competition might be stiffer than expected, so unless they can get their rookie team’s act together, this second chance — and any hope of playing college soccer — will slip through Vale’s fingers.

When the growing pressure, friendship friction and her overbearing father push Vale to turn to Leticia for help, what starts off as a shaky alliance of necessity begins to blossom into something more through a shared love of soccer … and maybe each other.  —  From the publisher 

As I’ve said before, I love that reviewing books means reading outside my comfort zone. I often find books that speak to me that I would have never found otherwise. And sometimes, I find books to recommend to other people who may be more of the target audience.

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Racquel Marie’s You Don’t Have a Shot is a good book. I just could not get into all the soccer. Having played soccer as a kid, I cannot say if this book would make sense to those who know nothing of the sport, but I can say that, at least for me, not having much interest in it, I found myself skipping past some sections. 

The most obvious parallel I can draw here is Bend It Like Beckham (had the creators done what they’d wanted). The difference is that it’s much easier in visual media to show a game for five exciting minutes or do a montage of soccer practice set to pop music.

Niche books are sometimes written to reach beyond those interested in that field or hobby. Getting an audience who doesn’t care for a sport invested in reading about it to enjoy it is daunting. I don’t think Racquel Marie was aiming for that, nor should she have to. 

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My point is, I recommend You Don’t Have a Shot to the very specific Venn diagram of soccer and YA romance fans. I know you’re out there. You’ll adore this book.

You Don’t Have a Shot is out on May 9, 2023. Pick up a copy at your local indie bookstore or library. ⚽👩‍❤️‍👩

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