If you are anything like me, you love a good sports story. Classic David and Goliath stories as well as the romanticism of characters overcoming struggles. But! At the same time, you get a bit bored when it comes to ACTUALLY watching a sports game. Fear not! These books give you everything you love about a sports story, with none of the boredom of an actual game.
8 Books to Read Instead of Watching Sports
1. Barely Missing Everything by Matt Mendez
Juan has plans. He’s going to get out of El Paso, Texas, on a basketball scholarship and make something of himself—or at least find something better than his mom Fabi’s cruddy apartment. Basketball is going to be his ticket out, his ticket up. He just needs to make it happen. His best friend JD has plans, too. He’s going to be a filmmaker one day, like Quinten Tarantino or Guillermo del Toro. He’s got a camera and he’s got passion—what else could he need?
2. A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti
Each step on Annabelle’s 2,700 mile cross-country run brings her closer to facing a trauma from her past in Deb Caletti’s novel about the heart, all the ways it breaks, and its journey to healing. Because sometimes against our will, against all odds, we go forward. Annabelle’s run will motivate you to get up and out the door!
3. My Shot: Balancing it All and Standing Tall by Elena Delle Donne
This heartfelt new memoir from WNBA superstar and League MVP Elena Delle Donne is one of my favorite new books this year. Elena walked away from a full scholarship at one of the nation’s top college basketball programs to stay close to her sister, who can only communicate through hand-over-hand signing. Close to burning out, she was able to fight back. She is now one of the top players in the league, an MVP, and an Olympic gold medalist! Touching, inspirational and just downright fun, you should definitely pick this one up.
4.Winger by Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith may be a master of “Weird YA” with titles like Grasshopper Jungle in his credits, but he also writes brilliant contemporary YA. Winger and its companion title Stand-Off tell the story of teenager Ryan Dean, a rugby player at a fancy prep school. He grapples with bullies, roommates, unrequited love, and the overall cringy-ness of high adolescence. I promise this series will both break your heart and leave you howling with laughter.
5. Under the Lights by Abbi Glines
High school football and The South. Name a more iconic duo – I’ll wait. Following the trials and tribulations of students in the small town of Lawton, this offering from bestselling author Abbi Glines is perfect for fans of Friday Night Lights and One Tree Hill.
6. Alanna by Tamora Pierce
One of my favorite things about Alanna is that things don’t come easily to her. As she learns to become a warrior, she has to work ten times harder than the rest of her friends. She is the underdog you’ll be cheering for the whole book through.
7. Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian
This book contains arguably my favorite thing about sports: cute athletes. Add in the drama of a love triangle that contains two brothers in love with the same girl and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a must-read book!
8. The Flip Side by Shawn Johnson
From Olympic Gold medalist Shawn Johnson comes this sweet look at the sacrifices and dedication needed to be an Olympic athlete. The Flip Side follows Charlie Ryland, a seemingly normal high school sophomore who is actually anything but – outside of school she spends nearly every waking moment training for a shot at the Olympics in gymnastics. Entertaining and full of romance, this is a great pick for anyone feeling a little waiting for the next Summer Olympics!
Prefer a book that lets you escape reality? Check out these YA fantasy books you totally have to read.