by Riley Scott
Sometimes, the girl who has it all—really doesn’t.
At first glance, high-school basketball superstar Logan Watts is living the American dream—perfect grades, perfect appearance, perfect boyfriend, and a college athletic scholarship already lined up. But if people looked deeper, they’d see Logan is plagued by the loss of her older brother and unending internal questions about what’s missing from her life. Logan’s world is turned upside down when she catches Carter Shaw—the witty and stylish head of the school newspaper, and the only out lesbian in school—staring at her in class.
A high-school romance is not on Carter’s radar. She just wants to survive the year so she can move on and enjoy the freedoms of college. But when a chance encounter puts her alone with Logan for hours, Carter discovers just how much they have in common.
And Logan realizes Carter could be that thing she’s felt was missing all along…
FROM THE AUTHOR
"One night a few years ago, my wife posed an interesting question: “If we had met in high school, would we have dated?” While we would have undoubtedly run in two different circles, we started dreaming up a scenario in which our paths would have crossed, and the connection would have been inevitable.
It was a fun story between spouses at the time, but it resonated with me. Years later, I decided the story needed to see the page. While the initial construct of the story stemmed from our re-imagining of our younger selves, Logan and Carter soon took on lives, quirks, struggles and personalities of their own, creating two complex characters with a story that was uniquely theirs.
What started as fun banter turned into one of my favorite stories to date—a tale of young love, complete with some of my favorite things: basketball, journalism, personal growth, and of course my hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico."
Kaye C. - It is a time of discovery and young love. The maturity level is lovely with them being able to talk about their feelings and possible intimacy. This book just feels safe, loving, and low angst. There is some drama caused by the boyfriend but those close to them are very supportive. I’ve read a few books by the author, and this is my new favorite. I've already re-read some passages which I do with books I really enjoy.
Nutmeg - Based on some of my past YA reads where characters while undergoing growth tend to go to extremes; teenage angst, promiscuity, denial and the likes, this book was a refreshing read. Logan and Carter were portrayed as well-adjusted girls; while needing time to find themselves, they were focused and are positive representations of a healthy relationship.
I still have memories of some of the dates the pair went on cause those were really sweet ones. A recommended YA book where relationships and personal growth can be healthy yet fulfilling.
Breeana L. - Riley Scott has a new fan! Scott handled the coming out story with care and tenderness. Carter was the glue, she never gave up on Logan even when she had doubts, she always was very patient with her partner. Which is rare in stories that deal with coming out; the partner gets impatient and pushes the other person to do things on their time and that is just not how it works, and Scott showed that so beautifully, I teared up numerous times because of the beauty in the writing. There were subplots and sub-characters outside of Carter and Logan that helped move the story along instead of hindering the main plot which was really done well. One thing that I found amazing was how supportive the parents were throughout the book, which is also rare in the genre.
Della B.Take Your Shot is a well written and engaging YA novel which brought me back to my high school glory days. It is gratifying to read stories about resilient young women who are comfortable in their own skin. Carter is sure to become a much-needed role model. This story really worked for me. Scott creatively choosing to make the main characters be high school seniors brought a level of maturity you don’t often see in a YA novel. This difference combined with Scott’s accomplished writing style, positive pacing and stellar character development makes Take Your Shot a must read to any age group.
Stephanie D. - This is the kind of book I wished I could have read in my high school years. I am happy that this is now available. This was a sweet coming out story. It was a sweet, easy read. One I will be recommending and should be put in public libraries so anyone in need of a story like this can have access to it.
Abbott F. - Riley Scott has written a delightful coming-of-age novel that features two young women who are smart, compassionate, and willing to take risks. The dialogue between the two main characters is funny and sad, sometimes at the same time. The writing is excellent, and readers are given enough insights into both characters to feel like they know them.
If you only read one YA coming-out story or one coming-of-age story, make it this book. If you are looking for a positive, feel-good story with two intelligent, well-adjusted young women as main characters, put this book on the top of your to-be-read list.
