Review: You Don’t Have a Shot by Racquel Marie

You Don't Have a Shot by Racquel Marie cover shows two girls in profile staring at each other competitively, almost forehead to forehead. One has curly hair, the other straight hair and arms crossed. In the background is a soccer goal.

You Don’t Have a Shot
Racquel Marie
Feiwel & Friends
Published May 9, 2023

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About You Don’t Have a Shot

A queer YA romance about rival soccer players from author Racquel Marie, perfect for fans of She Drives Me Crazy .

Valentina “Vale” Castillo-Green’s life revolves around soccer. Her friends, her future, and her father’s intense expectations are all wrapped up in the beautiful game. But after she incites a fight during playoffs with her long-time rival, Leticia Ortiz, everything she’s been working toward seems to disappear.

Embarrassed and desperate to be anywhere but home, Vale escapes to her beloved childhood soccer camp for a summer of relaxation and redemption…only to find out that she and the endlessly aggravating Leticia will be co-captaining a team that could play in front of college scouts. But the competition might be stiffer than expected, so unless they can get their rookie team’s act together, this second chance―and any hope of playing college soccer―will slip through Vale’s fingers. When the growing pressure, friendship friction, and her overbearing father push Vale to turn to Leticia for help, what starts off as a shaky alliance of necessity begins to blossom into something more through a shared love of soccer. . . and maybe each other.

Sharp, romantic, and deeply emotional, You Don’t Have a Shot is a rivals-to-lovers romance about rediscovering your love of the game and yourself, from the author of Ophelia After All .

” You Don’t Have a Shot has every ingredient that makes rivals-to-lovers such a great trope, but it’s also so much more. It’s a story of grief and loss, of legacy, of culture, of holding the things and people that bring us joy close. I don’t think anyone will be surprised when I say that Racquel Marie has done it this is truly young adult contemporary at its best.” ―Jonny Garza Villa, author of the Pura Belpré Honor Book Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun

You Don't Have a Shot on Goodreads

My Review

Okay, so, I’m not a very sporty person. It’s just not something I’ve got real natural talent in, so not something I’ve personally pursued, though I think it’s cool. So the soccer is not what drew me to this book, is what I’m saying. I read Racquel Marie’s debut, OPHELIA AFTER ALL, and absolutely loved it. The insightfulness of the characters’ emotions. The movement of the story. All of it, so good. I was so moved by that book that I wanted to read Marie’s next book pretty much no matter what it would turn out to be. So… soccer.

Y’all. I cried over soccer in this book. More than once!

Again, the characters are so deep and complex. I loved the relationships between them and the growth that Vale experiences as she begins to bond with her team and see them and herself in a new way, and through that, to see soccer in a new way. It is an incredible book. I loved it so much.

I felt like the soccer parts of the story were all really accessible and easy to understand, even for someone like me who doesn’t know much about the game. (Knowing the positions of the players probably would have helped a little bit, but I feel like I picked up enough from the context of what was happening to be clued in to what I needed to know.) It was so easy to invest in the characters and to want them to succeed. I also loved the banter, especially between Vale and Leticia. So perfect! So much fun.

I also just really enjoyed the theme about learning to fall in love with the game again and learning that you get to define success for yourself. Great stuff. I think fans of Racquel Marie’s first book will definitely enjoy this new one. And rivals-to-lovers fans will get lots of satisfaction from the snappy banter and romantic tension. All in all, a perfect summer romance.

You Don't Have a Shot on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Vale and Leticia are Latine and romantically interested in girls. Vale’s two best friends, both girls, are dating. One minor character is transgender.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used somewhat frequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between two girls.

Spiritual Content

Violent Content
I’m not totally sure where the line is between verbally toxic and verbally abusive, but one character says pretty high pressure, harsh things to another character.

Vale picks a fight with a rival during a soccer game.

Drug Content
References to teens drinking alcohol (off-scene).

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions my own.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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