Hooked - Liz Fichera (Full review can be found on my blog, Paper Riot.)I don't know what it is with the contemporary books I've been reading lately, but much like another book I just read, there was a lot going on in Hooked. Don't get me wrong: I'm a big contemporary fan and I love issue books and dramarama just the same. However, the problem with books that tackle a lot of issues at the same time is that it's easy to get distracted and hard to get really invested in one thing. And I think that was my biggest problem with Hooked: there was so much going on that I felt overwhelmed, and in the way that I needed to step back and take a breath before continuing. And that's not a good way.Because while the main story line focused on the way Fred, a Native American nobody - and a girl, was accepted (and by that I mean: not) into a sports team filled with popular boys, there were so many other things going on that I lost track of what was important and what wasn't. Yes, I appreciate drama. But the stereotyping and gender inequality issues were accompanied by racism, alcoholism, abuse, and a lot of contradicting factors: male and female, popular and not popular, rich and poor. Add some romance, Fred's family drama, love interest Ryan's family drama, Ryan's best friend Seth's drama, the sports pressure, and you have a very confused reader (that would be me).On the other hand I really liked the way the Fichera described Fred's background and home life. I don't think I've ever read a book with a Native American protagonist before, so I liked learning about the reservation. Both her background (whitewashing seems to happen A LOT in YA) and her interest in sports made her a unique character, and I really liked that about her. Furthermore, I liked Fred's determination and passion for golf. I'm not exactly the sporty type myself, but I do know what it's like to be passionate about something and what it's like to be willing to put everything aside for that, which is what made me respect her as a character. I would have liked it if the story had focused just on Fred, and the issues she was having trying to adapt to the all boy golf team, and the way her background influenced her school life.But Fred was the only character I really cared about. Ryan, to me, was an okay character. I understand him. I feel sorry for him. But I don't like him. To me, that probably has most to do with the fact that his friends were terrible. And by that, I mean TERRIBLE. (I'm looking at you, Seth!) I loathed them, I wanted to punch them, and though I like to hate characters at times, this was not one of those times. And this only added to the pile of issues that were already keeping Fred and Ryan from growing. If you know me, you know that I value character growth a lot. But there was so much going on that the two main characters didn't even have enough room to grow, and that disappointed me.Then again, I did like the writing style, and it was easy to get into the story. It was also a pretty quick read, which is a good thing in this case. Overall, the amount of issues in this book caused me to feel very 'meh' about it. I admire when authors write about tough issues, but getting it right is the hard part. I liked the way that this was still a pretty unique story, though I didn't like the characters and their growth (or lack thereof) as much as I could have, and I wasn't as invested as I would have liked. Hooked was a promising book that, unfortunately, ended up to be an enjoyable but average read for me.