Reviewed by Kat
TITLE: Better Than Her
AUTHOR: Erica Yang
PUBLISHER: Queerteen Press
LENGTH: 186 pages
Sydney Shieh is pitching at top form for the Central High Seabirds, but isn’t good enough. No matter how hard Sydney works, Rebecca Howard, star pitcher for the Seacrest High Jaguars, does better and looks effortless in the process. Sydney swears to take Rebecca down or learn her secrets.
Rebecca plays softball for fun, not competition. She doesn’t believe in obsessive practice or softball camps or worrying too much about what other people think of her. But she keeps rising to Sydney’s challenges.
Rebecca and Sydney can’t leave each other alone, and their friends keep asking when they’re going to admit what they really want. Even if their friends are right, how can they be together when they’re out to defeat each other every step of the way?
I like almost any kind of book and am always eager to try something new. I am still pretty new to the lesbian romance genre and haven’t read a lot of young adult books since I left the education field. I am always excited that there are new books out there for our “at risk” youth who are struggling. I also played softball for many years, second base mostly but pitched when really needed, throughout my youth and younger adult years. So I jumped at this book because I thought it would be right up my alley. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
If you are a major fan of The CW channel, then this is probably for you. I know that the target audience is probably more high school girls who might be questioning their identity. This story however, lead me to believe that most girls that participate in high school softball are either bisexual or lesbians. That might be a tad bit harsh but that was the taste I was left with. And after years working at the high school level of education I can honestly say I didn’t find that true. Yes, a few might be but that is the case with everything in life.
I love when an author is well versed in what they are writing about or has done their homework on the subject however sometimes too much information is just that, too much. I grew tried of the constant references to how the girls stood and threw a pitch. It just detracted from the story. I also grew tired of the constant internal struggle and questioning that they did. Yes, again this is typical of young teenage girls but too much here. I needed more story on their backgrounds. Why were the two moms of Rebecca struggling financially? Why were Sydney’s parents too busy for their only child? I learned, after reading this that it is listed as interracial, I don’t know if this is an error or not because I never read anything in the story that indicated any kind of racial identity.
So, unfortunately, this book just didn’t do it for me. I appreciated the opportunity to read and review this much needed book in the young adult LGBQ genre but it wasn’t what I expected.