I read this book for the Unapologetic Romance Readers' New Years 2017 Reading Challenge. For more info about what this is, click here.
Remember that time I read SACKED and I wasn't sure whether I liked it or not? Well, trust me when I say that I did not have that problem with JOCKBLOCKED. Reading these books is incredibly frustrating for me as a readere, because I find them so trashy and bad. They encapsulate all the tropes that annoy me so greatly in contemporary romance. Casual, unprotected sex. Instant love. Slut-shaming. Alpha d-bag heroes. Liberal use of the word "p*ssy."
What makes the experience even more frustrating is that Frederick isn't a bad writer. I loved the story she co-wrote with Elle Kennedy (although given my love of Elle Kennedy, I can't help but wonder if that's more testament to Kennedy's skills than Frederick's). As with SACKED, there's decent patches of writing in here. The parts about mock-trial were really, really great, and Frederick manages to inject enough enthusiasm to make football sound interesting to someone who has no interest in watching or playing sports, and never has (e.g. me).
The problem is really how Matt and Lucy come together. He wants her because she's beautiful and doesn't know who he is. He's so tired of girls throwing themselves at him that, naturally, he wants the one girl who tells him "no." Naturally, he doesn't take "no" for an answer and basically browbeats her into dating him.Which is...not cool, actually. But this being a romance novel, Lucy eventually agrees.
The second thing that bothered me is the sex. There's a weird double-standard in these books. The heroines and their friends talk about being empowered and how sex is okay, no big deal, blah, blah, blah. But the Jersey chasers in this book are ruthlessly shat upon by both the football players and the heroines and their friends, referred to as jersey chasers or "pieces of p*ssy" and a whole host of other, objective things that are pretty disgusting and dehumanizing. I hate that double-standard, and I hate how the heroines are portrayed as "better" than these other girls by either being less experienced or less initially enthusiastic when it comes to sex, because that is just such a terrible message.
Also, at one point while having sex with Lucy, Matt becomes so overwhelmed by passion that he "forgets" to put on a condom. What makes this even more gross is that he has slept with so many women, while drunk and sober, that he literally cannot remember all of their names. Does this bother Lucy? No, she's like, "That's cool, just bareback it, bro." Does she get an STD test? No. Does this result in an unplanned pregnancy? No - thank God, because I was afraid this was going to end with a secret baby and a shotgun marriage and then I might have hurled the book across the room. Which gives you an idea of what this book is like, if I thought that was a likely ending.
The last item on my list of peeves is Ace. That POS. I hated him so much. I hated that we were supposed to feel sorry for him, because I didn't - not at all. He knows Lucy only likes him as a friend, but assumes that they're going to get married someday because they were childhood friends and that means that he has dibs. He sleeps around with anyone and everyone, even bringing girls back when Lucy is staying there for an emergency and tries to kick her out, but later on towards the end, tells her that he's just getting sex out of his system so he'll be ready to settle down when he proposes to Lucy. Um, ew. That is so disgusting. You just expect her to wait and watch you screw around and then accept your marriage proposal when objectifying women has lost its luster? Lucy tells him off, so props for that, but I didn't really like that he got a happy ending and I didn't think he deserved Matty's forgiveness considering that he tried to blackmail Matty into breaking up with her - twice. If he gets his own book, I may buy that book just to set it on fire because Ace is a POS and I hate him.
The book didn't end the way I feared, though, and once you wade past the pages upon pages of sex (this is really erotica with a plot), there's an okay story in here told, Sarah Dessen-like, about a girl who learns to overcome her fears of living her own life and manages to secure both a boy and her courage to pursue her professional dreams. If you're looking for a college romance that's better written than most and care more about sex scenes than plot development, this is the book for you.
1.5 to 2 out of 5 stars