REVIEW ✧ DOWNED

He likes to take control— on and off the field. He plays hard, loves hard. I should’ve been prepared for him, but I wasn’t.

☆☆

He’s the guy no one likes…

Despite winning two national championships, JR “Ace” Anderson was sent packing from his old school after losing the trust of his coach. At Southern U, he has a second chance to prove that his college legacy isn’t endless debauchery and selfishness. But his reputation precedes him, and his teammates offer a chilly welcome in the locker room. The one person who is willing to accept him is the very woman he should stay away from—his new coach’s daughter.

She’s the girl everyone loves…

Bryant Johnson’s only goal in life is to make others happy, even at her own expense. One look at her father’s new star quarterback, and she knows that Ace is her next project. With a reputation for being a “jerk whisperer”, Bryant has spent her last three years at college reforming sorry behavior and turning bad boys into the best boyfriends ever. In Ace, though, she’s met with surly resistance and a sizzling attraction she doesn’t expect. Fixing this wounded warrior will be her biggest challenge yet. Not falling for him will be even harder.

Between her big heart and his damaged one, a battle is ensuing. In this game of love, every defense will crumble.

I don’t know what happened here. I really, really don’t. We started off so well with the first two books and I didn’t have a problem giving Ace a shot at redemption. But did it really have to be this way? Majority of this book filled me with frustration and anger but most of all annoyance. The funny thing is, barely any of this was directed at Ace. Right? I didn’t see it coming either. All of my issues with this book solely rest on his love interest, Bryant, and the overall plot because of her involvement. I’ll get into all of it and why she bothered me but this book felt like such a step down from its predecessors. I knew this series was too good to be true. Cue the dramatic sigh.

THE GOOD

  • I think in all honestly, the only good thing here was that Ace found redemption but in my opinion I don’t think Bryant had anything to do with it. Way before he even started going out with her, Ace recognized what he did to Lucy and Matty was wrong and he already felt regret for his behaviour while he was at Western as a whole. He also knew that if his transferring was going to work then he was going to have to change and not be the same guy he was, which also shows that he’s capable of changing on his own. If you ask me, I think the people who really helped with Ace’s redemption were his teammates. A couple of them were jerks but not all of them were that bad towards him. I think it was seeing how Ty was with the rest of the team, and what kind of leader he was, that showed Ace the kind of person he should try being. He learned to talk to his teammates and try to understand them, something he never did before. Honestly, the only thing Bryant did was show him that people respond when you give them sugary baked goods. Oh wait, that’s a lie because Ace’s roommates didn’t eat the breakfast Ace made for them so I guess Bryant really didn’t do much. I have no problem awarding and accepting Ace’s redemption and he deserved it the moment he apologized to Lucy.

THE BAD

  • Two words: Bryant Johnson. My god, I don’t think I’ve ever met a more annoying person than Bryant. I couldn’t figure out if she was annoying just for the sake of being annoying or because the only way Ace could fall in love is with someone worse than he is. From the moment I read the synopsis I disliked her immediately. First of all there’s the fact she apparently fixes bad boys into good ones…..girl, why you gotta ruin this for everyone? But it’s the fact that she insists on calling this her “program” and all these boys are “projects” to her that really got me riled up. I’m sorry but you can’t treat people like this! I’m all for helping people change but you can’t force yourself on someone and meddle so much that they have no choice but to change. Also, I’m more of a believer in the fact that you can make someone change purely by being a subconscious influence, which is not what Bryant is. She literally picks these boys because they’re assholes or douchebags or whatever you want to call them, self-inserts herself in their lives, makes multiple plans for them and deems they’re dating so she can “teach them how to be good”, and then she sets them up with someone else because “they’re fixed.” Um, what? She’s also a complete busybody that meddles in more than just these boys’ lives, like her father’s football team and her sorority, and regardless of all of this everyone apparently loves her to bits. “Bryant’s soooo great, Bryant’s soooo special!” Actually, Bryant is arrogant, self-absorbed, controlling, and manipulative. I think it’s beyond wrong the way she treats everyone around her and thinking she’s doing this on behalf of her dead sister is not a good excuse. It’s not her responsibility to change all the bad guys out there because one did wrong by her sister, who had problems beyond one guy. She kind of learned her lesson in the end but that still won’t make me like or sympathize with her. She also seemed a bit stuck up and naive? I could keep going, to be honest, but even I know when to stop. Bottom line, Bryant Johnson is a horrible person and annoying as hell.
  • Because of Bryant’s character in general, the plot was really bad. It felt like 3/4 of the story focused on Bryant’s “project” nonsense and everything involved with that and the other 1/4 was Ace and his new team and I wish that had more focus. The previous two books felt relatively balanced between the love thing and the football thing but not so much in this book. I felt like I barely knew any of these other characters and I didn’t grow attached to anyone else other than the main characters like I had before; there wasn’t anyone like Matty or Hammer or Jack on Ace’s side or anyone like Riley or Sutton or Charity on Bryant’s side. There was too much focus on Bryant and whatever the hell she decided to do that day and not enough on any other plot but that. I wish there was some more team bonding or scenes where Ace and Ty talked about what he should be doing and how to be better with the team. I also wish that there was some kind of apology from Ace to his old team for how he treated them, or at least to Matty. Bryant took way too much control here and it created a pretty poor plot overall. So much more could’ve been done here if we had a different kind of love interest. [Adele voice] We could’ve had it all.
  • There should’ve been more Lucy and Matty, especially if she and Ace were back on speaking terms but apparently not. Oh, and also what was the whole “Lucy and her new boyfriend” thing?? Um, that’s Matthew Justin Iverson to you, Miss Bryant. And yes, I’m petty, get over it.

THE BOTTOM LINE

  • If you’re expecting this to be something like the first two books of this series, you’re going to be severely disappointed. It lacks an exciting plot and interesting characters and kind of comes across as being anti-feminist. But I’m not gonna judge you if you end up liking this book. It was not for me whatsoever. I suffered and I’m not happy about it.

BONUS: how this book made me feel in a GIF

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Downed (Gridiron #3)
Author: Jen Frederick
Release Date: December 1, 2016
Pages: 311 (eBook)
Goodreads

Until next time,

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