After his parents divorced, Eric Hudson vowed that he’d never let himself fall in love. Love will only lead to a broken heart. So it’s fortunate that Eric is just as good at protecting his heart as he is the goal on the soccer field.
Julie Williams faces her problems with the same force that makes her the star forward on the soccer team. But with such a sharp focus on the goal, she is sometimes oblivious to what’s right in front of her.
Junior year brings on the greatest challenge of high school so far, and it has nothing to do with the state championship. As one begins to fall for their teammate and the other becomes smitten with the new student, Eric and Julie soon find themselves trapped on an emotional roller-coaster that neither of them wanted to be on.
And it might require more than their soccer skills to survive the ride.
They might need each other.
Standing By is an excellent young-adult novel by an indie author, and while it’s for teens, it’s a great novel for any age. I feel like it’s more of a contemporary novel with romantic elements. I mean, half the book is about Eric dealing with his feelings for Julie, but there are also some family and friendship plotlines that are dealt with in this book, which I feel makes the story well-balanced.
The characters are funny, sarcastic, flawed, and relatable. They just feel real – like people I went to high school with or could imagine being in a high school setting. Eric was a delight. He loves his family and is dealing with his own feelings about falling for Julie, which is hard for him to accept because he doesn’t believe that love lasts. There are moments when he fails, as any character does, and he lets his emotions run his mouth instead of his brain. But you know he cares.
Julie was more determined than Eric in some ways, as she wasn’t afraid to put herself out there for a relationship. She too cared for her family and friends, and her friends were like an extension of her already big family. The thing about Julie is that she’s a bit blind to what’s in front of her relationship-wise, which is something I can totally relate to.
Aside from those two, the other characters were all fun and meshed well together. Here’s hoping that some of them get spin-off stories of their own! The story pacing was great, nothing happened too quickly or went on for too long. There were even some surprises thrown into the story that caught me off-guard!
Again, this is a great read for any age, and I highly recommend it. Plus, I love supporting indie authors.
“It’s like when you’re learning to ride a bike. You’re going to fall and you might get hurt, but you get back up on the bike and try again. And even when you get the hang of it there’s still going to be bumps in the road, but you just keep riding.” – Rachel, page 138
“But if my life were to be a movie, it most definitely would not be a romantic comedy – more like a dramatic comedy. A dramedy.” – Eric, page 39
“Then don’t think. Let your heart take control for once.” – Julie, page 226
Rating: 4.75/5 stars