Home Field Advantage

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Pub Date 07 Jun 2022 | Archive Date 21 Jun 2022
St. Martin's Press, Wednesday Books


"Home Field Advantage has it all. A swoony romance, characters you will be cheering for from start to finish, and a plot that sucks you in from the very first page. An instant favorite, perfectly capturing the power in being true to yourself and fighting for what is right." - Rachael Lippincott, #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Five Feet Apart and She Gets the Girl

Amber McCloud’s dream is to become cheer captain at the end of the year, but it’s an extra-tall order to be joyful and spirited when the quarterback of your team has been killed in a car accident. For both the team and the squad, watching Robbie get replaced by newcomer Jack Walsh is brutal. And when it turns out Jack is actually short for Jaclyn, all hell breaks loose.

The players refuse to be led by a girl, the cheerleaders are mad about the changes to their traditions, and the fact that Robbie’s been not only replaced but outshined by a QB who wears a sports bra has more than a few Atherton Alligators in a rage. Amber tries for some semblance of unity, but it quickly becomes clear that she's only got a future on the squad and with her friends if she helps them take Jack down.

Just one problem: Amber and Jack are falling for each other, and if Amber can't stand up for Jack and figure out how to get everyone to fall in line, her dream may come at the cost of her heart.

Dahlia Adler's Home Field Advantage is a sparkling romance about fighting for what - or who - you truly want.

"Home Field Advantage has it all. A swoony romance, characters you will be cheering for from start to finish, and a plot that sucks you in from the very first page. An instant favorite, perfectly...

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ISBN 9781250765840
PRICE $19.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 580 members

Featured Reviews

I absolutely loved Dahila Adele’s book cruel summer so I had very high expectations for this book. I was so thrilled that it not only met but exceeded my expectations. I couldn’t put it down! I loved the characters so much. They felt like the friends I wish I had in high school. I recommend this to anyone who loves queer love.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

This book was SO GOOD!

I read it in one night (apologies to my math teacher) and loved it. Jack and Amber were both so interesting and I loved them together.

I thought Jack and Amber were so badass; both are very ambitious and just overall such interesting, fun characters. Jack’s insecurities and Amber’s internal conflict are very distinct from the very beginning, but its the type of distinct that indicates growth. I loved them both so much. My favorite thing about their perspectives is when they disagreed because a lot of the time it wasn’t the type of disagreement that proves one person right or wrong. More often than not there was no right and wrong it was just a disagreement about what they wanted and how they saw things. At the end of the day, they both just wanted to belong, but they saw it differently.

While I’m not usually a big fan of the 3rd act miscommunication/break trope, I believe this was very well done. Usually, it’s just used as a plot device to fill some gaps and/or create conflict (that’s just how I see it), but here I believe it was necessary for Amber to really see what she really wants and how it’s changed from before.

Would definitely recommend!!

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It's your classic cheerleader and football quarterback love story -- but make it sapphic!

I have not one negative thing to say about this fun and swoony YA romance. It brought me back to all sorts of teen drama movies I used to love -- but even better with lovely writing and queer content!

I love that Home Field Advantage, just like Dahlia Adler's Cool for the Summer, focuses on queer kids who are popular and with the "in-crowd" at their schools. I also love stories that feature the bookish and the nerds, but I think that having a popular cheerleader be the queer main character is not a story we see as often. Also consistent with Cool for the Summer, this story is unapologetically sex positive and feminist.

If you love:
to re-live a bit of teen angst
a teen movie style high school grand gesture (just don't even tell me if you don't love these!!)
deeper discussions of homophobia and misogyny in a YA context
feminist, sapphic, sports romance
interesting side characters and friendships! (I love Miguel and his character arc!)

Thank you so much Netgalley and Wednesday Books for the opportunity to read and review Home Field Advantage!

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Home Field Advantage is the sweet, sapphic, YA sports romance I did not know I needed. Jack and Amber are characters who know what they want - or think they do - but sometimes can't quite figure out how to balance what they want with what others think of them. The question of when to come out, or whether to come out, when you think a dear friend might reject you for who you are, is executed brilliantly in Amber's arc. This book is a delightful read, and I highly recommend it.

