YES! I finally got my hands on a copy of the second book in the Wake-up Call series. Thank you Amy for sending an ARC to me, I was all too excited to sink my teeth into it. The first book in the series is reviewed by me, here. It was also one of my top 15 books of 2015, so ya know, I kinda liked it. From the Sideline by Amy Avanzino is not a continuation of the first novel, which is what I was expecting, but instead a story told from someone else’s perspective in the same town as the characters from the first novel. I was literally so surprised when I saw Sarah from Wake-up Call appear that I am pretty sure I squealed (I don’t fangirl often so that was pretty intense).
Instead, this book follows Autumn, who happens to be a friend of Sarah. I am hoping in the next book we get to delve into the lives of another character from this little Washington suburb! Autumn is divorced, doesn’t really like her job, doesn’t really like her body, and feels lonely. The only thing she has that she really cares about is her son Zachary. She’s one of those mom’s who is overprotective of her kid, because she loves him so much (a.k.a. ME). Zachary is your typical middle school student, who wants to try out for the football team, much to Autumn’s chagrin. It’s not that she doesn’t want Zach to have fun and be involved, she just doesn’t want him to get hurt and be embarrassed if he doesn’t make the team.
Although Autumn has her fingers crossed that Zachary won’t make the team, he does. This means she has to let go of some of the ties she has around him, and release some of the control. I felt for Autumn in this moment, because I’ve been there. I know how it feels to watch your little one grow up and want to do something that you just don’t feel comfortable with. You can’t just not let them do it because you are scared, you have to let them spread their wings. Autumn is me in ten years, I just know it.
Soon, the football season is upon them, and Autumn actually turns into a football mom. She gets caught up in the games, in the lifestyle, and even meets a super hot guy who just happens to be the President of the football organization, who also happens to have Channing Tatum good looks (hey, I’m not complaining). Things seem to be going great for Autumn and Zachary, but then the truth comes out, and Autumn learns the reason why her and her son haven’t been as close as they used to be. This story is about love, parenting, letting go and moving on. I loved it so much, and I am so happy I got the chance to read it before most everyone else!
Amy has a way of making her characters real, like I’m pretty sure I’ve seen half these people walking down the street with their kids and dog at one point in my life. She also makes her characters relatable, which makes the story so much more entertaining. I found reflections of myself, my father, and my friends in this novel and that doesn’t happen often. This book made me feel as if I was right there on the sideline with Autumn. Plus, I was cracking up on almost every page, Amy just knows how to bust out the one liners! This book is on the fast track to being one of my favorites of 2016, and I am going to be waiting anxiously for book 3 in the series. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars, perfect for summer and rolling into the football season!