Monday, May 12, 2014

Review: All Lined Up by Cora Carmack and a Mega Awesome Giveaway

All Lined Up  by Cora Carmack
Willam Morrow
Reviewed by: AmyG (big sis)
Sister's Say: Books + Football + Texas= Cora's Best Book Yet!

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack follows up her trio of hits—Losing It, Faking It, and Finding It—with this thrilling first novel in an explosive series bursting with the Texas flavor, edge, and steamy romance of Friday Night Lights.

In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.

Dallas Cole loathes football. That's what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.

But life doesn't always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.

Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It's obliterated.

Dallas doesn't know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn't know that Dallas is his new coach's daughter.

And neither of them know how to walk away from the attraction they feel.


I feel like I have been waiting for this book to come out for a decade!  I'm so excited that the time is finally here!  I'm a Texas girl through and through and football was definitely a huge part of my life growing up.  Actually, my parents love to tell the story about how I went to my first football game when I was 5 days old.  I can close my eyes at this moment and still be transported back to a Friday night football game.  I think most people from Texas can do the same.  It's a certain thrill in the air that becomes a part of you and never really leaves.  So, opening up Cora's book was basically stepping into a time machine for me.

I'm not really sure how to write a review for this book because it just feels so personal.  All I really want to do is beg everyone around me and everyone that reads this blog to please read this book!  If you are from the south and know how vital football is to life down here you will understand and love this book.  If you are from South American, Europe, Asia, etc and you really don't understand what the the heck is so great and magical about American football, then read this book and get a glimpse into  a culture that lives and breathes this sport.  So much so, that you will find 8 year old boys all over the south in which their one goal in life is to be a Texas football star!  So, instead of just a regular review,  I just decided to write a list of 10 reasons why YOU should read this book!  These are in no particular order!

1. Dallas Cole- This girl is possibly my favorite heroine in the NA genre. She is real and strong and so so so snarky. She has played second fiddle to football her entire life and right when she thinks she is going to get a break by escaping to college, her dad becomes the football coach at her university.  All that excitement that we all feel about getting to break free and start completely over in college has been stripped away from Dallas in one fell swoop. It's so fun to watch her deal with this dilemma though. She tries to run far away from football but fate just doesn't allow her very far before it snatches her right back!  You will cry with her, scream with her, laugh with her and fall in love with Carson with her. You will not want to miss a second of it!

2. Carson McClain- Oh Carson. How I love the funny guy!  I think funny is the new broken bad boy. Carson goes to Rusk University to play second string quarterback and to just get a degree to help his parents out with their farm. Like Dallas, fate can't keep her hands off of Carson! His life takes some crazy turns throughout this book! I am sitting here with a huge goofy grin on my face just thinking about him and everything that happens to Carson!  Gah!!! I love him so much!!!!

3. Locker room talk- I know all of you have heard rumors or seen movies and tv shows that depict the boys club that is the guys locker room.  Well, in All Lined Up you get a front row seat to the locker room. Be prepared for "boy" talk, weight lifting, teasing, yelling, punching, locker slamming and gossiping (yes, boys gossip too!). I'm giddy just thinking about it!

4. Coach's speeches- These were one of the most poignant parts of All Lined Up.  I dare anyone to read Coach Cole's speeches and not be moved. I think even though they would deny it, Coaches definitely have a flare for the dramatic. It's a special gift to be able to use words to inspire a group of 20 year old men to willingly walk on a field and hit each other repeatedly over a ball! Coach Cole is no different, and I'm a lot in awe of Cora Carmack for being able to write a scene like that!

5. Balconies- yes, this one is one of the best scenes in the whole book!  I don't want to spoil it for you but I will say I will always think of this book for the rest of my life when I am standing on the balcony.

6.  Beanie dude- Beanie guy has a small part in this book, but I love him.  He has a few hilarious lines that just scream that there is a story there! I need more of him!  Cora, please give us more Beanie dude!

7. Nicknames- I have a thing for guys that give girl's nicknames.  When I think of my favorite books, all of the guys give the girl's nicknames.  And, guess what?!?! Carson does too! And, it is the best nickname ever!

8. No Easy Day- Such a great part of this book!  Every sports team needs a theme and this one is perfect!  Actually, I think this is a great theme for life in general.  There are No Easy Days but that's what makes those wonderful times all the more beautiful!

9. Football players- Hmmm, need I really say more?  But, I will! ALU has a lot of football players!  And you get to see a lot of them! The interactions between the football guys are some of my favorite parts!  What's even better though, the series is going to keep going!  Want more Silas?  Then you get him in the next book! I'm so excited to get to know all these guys plus the team even better! ( I can't stop with the exclamation points!)

10. Coach's Daughters- I had to put this one last. Since I am a Coach's daughter, they do hold a special place in my heart. It's a fantastic world that can be great but at the same time extremely heartbreaking. The games are never really over when you are a Coach's daughter, and a loss follows you home. Whether you are being treated wonderful to score points with your dad or treated terribly because someone didn't agree with a play that your dad called, sometimes you are never able to be just you.  On the other hand, in Texas, if your dad is a coach you are apart of history in the making and sometimes apart of the greatest moments in someone's life!

Now, go read this book ASAP, then come back and talk to me about it!!!!


Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

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