Pepped Up & Ready from the Pepper Jones series came out back in May and I’ve had it on my “to-read” list since then. Pepped Up and All Pepped Up were two young adult books that I had enjoyed so I was looking forward to another quick and easy read. I picked Pepped Up & Ready up early last week and finished it off pretty quick, enjoying it as I went.
Jace is officially off to college while Pepper enters her senior year & senior season of cross country. Jace swears nothing will change but Pepper is having a hard time wrapping her head around the new situation. As he was at Brockton, Jace is now hot stuff at UC. Girls are wanting him to party & wondering why he is dating a high school girl. Jace doesn’t buy the attention and would rather spend his nights with Pepper.
Pepper spent her summer training & maybe even over training as she starts to realize she is fighting pain in her shins. It’s her last chance to defend her national title & suddenly she finds herself on the sidelines…on crutches. While watching her teammates run their season, Pepper also attends two college recruiting trips.
All along she hopes to attend UC with Jace, but she couldn’t turn down a trip to visit the top school in the country Oregon. Unfortunately UC decides to take their time sending out offers so when she only sees her Oregon offer, Pepper starts to realize she has some decision making to do. Her usual decision making is done through running… something she is sidelined from for the near future.
Without the ability to run Pepper is introduce to pool running by her newly single ex-boyfriend, Ryan. Knowing that she would be spending a lot of time with him if she goes to UC, she and Jace start to have a serious talk about her feelings.
Pepper sticks close with her training and recovery plan as she hopes that she can count on her teammates to keep her dreams of Nationals alive.
I won’t spoil the ending (or most of the book for that matter) but I will tell you that if you’ve followed along so far with the Pepper Jones series, I would recommend picking up Pepped Up & Ready.
As with the first two books, it was a great young adult novel that addressed issues that normal teenagers face. Boyfriends go off to college, some friends go off to college, college recruiting, sports injuries, nearby college parties & even friends getting caught up in something they shouldn’t. While there isn’t always a hug it out lesson involved, I think a lot of young girls could relate to Pepper & her thoughts through her season. Ali Dean does a great job of putting all of the problems out there and forcing Pepper to find a way to solve them without her main crutch.
The only thing about the book that I wasn’t exactly thrilled with was how quickly the ending wrapped up. I love a good book that keeps you reading for awhile and it seemed like the end of the book could have easily been a book in itself! Then again, I’m not technically a young adult audience so I could see how it worked out the way it did.
If you haven’t read Pepper Jones & love a good young adult novel, you can purchase the Pepper Jones (3 Book Series) on Amazon to get caught up.
If you are looking for something Pepper Jones to read next, it doesn’t look like you have to wait long. Ali Dean’s official website has a note that Pep Talks comes out July 30th!