Book Review: Offsetting Penalties by Ally Matthews

Summary: Isabelle Oster has dreamed of being a prima ballerina her entire life, so when the only male dancer backs out of the fall production, she’s devastated. Without a partner, she has no hope of earning a spot with the prestigious Ballet Americana company. Until hot jock Garret practicing stretches in one of the studios gives Izzy an idea, and she whips out her phone. But does she really want this badly enough to resort to blackmail?

All-state tight end Garret Mitchell will do anything to get a college football scholarship. Even taking ballet, which surprisingly isn’t so bad, because it means he gets to be up close and personal with the gorgeous Goth girl Izzy while learning moves to increase his flexibility. But Izzy needs him to perform with her for the Ballet Americana spot, and he draws the line at getting on stage. Especially wearing tights.

Release Date: November 2017
Age Group: YA, Contemporary (clean)
Source: Review Copy from Publisher (Entangled Teen Crush)
Reviewed By:  Nat

Offsetting Penalties was a lighthearted contemporary read that was just perfect to binge on my porch swing. I didn't have to work real hard to follow the plot and it was just relaxing and had an easy flow. I've come to realize that I like sports romances and am a sucker for them! 

The POV changes between the two lead characters and I always love when the male POV gets a voice because let's face it, men are weird and it's interesting to get a peek into their thought process. 

Izzy and Garret are very relateable characters and I think teens will find it easy to connect with them. They are both flawed and come from very different backgrounds. The stark differences in their family dynamics is what I think will make it so relateable to a wide range of teens. The banter between Izzy & Garret was witty and I especially loved his reaction to ballet lessons. I was especially happy that the blackmail scenario ended pretty quick and was not strung throughout the entire story; it ended and the plot matured.

I'll be honest, it was a complete shock to me to learn that some professional football players take ballet to improve their game! I was so intrigued by it that when I finished reading I went online and researched it further. I even brought it up to my husband and got to act all superior with my newfound knowledge. He did look at me a little crazy because we are typical Texas football fans: FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. We go on Friday night to watch our local high school play but know nothing of what is happening in professional football... I can't name a single pro... WAIT! Payton Manning! I have no idea what he does but he looks pretty.

Offsetting Penalties is sure to be loved by YA contemporary fans, especially individuals in ballet. In fact, I think this might puff-up a ballet dancer's pride a bit.


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