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review 2017-07-21 22:09
Figuring out who you are
Roller Girl - Victoria Jamieson

The only exposure I've had to roller derby is through the film Whip It which admittedly is more than some people. Therefore, I thought it would be fun to read more about it especially when I saw the cover of today's book. Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson follows a middle schooler named Astrid who (after going to a roller derby bout) decides that she will be an all-star roller derby girl. However, there are a few hiccups in this plan. (I was going to tell you what they are but I decided it would be better for you to discover them yourself especially since they make up the backbone of the book.) This is a story all about discovering what you're made of, adolescent friendship, and perseverance. It's pretty much middle school wrapped up in one volume + crazy rollerskating antics. I should also mention that it's a graphic novel with truly epic illustrations which were done by the author (I love when that's the case). Overall, I thought this was a fast paced, angsy book that captures what it's like to be a preteen girl who is obsessed with . It's a fun book, guys. If you have any middle grade readers in your life that love sports I think they'd really like this one. 8/10


And since I've done this with a few other author/illustrators I thought I'd include a blog post that Victoria Jamieson did with some sketches from the book. Here's a sample:

Source: Victoria Jamieson Illustration


And here's what you can expect from the finished product:

Source: books4yourkids

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2016-07-22 19:05
Rating & Review removed
Roller Girl - Vanessa North
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review 2016-01-13 17:24
A Powerful Historical Sports Novel!
Roller Babes: 1950s Women of Roller Derby - Tim Patten

Roller derby has numerous enthusiastic followers and leagues around the world; so a novel based on the sport will draw from these groups as well as reaching into general-interest audiences. While the plot and characters of Roller Babes: 1950s Women of Roller Derby are based on real people and events, Patten takes the process a step further with a saga that adds fictional embellishments to real events and protagonists to heighten drama and explore the derby world.


Tim Patten is himself a former professional roller derby champion, so he's in the perfect position to craft a story that explores these early skaters and their achievements using more than a researcher's familiarity. His background lends insight, authenticity, and direction to the novel, which honors these early players by examining their lives and the social and sports conditions under which they played.


As Lottie and others feel their skills, passions, and interests alienate them from peers of both sexes ("The boys wanted Lottie out of their games for good. She felt her pulse in her throat. As the only girl, she had never fit in. Even among other girls, Lottie stood out from the crowd, and not in a good way: gawky, rough-and tumble, forever uncomfortable among the little ladies in their pretty dresses and beautifully curled hair. Lottie’s hair was choppy. She was an oddball."), they come to find in roller derby a new venture more accepting of who they are.


The alienation of 'tomboys' in sports in the 1950s is well documented through character experiences ("The stickball game officially broke up. Lottie’s teammates turned their attention elsewhere and once again, the girl who never felt like she fit in found herself alone, a cavity hollowed out inside her chest."), while roller marathons, the habit of staging accidental collisions between marathon couples in competition to up the ante and audience, and the evolution of American Roller Derby antics to supplement skating prowess provides a powerful account of the major figures of the sport and how entertainment and competition intersected to draw large audiences.


From skaters in professional and physical battles to the difference between showmanship and dangerous emotional confrontations, Patten delves into the darker side of roller derby as well as its evolutionary process and juxtaposes character motivations and experiences with insights on roller derby's appeal and rationales and the development of the contact sport.


The result is a powerful historical sports novel combining elements not usually gathered under a fictional cover to blend a thought-provoking survey of the history of women in derby with a very personal perspective of its pros, cons, and special challenges.


Roller derby evolved from early risk-takers and sports revolutionaries. There's no better way to learn about this history than through a lively, teeth-gritting read of close encounters on the skating track.

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text 2015-11-09 16:29
Jam: Roller Derby in Romance Novels
The Mane Squeeze (The Pride Series) - Shelly Laurenston
Falling Hard: 1 (Roller Girls) - Megan Sparks
Loved by You: BBW BWWM Romance (Found by You Book 2) - Victoria H. Smith
Love and Skate: Books 1-5, The Complete Series - Lila Felix
The Derby Girl - Tamara Morgan
Derby Girl - Shauna Cross
A Taste Of You - Jennifer Stevenson
Going in Circles (Pocket Readers Guide) - Pamela Ribon
Prom Nights from Hell - Michele Jaffe,Lauren Myracle,Stephenie Meyer
Demon Derby - Carrie Harris

I love Sports Romance. I just love a hero or heroine who is really really good at something. 


