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Playing With the Boys (Pretty Tough, #2)
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Playing With the Boys (Pretty Tough #2)

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  1,921 Ratings  ·  123 Reviews
New girl Lucy is desperate for friends. She tries out for Beachwood High soccer, but despite her amazingly accurate kick, fails to make the team. When the Coach points out that varsity football is looking for a new kicker, Lucy is skeptical. Football? Isn't that a boys' game? But on the gridiron Lucy discovers that she feels strong; in control for the first time since her ...more
Paperback, 279 pages
Published April 10th 2008 by Razorbill
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Jennifer Wardrip
Jul 12, 2008 Jennifer Wardrip rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for

Lucy's father forced her to move to Malibu right after her freshman year of high school. She's heartbroken to leave her best friend and the house where everything reminds of her mother.

The first week has been rough, but then she starts soccer tryouts. Lucy loves soccer and being a part of the team. She's devastated when her name is not on the list. However, the coach pulls her aside and tells her that the football team needs a quick replacement ki
Apr 14, 2010 Elyssa rated it did not like it
I started this one for book club, got a little over halfway through, and couldn't bring myself to finish it. It is really not my genre, and I didn't like how she lived a lie, even to her dad, who was only trying to help her. There was a lot of drinking, one girl drank so much she threw up. I really wouldn't waste my time on this book, I think there are a lot of better books out there that talk about soccer, and football. The concept is okay, about determination, and not giving up, but again, the ...more
Katie Lawrence
Oct 14, 2012 Katie Lawrence rated it liked it
The book starts out with Lucy trying out for the girl's soccer team. Even with her amazing skill she doesn't make the team. Coach Martie talks to her about trying out for the boy's football team. Their placekicker is out for the season and tryouts are tomorrow. Lucy goes for it and makes the team. Of course none of the guys are happy about this except for Benji, one of Lucy's friends. He teachers her all about football and really helps her improve her kick. Since she's new, he's one of the few f ...more
Mar 13, 2017 norcalgal rated it it was ok
PLOT: This was a fairly typical YA novel, filled with the usual sturm and drang of teen angst, like boy drama, popularity, mean girls, and making/keeping friends. No new ground was broken with the story. Although references to MySpace has me raising my brows. I didn't realize this novel was written so long ago. But other than that passe social media, nothing else felt dated since I guess Universal experiences are what make them universal and timeless.

NARRATIVE: This was a really weak part of "P
Sydney Seltzer
Playing With The Boys is a relatable story that reveals someone who turns rejection and negativity into success and positivity. The main character, Lucy does not make to soccer team, despite her spot-on kick. Somehow, the soccer coach talks her into trying out for the boys’ varsity football team as a kicker. Regardless of her lack of experience, she somehow makes the team. The boys on the football team (and the coach) do not immediately accept her, besides her friend Benji. Having a friend helps ...more
May 18, 2008 TheUnicorner rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: lovers of cheesy sports stories
There is a reason this book went directly to my finished list without passing through "to read" or "currently reading," and that reason is that I read the entire thing in two days. I had to go the Big Island this weekend and I was flying on Hawaiian, which has to go down in history as the most oft-delayed airline ever. Two delayed flights equals a lot of time sitting around in airports with nothing better to do than read YA fiction, so I went through this one pretty quickly.

The novel begins whe
Feb 26, 2013 Marj rated it really liked it
nice feel good book about a girl playing in a boys football team and excelling.

i was a bit skeptical while reading the first few chapters. i thought she was a bit shallow and trying hard to fit in. she wanted to get into the soccer team so badly so she can have a good set of friends. however, she wasn't good enough so she didn't make the team. then teacher suggested she tryout for the football team. say what?? if she's not good enough to get into the female squad, how can she get into the male
Jul 27, 2014 Katie rated it it was ok
This book made me angry enough to rant about it.

I am completely biased here because I am from Toledo and I know a lot about soccer, but I found this book to be pretty unrealistic. I know this is a review for the second book, but I expected better from a series about girl's sports. The first book shows a complete lack of knowledge for the sport soccer, but this book also reveals the lack of knowledge in the fact that the Lucy is told to just "boot" the ball out of the back. First of all, that sh
Mar 27, 2008 Rachael rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: sports fans
Lucy Malone has just moved to Malibu, California, and even though she’s got a totally awesome room in an amazing new house, things aren’t going well. All her friends are back home in Toledo, Ohio, and it doesn’t seem like she’s going to be making any new friends soon. But opportunity soon presents itself in the form of soccer tryouts. Lucy was on the varsity soccer team at her old school, so being on the team in Malibu would be a chance to show off something she’s good at. But she’s not good eno ...more
Melanie Gin
Apr 18, 2011 Melanie Gin rated it it was amazing
After almost 4 years I did not know I did not add a review.
Okay, better now than never. Thank God I reread it.

I loved this book, and I still do. Maybe not a 5 star rating, but close enough.

