Gracie Faltrian Takes Control, by Cath Crowley

‘Give it to me,’ I whisper. I want to take the shot so bad…
The sound of smacked leather echoes and I’m off. I soar past Shukman, the strongest player from the opposition, and keep the goal clearly in sight. It’s so easy; I take a minute to play with the ball. I hook it onto my left ankle and toss it back to my right. Casual. Like I’m throwing with my hands. I tease everyone on the field.

Gracie Faltrain is happy – and why wouldn’t she be? She has a great boyfriend, her parents are back together, and the soccer season has just started. She is not going to repeat the errors of last season – she has learnt her lesson about being selfish.

But just as things seems to be going so well, Gracie has brand new problems waiting to bring her back down. Coach has entered the soccer team in the prestigious Firsts competition. A competition only for boys. And Gracie, as she is painfully aware, is not a boy. And it seems not even her parents want to support her fight to be included in the team. Off the field, Gracie is sick of watching her friend Alyce and her boyfriend Martin struggle to find happiness. She wants to take control and make sure they come out winners. But doing so could risk everyone’s happiness – including her own.

Gracie Faltrain Takes Control is a warm-hearted story about a soccer loving girl struggling to get it right – on and off the field. It is a feel-good book, but that is not to say that it is happy-ever after book. Bad stuff happens and Gracie has lessons to learn about life. Gracie is a likeable character but at times you feel like shaking her as her self-absorption makes her unable to see the truth – perceiving instead what she would like to be real.

A sequel to The Life and Times of Gracie Falrain, this book does stand alone, but is more satisfying read after the first.

A touching read.

Gracie Faltrain Takes Control, by Cath Crowley
Pan, 2006