I love capable heroines who aren't afraid to punch someone in the face. 


I use to be a competive speed skater. 


Thus, I love Roller Derby and if I can get it in a Romance Novel--Joy is Mine!


Here are some Romances with Roller Derby! My lists are never in any particular order. 


1.  The Mane Squeeze by Shelly Laurenston


Growing up on the tough Philly streets, Gwen O'Neill knows how to fend for herself. But what is she supposed to do with a nice, suburban Jersey boy who has a tendency to turn into a massive Grizzly? Despite his menacing growl and four-inch claws, Gwen finds Lachlan "Lock" MacRyrie cute and really sweet. He actually watches out for her, and unlike the rest of her out-of-control family, manages not to morbidly embarrass her. Too bad cats don't believe in forever.


At nearly seven feet tall, Lock is used to people responding to him in two ways: screaming or running away. Gwen--half lioness, half tigress, all kick-ass--does neither. She's sexy beyond belief and smart as hell, but she's so busy protecting her family and friends that she's forgetting about her own safety. Lock probably shouldn't get involved, but he can't simply walk away. Not when Gwen means absolutely everything to him.


2. Falling Hard by Megan Sparks


When Annie moves from London to a small town in the midwest, she struggles to fit in. She gets off to a bad start when she makes an enemy of her school's queen bee, Kelsey. But she discovers a new passion, the exciting sport of roller derby, and makes friends with the cool and quirky girls on her team, the Liberty Belles. She also meets Jesse, the friendly boy who works at the roller rink, and Tyler, a cute, all-American sports star.


3. Found by You by Victoria H. Smith


He’s noticed by everyone… 

Griffin Chandler. 

He’s captain of our college’s basketball team. I swear to God I’ve already seen him in a Nike ad, and he’s one of the top picks when he goes pro following our spring graduation. 

His life is on display for the world. Both his accomplishments and demons there for judgment. 

I’m a girl who likes to play roller derby from, of all places, Wisconsin. My own demons better concealed. And one day… 

He notices me. 

Found by You is a new adult contemporary romance. 


4. Love and Skate: Books 1-5, The Complete Series by Lila Felix


On the rink she’s tough, she’s a leader, she’s fast and she’s the epitome of a rebellious girl. But Nellie’s been hurt, only once, but it was enough to make her look at life through different eyes and off the rink she’s a timid girl who loves with no pretenses. 
A long time ago Owen Black was betrayed by the girl he thought he loved and the guy he called his best friend. The anguish set off a domino effect of negativity in his life and he never has fully recovered. He meets Nellie Forrester and thinks he can let it go for her.  
But how can you love someone when the wounds from your past are still wide open?


5. The Derby Girl by Tamara Morgan


Roller derby girl Gretchen "Honey Badger" Badgerton lives in the moment, no apologies. Like every woman in Pleasant Park with a pulse, she finds Dr. Jared Fine irresistible, but she's taken by surprise when her unattainable new neighbor asks her out.

On paper, Jared is the perfect man: gorgeous, wealthy and charitable. But his golden image is just that, and opening an upstate practice is a welcome chance to start a new life. When Gretchen stops to help him with a flat tire, he's intrigued by her feisty attitude—and her sexy body art. There's something refreshing about being with a take-charge woman who doesn't expect him to be anything but himself.


Though Gretchen is hesitant to shatter Jared's "bad girl" illusion of her, she has to face facts: she's fallen for the good doctor. She's used to putting everyone else's needs before hers, but as their relationship heats up, can she handle having someone take care of her for a change?


6. Derby Girl by Shauna Cross


Meet Bliss Cavendar, a blue haired, indie-rock loving misfit stuck in the tiny town of Bodeen, Texas.

Her pageant-addicted mother expects her to compete for the coveted Miss Blue Bonnet crown, but Bliss would rather feast on roaches than be subjected to such rhinestone tyranny.

Bliss' escape? Take up Roller Derby.

When she discovers a league in nearby Austin, Bliss embarks on an epic journey full of hilarious tattooed girls, delicious boys in bands, and a few not-so-awesome realities even the most bad-assed derby chick has to learn.
7. A Hinky Taste Of You by Jennifer Stevenson
Hel became an energy vampire at seventeen and accidentally reduced her first boyfriend to ashes. Forty years later, she still looks seventeen. Her life is teaching hyperactive boys, roller derby, and worrying about paying her mother's hospital bills. 

