Finishing Kick

  • by Paul Duffau
  • Narrated by Annette Romano
  • 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Callie plans on a smooth senior cross country season - then finds herself holding the keys to the nuthouse when she agrees to be team captain.
Her coach expects her to blend the girls into a championship-caliber team to take on perennial champs, Fairchild Academy. Callie escapes into her running, even as running the team makes her crazy. Mark, the boy's team captain, makes her crazy, too. Callie struggles to manage the team, but Mattie, a fast redhead with an eye on Mark, complicates everything.
Callie never backs off a challenge, but can she pull them together with the state meet just around the corner?
A humorous peek inside one girl's dream to guide her team to the winner's podium, Finishing Kick takes an inspirational look into girls cross country.

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one of the better young adult fiction

Finishing Kick is one of the better young adult fiction audiobooks that I have heard in quite some time. The story involves Callie as she is completing her junior year and follows her through her senior season of cross country. The story delves into many aspects of Callie's life during this journey including her friends, her perceived enemies, her romantic interest, and her family including a tenacious younger sister. Her relationship with her younger sister is one of the more intriguing aspects of the book as it is developing. The relationship becomes more complicated as it matures through the story and tests their strengths and weaknesses as individuals.

This relationship was a very relatable aspect as a listener, as anyone with siblings can testify to the trials and tribulations of dealings with these relatives in the high school years. Also, Callie's relationship with the complicated character of Mattie is another compelling affiliation that causes you to internalize their feelings as their story unfolds. Mattie is not a character you like from the start of the book, and you definitely become curious to listen to her exchanges with Callie from the start to the finish.  The characters were well developed and stayed true to the character through the book, making it a smooth listen. Although I have mentioned a couple of the interesting relationships in the story above that impacted me as a listener, the best part of the story is the inspirational story that Callie has is the relationship she has with herself. She becomes captain of the cross country team and must manage all of this chaos and has shockingly little faith in herself, but with the help of a very insightful coach, she shines in the end.

This is my first listen of the narrator Annette Romano. She did really well with this story, giving everything to the listener from the light-hearted humor during the casual runs with twins Anna & Hannah to the intensity during the final race. I would enjoy another listen from this narrator and I believe this is a good genre for her.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author.

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Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-22-2015
  • Publisher: Cruiser Publications, LLC