What made me love this book is the fact that a girl was fighting to be accepted on a "boy's" sport/team: football! I love a book that has a girl on the football team! Fighting the sexism and all.
Also, I liked that this was a companion book and didn't necessarily need to know what happened in "Pretty Tough" to
May 19, 2008 Samantha rated it liked it
"Playing With the Boys," is another book I have read by Liz Tigelaar. I decided to read this book after finishing "Pretty Tough" because although it is not a sequel, some of the characters and the setting is the same. The main difference is that this story is based on the life of a girl named Lucy Malone who is a newcomer to Beachwood High School from Ohio. She moved to California with her dad (her Mom passed away years earlier) and at first, struggled to fit in and make any friends. Before scho ...more
Gina G
May 19, 2015 Gina G rated it it was amazing
Grade/interest level: MS
Reading level: 640L
Genre: Fiction
Main Characters: Pickle, Lucy, Charlie, Benji
Setting: Malibu, California
POV: 1st person

Lucy walked in to her house and noticed that her dad was sitting on the couch wanting to talk to her. Her dad wanted/needed to move to California for his business and so he would be away from the memories of their mom. Lucy knew that she couldn't argue with everything that they have been through. So with Lucy leaving her best friend Annie behind, they we
Princess Bookie
Aug 19, 2011 Princess Bookie rated it really liked it
Shelves: read2011
My Thoughts: In Playing With The Boys, we are introduced to Lucy. Lucy lives with her father and is forced to move to Los Angeles. She lost her mother and her father wants to get away from all the memories so he drags Lucy across the country.

Lucy has to make new friends, go to a new school, and basically learn how to be a California girl, which is harder than you would think.

On her first day of school she meets a boy named Benji. She and Benji become good friends. Then there is another boy who s
Ms. Yingling
Jan 04, 2012 Ms. Yingling rated it really liked it
Lucy, still recovering from the death of her mother, moves from Ohio to California with her father. Desperate to fit in and make friends, she tries out for the soccer team, but when she doesn't make it, the coach suggests that she try out for the football team as placekicker. She beats out everyone, including her new friend Benji, and is cautiously excited about it. She thinks the quarterback, Ryan, is cute, and is glad to be asked to parties by the cheerleaders. The down sides include having to ...more
May 29, 2009 Katie rated it really liked it
I hate to say it but the Pretty Tough series went downhill with Playing With The Boys. Seeing as I really liked the first one, I expected to like this one too. And I did, somewhat. It just wasn't nearly as good as I had hoped.

Lucy Malone is not having a good year. First, her dad moved her across the country. Then, she didn't make the soccer team. There goes her only chance for making friends. When the soccer coach suggests Lucy try out for the boys football team Lucy doesn't take her seriously.
Whitney (Shooting Stars Reviews)
Reviewed by Whitney@Shooting Stars Reviews

Playing With The Boys is a cute young adult novel about a girl who moves to California, and has to start a new school, and her new life. She tries out for the soccer team but doesn't make it, so the soccer coach suggests Lucy try out for the football team as a kicker, because their kicker recently got injured. Lucy agrees to try out and things seem to be looking great, she has friends from soccer, and now she is going to play football. But Lucy isn't alw
Heather Septon
Oct 25, 2010 Heather Septon rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this book a lot. I love to play sports, and this was all about them! It's about a girl named Lucy Malone who has to move across the country to California. Lucy obviously is devastated about this. She has to leave her high school, and even worse, her very best friend in the whole world, Annie.
Lucy starts attending Beachwood High School. She soon finds out her English teacher is the head coach for the girls soccer team. Try outs are in a couple weeks and Coach Martie tells her t
Oct 06, 2015 LC rated it did not like it
This is the second book in the Pretty Tough series. I did not read the first one so this is where I began and end the series. It wasn't a terrible terrible book but it wasn't a good book. the writing seems very amateurish and that is weird because the author of the book has to her credits writing for popular television shows and movies so for someone with that experience to write like she has none is definitely strange. If I had read this book in sixth grade I think i would have loved it, maybe ...more
Sep 27, 2011 Natasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-1-15
Lucy Malone is the new girl at Beachwood High. She wants to play soccer, but when she gets cut from the team, she's devastated. That was her one hope to make friends. Then the soccer coach suggests that she try out for the football team, since their placekicker was injured, and her kick is great. But really? A girl on the football team? But she tries it. And she makes the team. But she has to go through a ton of crap to get accepted as part of the team. Mostly about her fight to be accepted, the ...more
I will be the first to tell you that I am definitely not a big sports person: I can watch sports every now and again, but as for playing... psh, no way. I'm very athletically challenged. And most sports I can understand... but football? It's the one sport that I pretty much don't get at all. However, after reading Playing With the Boys, I feel like I understand it a lot better than before. While reading the book, I actually understood the game of football.