Nick Jones, federal anti-magic cop, has a secret, too. Magic excites him, to his shame. This makes it hard for him when he's assigned to recruit Hel. 

Nick feels guilty for his attraction to a teenager. Hel adores Nick's yummy energy. If he learns she’s a vampire, he'll send her to Hinky Guantanamo. 

But can they keep their hands off each other?
8. Going in Circles by Pamela Ribon
In fact, she reached her life’s quotient when her husband of five months walked out on her, only to abruptly change his mind a few weeks later and move back in. Stung by a whiplash of grief, resentment, and confusion, Charlotte calls a time-out, taking a small apartment where she can figure out what shewants. Instead, the thought of making even the simplest choices triggers an anxiety attack. In order to get out of bed in the morning, she must concoct a to-do list for each day, The Plan, one with absolutely no surprises.

“Without The Plan, horrible things can happen. I’m likely to end up sitting on a curb beside a taco truck on Sunset Boulevard, crying over a carne asada burrito, wondering where my marriage went. I can’t handle being the Weeping Burrito Girl.”

Charlotte knows all this self-absorbed introspection isn’t good for her, but she’s running out of people to turn to, as seemingly everyone in her life is pressuring her to make an immediate decision about her future. Then her new friend Francesca—an impulsive, smartass co-worker—offers Charlotte salvation in the unlikeliest of places: the fast-paced, super-tough, bump-and-bruise-filled world of roller derby.

Sure, it’s dangerous. Yeah, she could get hurt. But what’s a little physical pain when healing your soul is at stake? The question is: whether she’s on or off the track, will Charlotte be strong enough to stand on her own two feet?


n this exciting collection of paranormal tales, best-selling authors Stephenie Meyer (Twilight), Kim Harrison (Once Dead, Twice Shy), Meg Cabot (How to Be Popular), Lauren Myracle (ttyl), and Michele Jaffe (Bad Kitty) take prom mishaps to a whole new level—a truly hellish level. Wardrobe malfunctions and two left feet don't hold a candle to discovering your date is the Grim Reaper—and he isn't here to tell you how hot you look.

From angels fighting demons to a twisted take on getting what you wish for, these five stories will entertain better than any DJ in a bad tux can. No corsage or limo rental necessary. Just good, creepy fun.


10. Demon Derby by Carrie Harris


Casey kicked cancer’s ass. Now a demon wants to kick hers. . . .

Casey hates being known as the girl who survived cancer. She wants people to treat her like her old self, fearless and strong. And after a creepy encounter with a crazy guy in an alley, Casey is all about reclaiming her power.

So when she has a chance to try out for the Apocalypsies roller derby team, she jumps on it. Being a derby girl would prove that she doesn’t need anybody’s pity. It doesn’t hurt that Michael, the team manager, is almost unnaturally hot. Which makes sense when Casey finds out that he’s not human.

Michael’s got a secret: he trains demon hunters. That crazy guy in the alley? Demon. And the fact that Casey went head to head with evil and lived makes her a threat to demonkind. Casey thought she’d already fought and won the battle of her lifetime. But it’s only beginning. . . .


Did I miss one? Let me know!


Vote on my Goodreads list: Jam: Roller Derby in Romance Novels 

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review 2014-01-06 00:00
Roller Derby for Beginners: Get Out of the Bleachers and on the Track
Roller Derby for Beginners: Get Out of the Bleachers and on the Track - Frisky Sour I wish I'd had this book when I started roller derby. If I had, then these are some of the early mistakes I could have avoided:

-Buying crap kneepads
-Buying a second set of crap kneepads
-"Investing" in fishnets
-Being 100% convinced that I was the only person who couldn't T-stop the first time they tried
-Playing a sport while not eating etc. like an athlete

Frisky knows her derby, and conveys a ton of useful information in a manner that is clear and engaging. Much of it will be useful to you whether you've been skating two days or two years. She's also super honest about everything from injuries to how it feels to skate in your first bout. All in all, a fantastic read. Pick it up, strap on your skates, and play some roller derby.

*Make sure you check out the website...it's full of lovely things like links to live footage, blogs, stores, and more!
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