Loree S. - Great read! Relevant storyline with character development! The story follows a group of friends, but primarily the two main characters from opposite ends of the personality spectrum. Loved how easy it was to follow and fall for the characters! I recommend you read this treasure!
Marie S. - Take Your Shot was such a fun book and I enjoyed every second of it! You get pushed right into the story and I love that. I absolutely loved all the characters in this book, and Carter and Logan's relationship was so nice to see develop.
Breeana L. - Riley Scott has a new fan! Scott handled the coming out story with care and tenderness. Carter was the glue. She never gave up on Logan even when she had doubts and she was always very patient with her partner. Which is rare in stories that deal with coming out. I find that the partner gets impatient and pushes the other person to do it on their time and that is just not how it works, and Scott showed that so beautifully. I teared up numerous times because of the beauty in the writing. There were subplots and sub-characters outside of Carter and Logan that helped move the story along instead of hindering the main plot which was really done well. One thing that I found amazing was how supportive the parents were throughout the book, which is also rare in the genre. Riley Scott will make you want to further explore this universe she's created for these wonder characters, is it okay to request a sequel?
Catrina W. - A great YA book that is well-written and considerate of young queer relationships. Would definitely read more from the author and her works.
Rachel R. - I absolutely loved this novel. Such a great story with defined characters and a great plot. What drew me in the most was how fleshed out the characters were. The writing style was fluid and relatable. The cover was fascinating as well. A riveting read overall.
Around her, sneakers squeaked on the cheap tile of the school hallway. The fluorescent bulbs overhead whirred, and in the distance, Carter could hear the click of someone’s heels.
Who was impractical enough to wear heels to high school? She shook her head, drowning out the noise of the hundreds of voices, and focused on the book in her hand.
“Could you be any more predictable?” Her best friend, Aiden, leaned against the locker next to her, smiling. He was always far more chipper than should have been allowed before eight o’clock in the morning.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She shrugged, marked her place in the book with a receipt from this morning’s coffee purchase and shoved it in her locker.
“Let’s see.” Aiden laughed and held up his hand to count off his list dramatically. “Number one, we’ve got the oversized iced coffee, despite the snow on the ground outside. Number two, we’re reading Poe this morning. How very on-brand and gloomy for you. And, number three, what is that lip color?”
Carter brought her hand up to her mouth, defensively touching her lips. “What’s wrong with it?”
“It’s amazing,” he said, shaking his head. “It’s not an insult…It’s just…it’s purple.”
“I thought I’d try out something new.” She pushed her glasses up on her nose and looked him up and down. “You’re one to talk about predictability,” she said, shaking her head. “You look like you’re ready for a job interview at a CPA firm.”
“Is the bow tie too much?” He adjusted it and ran a hand through his shoulder-length blond hair.
“Probably, considering we’re only on our way to AP English.”
“Here,” he said, handing her a breakfast burrito. “This is to keep the peace after interrupting your reading.”
“Thank you,” she said, taking it and inspecting the yellow wrapper from her favorite breakfast joint. She held the warm gift in her hand and breathed it in, smiling as she saw the writing on the side of the wrapper. “Egg, cheese, potato, and green chile?”
“Would I get you anything else?”
She thought about hugging him, but offered a smile instead. As she unwrapped the bundle of joy—a true gift from the gods if there ever were one—she glanced across the hallway and watched as the doors from the gym opened.
Freshly showered, and somehow miraculously put together, the basketball team breezed into the school building as if they were on a runway. She could picture it—a fog machine, dance music playing, and each of them taking their chance to walk down the hallway and do a turn. She shook her head. Even without the added theatrics, it was quite the show. Morning practices were another gift from the gods, she decided. She tried to swallow a bite of her burrito and choked, as her mouth went dry.
Was it considered gay panic if she wasn’t afraid of her sexuality, but was just a lesbian who had anxiety around every pretty girl she saw? She pondered the thought, as she forced herself to look away from the beauty before her. Of course, there were a couple of them who stood out, but all of them had the power to turn her into an even bigger sports fan than she already was.
