Author: Maria Padian
Release Date: 8th March 2011
Publisher: Knopf Books
Themes: YA, Sports Camps, Anoerexia, Best Friends
Review: Besides the best efforts of the cover to deter me from this book, I actually really enjoyed Jersey Tomatoes, it may have not been hilarious as described in the official summary but it definitely has me more than interested in the world of tennis and those who devote their lives to the sport.
Maria Padian's second stab at YA takes us into the lives of Henry and Eva who have been best friends for years and are both attending intensive sports camps for the summer, in tennis and ballet respectively. One happens to come home with a top athlete for a boyfriend and the other, unfortunately with anoerexia.
The book opens up with two in-depth chapters on either girls preferred sport which I actually found rather boring as it is full of a whole lot of technical jargon and didn't really paint a picture in my mind of what was actually going on, I even assumed one of the main characters, Henry was male for a short while. I'm sure most people would dump the book at this point but I pushed through and the book grew a whole lot from then onwards.
It's almost like the book is split exactly in two, the first half being the good days and then the second half documenting what it's like with anoerexia and while I did find the light take on the disorder rather interesting to read about, it did take over the ending of the book when I was hoping it would go down another path entirely.
I think my rating has more to do with the expectations I held for this book and the fact that my opinion changed throughout the process of deciding to actually read this book and then completing it so thats where the four stars comes from if you're wondering as it no where near comes close to some of my recent faves such as Girl Saves Boy which also received a four star review.
Overall, I enjoyed Jersey Tomatoes are the Best, it took an in-depth look at the lives of professional sports players at a young age and really shows us how hard it is to work for such a high status. I would recommend this book to girls who actively give up their weekends and afternoons to sport on a regular basis.