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Let me just preface this by saying one thing - I love Dahlia Adler. Her books are auto-purchases for me, I trust her recommendations over some of my closest friends, and my dream round of Jewish geography involves finding out that I know someone who knows her. That being said - regardless of how much I love the author, this book was phenomenal.

Amber McCloud is the best kind of cheerleader. The kind who is there for her friends no matter what, is loyal and dependable, and does cheer because she genuinely enjoys the physicality of it. Jack Walsh is the new quarterback on the boys football team and the team hates that she can never replace the quarterback who died driving drunk one night - but she’s just undeniably so much better than he ever was. Amber and Jack are both fun, classic characters with a new and interesting spin on them. Their relationship isn’t a slow burn, which is actually quite nice, it is more of an attraction at first sight and love at first conversation situation that is adorable and sweet and made me smile down at my phone.

This book somehow was bubbly and fun yet at the same time dealt with some really heavy issues in a tasteful and mature way. In the memory of the previous quarterback, Robbie, this book talks about how to mourn while acknowledging that people are not always who we wanted them to be. It’s sad that Robbie is dead and the circumstances under which he died, but that does not mean that he was a good person. In the way that the team treats Jack when she moves to Atherton, this book deals with homophobia and just how nasty people can be to others. Somehow, though, this doesn’t feel like a book about homophobia and grief - it feels like a romance, a book about two people who are finding themselves through finding each other, that just happens to tastefully include really deep conversations.

The other characters in this book were so much fun, and for me as a reader, side characters can make or break my enjoyment of a book. Miguel complimented and balanced Amber well, and Jack’s family and friends enhanced her character and didn’t feel forced, even though they were not physically present in the majority of the scenes of the book. Amber’s mom was one of the most fun and bright book parents that I’ve probably ever read, and she stole the show in every scene that she was in.

I really don’t know how to write a review that can sufficiently encompass the way that I feel about this book, but I can say that I love it and that Dahlia Adler truly has done it again. And that I love knowing that we share a love of Schitt’s Creek that is deep enough that it earned a reference in this book. So if you’re like me and you love LGBTQ fiction, YA, cute love stories, brilliantly vibrant side characters, and Dahlia Adler, just pick this one up. It’s worth every minute and then some.

Huge thanks to NetGalley and to St. Martin’s Press for sending me an advance copy of this book for review!

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We are living in the golden age of sapphic YA romances and this one sets the gold standard. (I'm trying to think of apt sports metaphors but I simply do not understand football.) A romance between a quarterback and a cheerleader but make it sapphic. It gives me all of the warm and fuzzy feelings and I am just sitting here crying thinking about the fact that we live in a world with such beautiful and unabashed sapphic YA stories.

Thanks to Wednesday and NetGalley for this ARC.

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Maybe because I was more obsessed with learning how to put top spin on my serve than perfect a spiral throw in high school, the whole jock-cheerleader dynamic has never interested me much in real life or in stories.

Until Dahlia Adler got to start the game.

In the Dahliaverse, the quarterback is a prodigy named Jack, new in town with dreams of school victories leading to a college scholarship. Complicating this is the fact that Jack is short for Jaclyn, and also that since the town’s QB recently died, none of the team is keen on his legacy being shown up by a girl of all people. Amber, the cheerleader in this equation, has her heart set on a college scholarship, too, and to her, that means staying in the good graces of the cheer squad to be named captain. It also means definitely not letting her closeted queer heart fall for Jack.

This update makes for a fresh innovative read, but it’s the nuanced complexity Adler gives these characters that wins a reader’s heart. Their hopes and fears are treated with such respect that by the inevitable pivotal homecoming game, you’re genuinely rooting for these two girls to somehow cartwheel into the sunset together. Home Field Advantage is an all-Pro special team of a book– part coming out, part Super Bowl, all love story — that seems impossible, but Adler beautifully launches this sapphic Hail Mary right into the Happily Ever After end zone. Touchdown! Frak, I mean, all the stars!

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Home Field Advantage was another fantastic book from Dahlia Adler. Both Jack and Amber gripped me immediately, and I could not let the story go until I had come to the end. The struggle to come out and be out and be in a situation like Jack finds herself in is unfortunately as real today as it ever was, and it's affirming and important to see characters working through those issues. The side characters had depth and the swampy Florida heat lept off the page. I can never wait for the next Adler book, and this was no exception.

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