“You show every emotion on your face.” Aiden’s laughter beside her drew her out of her thoughts. “Why don’t you try talking to one of them one day?”
She shook her head, quickly dismissing the notion.
“Oh, is there one in particular?”
“No,” she snapped. “There’s not. And there probably won’t be. Not here anyway.” She sighed and looked at the calendar in her locker. “Not until next year.”
She stared at him, trying to figure out if it was ignorance or just his lack of dating that made him ask the question. Perhaps it was a little of both.
“In order to have a relationship between two girls, both parties involved have to, in fact, like girls.” She exhaled sharply and took another bite of her burrito.
“You’re going to sit there and tell me that not one single female basketball player at this school bats for your team?”
“Oh, come on, I know you know that’s the wrong sport,” she shot back, looking back to where the crowd of players had now dispersed.
Directly across from her, she watched as Logan Watts chatted with her boyfriend, Barrett. She heard Logan’s laugh ring out into the stuffy air, changing the atmosphere for a second and adding an ethereal element. Logan smiled and turned away from him, pulling her thick, long hair into a ponytail. Its color was like amber honey, somewhere between blond and brunette, and adding yet another layer to Logan’s beauty. As she reached up to secure her hair, the movement pulled her hoodie up just above the top of her jeans, exposing the small of her back.
Carter looked away, not wanting to exploit the moment.
“What is wrong with you?” Aiden asked, stepping between her and Logan.
“Nothing.” She finished her burrito and walked past Aiden, tossing the wrapper in the trash. “Thank you for breakfast. I’ve got you covered tomorrow.”
“Deal.” He grabbed his books and fell in step beside her, as they followed Logan and Barrett toward the English room.
Barrett grabbed Logan’s hand, and Carter winced.
“Are you jealous?”
“No,” she said. “I mean, not of him.” She kept her voice low, her eyes never leaving their entwined hands. “I just don’t think they have any idea how lucky they are.”
“Those two?” Aiden stopped and turned to face Carter. “They’re in a sham of a relationship if I’ve ever seen one.”
“They look pretty happy to me,” she said, craning her neck to watch them for another second as they turned around the corner.
“Word on the street is they don’t even sleep together.”
Carter laughed at the grimace on Aiden’s face. “You know, first of all, that’s none of our business. Second, you don’t have to have sex with someone just to be in a relationship.”
“True.” He popped a piece of gum in his mouth and nodded, as if he was considering the fact. “But, I guess her logic is that she doesn’t want to get pregnant and screw up her scholarship to UNM.” He shifted his weight and his stack of books to gesture with his right hand. Holding his hand in the air, he wagged his finger. “Everyone knows there’s birth control.”
“She doesn’t owe anyone an explanation, not even Barrett. If you’re trying to make me feel better, this weird anti-feminist shit isn’t the way to do it.”
“Sorry.” He glanced down to the floor. “I guess you’re right. Just seems like there’s something missing there.”
“There might be, but as two people who have virtually zero dating experience, I don’t think we get a say.”
“Fine.” He resumed the walk to class and put his arm around her. “But, I’d like the record to show I called it when they don’t last.”
As she took her seat, she fought to keep her eyes off Logan. Was it lust or a crush, or was she just enamored by someone who looked so confident, so at ease with herself? Liking girls was confusing sometimes. She bit her lip, as she watched Logan fish something out of her backpack and then lean back in her chair.
The level of coolness, without all the usual jackassery that came with it, just seemed impossible somehow. Logan stretched her neck side to side and glanced over in Carter’s direction. She smiled and nodded, before turning her eyes to the front of the room. Carter’s breath caught in her throat. She dropped her pencil to the desk, grabbing it quickly before it rolled to the ground. She gulped and looked down at the floor to still her thoughts. She’d been caught staring like a creep.
She grabbed the Hydro Flask from her bag and took a long sip, hoping her heart rate would return to normal at some point.