Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Series: Playbook #4
Recommend to Others?: Yes
Favorite Quote: “But today is different. The piece of black tape feels as if it weighs a thousand pounds hidden in my glove. My knee itches to touch the ground. I can’t keep quiet any longer. I won’t keep quiet any longer. No. This is the day I will take a stand by taking a knee. Today is the day I look up.”
ABOUT: With the stakes this high, it’s no longer just a game for the quarterback in this romance by the author of Blitzed.
Elliot Reed is living her best life—or pretending to. She owes it to her dad’s memory to be happy and make the most of her new job as Strategic Communications Manager for the Denver Mustangs. Things are going well until star quarterback Quinton Howard Jr. decides to use the field as his stage and becomes the first player to take a knee during the national anthem.
As the son of a former professional athlete, Quinton knows the good, the bad, and the ugly about football. He’s worked his entire life to gain recognition in the sport, and now that he has it, he’s not about to waste his chance to change the league for better. Not even the brilliant but infuriating Elliot, who the Mustangs assign to manage him, will get Quinton back in line.
A rocky initial meeting only leads to more tension between Quinton and Elliot. But as her new job forces them to spend time together, she realizes they may have more in common than she could’ve ever imagined. With her job and his integrity on the line, this is one coin toss that nobody can win.
My Review: Snapped is an enjoyable and thought-provoking read centering on social injustice and racial identity (in the workplace, in sports, in society, and more).
Although he doesn’t undergo as much change as Elliot, I really liked Quinton’s character and how he comports himself throughout the novel. There is depth and intelligence to his character. Quinton has been the QB for the last couple years with great success. He now wants to use the platform and influence that he has built over the years to bring more awareness to glaring, deadly issues taking place on and off the field: health and financial concerns for retired football players (pre-1993), systemic racism and discrimination, social injustice, and police brutality. He boldly covers the league logo with black tape and kneels during the national anthem.
Elliot has worked hard to gain her dream job working for her favorite team as the new strategic communications manager, making her feel closer to her dad who recently passed away. She is smart, capable, and very good at what she does. I think many can relate to her in some way or another. Compared to Quinton, she has a more conflicted view on racism in America. Elliot has always felt like an outsider as a biracial and black woman, never knowing where she fit in or belonged. Wanting badly for people to accept her caused her to unconsciously develop a defense mechanism of laughing things off that are racially offensive (like being called “oreo”).
Elliot struggles with helping/supporting Quinton’s cause versus keeping/doing her job (and thereby technically siding with her boss (who is the team owner and despicable). It stinks that she’s stuck between a rock and a hard place with no clear way that she won’t end up losing somehow, especially as her relationship with Quinton continues to evolve. In terms of storytelling, this conflict of interest coincides well with her personal struggles with her racial identity and self-worth. Quinton challenges what she’s ignored all her life, forcing her to “examine things in a way [she] never ha[d]” when faced with the hard, awful truths about racism. His influence puts into perspective for her who she is as a person.
At times I questioned Elliot’s judgment, though I could completely understand where she is coming from. I do however love her character development and where her story eventually ended. I wish we could have had more than just a page of Quinton’s pov, but after reading the author’s note it makes sense in hindsight that the book was mainly Elliot’s pov. The tension was balanced out with the sweet slow burn romance between Quinton and Elliot. I didn’t know about pension parity prior to reading this, which was interesting and disheartening to learn about. All in all, Snapped is a good story to read.