That being said, Playing With the Boys w
Aug 14, 2009 Heather rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-reads
Rating C

Review Lucy is an instantly-likable narrator. Her problems are complex and you understand why and you care pretty much straight-away. The drama surrounding the boys/crushes/let's just be friends situations were much more compelling in this second book. The only hang-up for me was that the tension about Lucy's dad's prohibition of her being on the football team was too melodramatic. Everything else was pretty good (not high-brow literature, sure, but decent reading), but this just rang as
Oct 28, 2015 Delaney rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 06, 2016 Lily rated it it was amazing
After moving all the way across the country following her mom’s death, Lucy Malone doesn’t know where she fits in, a feeling that most of us are familiar with. The first idea she has is to try out for the soccer team; she was a star player at her old school. When she doesn’t make the cut, she goes into her shell, blocking out the rest of the world so they don’t have to see her suffering. After a little guidance from her English teacher who also happens to be the soccer coach, she tries out for t ...more
May 17, 2012 Danielle rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Danielle by: Ariel
Shelves: contemporary
4.5 stars
Really good story. One of the best chick literature I've read recently, but in a way this book could appeal to those interested in sports, so it doesn't have to be confined to just one genere. I don't actually know that much about football, even though I've been to every football game at my high school for the last four years because of colorguard, but while reading this I actually learned a little more about football. I like how the author will talk about what is happening during the f
Heather Stanfield
Nov 02, 2011 Heather Stanfield rated it liked it
This book is about a girl named Lucy who has to move and hates it. When she arrives, she tries out for the soccer team and doesn't make it. Everything is bringing her down, and right when she believes nothing can get any worse, the soccer coach proposes something. She wants Lucy to become the new placekicker for the school football team. The boy's football team. This story tells of the stuggles to fit in and become accepted, and it sheds light on the sexist discrimination that is still apparent ...more
Tabitha R
Nov 01, 2012 Tabitha R rated it really liked it
This read is great for a teenager trying to find her place in this world. My daughter read this book and insisted that I read it knowing how much I love reading. This sort of story usually isn't my cup of tea but have to say that it was a great coming of ages book.
Lucy's story of moving, trying to find her place in a new school and dealing with her own loss at home really brought me in the story and didn't let go. I loved how the author didn't do the norm and placed a character like Benji in Luc
Eddy Allen
Mar 29, 2014 Eddy Allen rated it really liked it

New girl Lucy is desperate for friends. She tries out for Beachwood High soccer, but despite her amazingly accurate kick, fails to make the team. When the Coach points out that varsity football is looking for a new kicker, Lucy is skeptical. Football? Isn't that a boys' game? But on the gridiron Lucy discovers that she feels strong; in control for the first time since her mother died. She loves football. She actually wants to play! (She also wants to hang out with super-cute quarterback Ryan
May 30, 2009 Sydney rated it it was amazing
This is a great book about female power and toughing it out- even when your own sex is the major factor holding you back. Lucy Malone, the heroine, doesn’t make the soccer team at her high school. So why not try out for the football team? Swimming upstream against all odds, Lucy makes the team. But will her teammates, coach and clingy-overprotective father hold her back? And is she really as tough as the boys are?
Find out in this awesome book!

Personally, this book was very inspiring. I do a mar
Oct 23, 2015 Mariah rated it it was amazing
I thought this was a really good book. Lucy the main character moves to a new school and is hoping to make the girls varsity soccer team. She works her butt off all summer practicing and playing with the team but comes up short and doesn't make the cut. Lucy was devastated and didn't know what to do because soccer was her life. The football coach lost his kicker so he was desperately looking for a new one. So when Lucy's soccer coach heard that she told Lucy to try out. Lucy was great and was pu ...more
Jan 12, 2013 Ashley rated it liked it
When I bought this book I didn't realize it was the 2nd in a series, so I haven't read the first book. That said, I'm not sure if the first book contributes at all to the second, but I felt this book was pretty well self contained.

I'm not really a sporty person, so I'm sure why I picked this book up, but overall I thought it was a good read. I loved that Lucy had no clue what anything football was, because I sure as heck don't know anything about football, and I really did need those explanation
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Class of 2014: Book Review 4 6 Mar 25, 2014 08:52PM  
Book review 1 3 Jan 16, 2014 11:53AM  
Playing with the boys 3 27 Feb 15, 2012 04:56PM  
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Liz Tigelaar writes both television dramas and young adult novels. Her TV credits include Dawson's Creek, American Dreams, What About Brian and Brothers & Sisters. She's the creator of the popular TV series "Life Unexpected" and writes for such ABC shows as Revenge and Nashville. She's a graduate of Ithaca College, originally from Guilford, Connecticut and currently living in Los Angeles, Cali ...more
More about Liz Tigelaar...

Other Books in the Series

Pretty Tough (6 books)
  • Pretty Tough (Pretty Tough, #1)
  • Head Games (Pretty Tough, #3)
  • Stealing Bases (Pretty Tough, #4)
  • Making Waves (Pretty Tough, #5)
  • Fifteen Love (Pretty Tough, #6)

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