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The Second Season

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Ruth Devon starred for Georgetown Basketball back in college—until she injured her knee, married her coach, and found a new career calling games on the radio. Twenty years later, Ruth and her now-ex-husband, Lester, are two of the most famous faces in sports media. When Lester decides to retire from the announcers’ booth, Ruth goes after his job. If she gets it, she will b Ruth Devon starred for Georgetown Basketball back in college—until she injured her knee, married her coach, and found a new career calling games on the radio. Twenty years later, Ruth and her now-ex-husband, Lester, are two of the most famous faces in sports media. When Lester decides to retire from the announcers’ booth, Ruth goes after his job. If she gets it, she will be the first woman to call NBA games on national television. For now, Ruth is reporting from the sideline of the NBA finals, immersed in the high-pressure spectacle of the post-season. But in a deserted locker room at halftime, Ruth makes a discovery that shatters her vision of her future. Instantly, she is torn between the two things she has always wanted most: the game and motherhood. With warmth and incisive observation, Adrian brings to life the obsessions, emotions, and drama of fandom. The Second Season asks why, how, and whom we watch, while offering a rich and complicated account of motherhood, marriage, and ambition. Adrian’s character study of Ruth Devon illuminates a beautiful basketball mind—and the struggle of a woman who claims authority in a male-dominated world.


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Ruth Devon starred for Georgetown Basketball back in college—until she injured her knee, married her coach, and found a new career calling games on the radio. Twenty years later, Ruth and her now-ex-husband, Lester, are two of the most famous faces in sports media. When Lester decides to retire from the announcers’ booth, Ruth goes after his job. If she gets it, she will b Ruth Devon starred for Georgetown Basketball back in college—until she injured her knee, married her coach, and found a new career calling games on the radio. Twenty years later, Ruth and her now-ex-husband, Lester, are two of the most famous faces in sports media. When Lester decides to retire from the announcers’ booth, Ruth goes after his job. If she gets it, she will be the first woman to call NBA games on national television. For now, Ruth is reporting from the sideline of the NBA finals, immersed in the high-pressure spectacle of the post-season. But in a deserted locker room at halftime, Ruth makes a discovery that shatters her vision of her future. Instantly, she is torn between the two things she has always wanted most: the game and motherhood. With warmth and incisive observation, Adrian brings to life the obsessions, emotions, and drama of fandom. The Second Season asks why, how, and whom we watch, while offering a rich and complicated account of motherhood, marriage, and ambition. Adrian’s character study of Ruth Devon illuminates a beautiful basketball mind—and the struggle of a woman who claims authority in a male-dominated world.

30 review for The Second Season

  1. 5 out of 5

    Val

    An unexpected hit! This book blew me away. I was not expecting that at all. I went into the book blind, not knowing much more than this is a book about basketball, sports reporting and a woman. First, let me admit that I LOVE being transported into worlds I will never be a part of. That is exactly what this story offered me. A glimpse into the world of basketball and sports reporting/announcing. I was caught up in all of it in such a good way! The female lead, Ruth, is a strong, ambitious and tota An unexpected hit! This book blew me away. I was not expecting that at all. I went into the book blind, not knowing much more than this is a book about basketball, sports reporting and a woman. First, let me admit that I LOVE being transported into worlds I will never be a part of. That is exactly what this story offered me. A glimpse into the world of basketball and sports reporting/announcing. I was caught up in all of it in such a good way! The female lead, Ruth, is a strong, ambitious and totally likeable former-basketball player who has parlayed her love of the sport into becoming one of the first and only female sideline reporters. Her dreams for her future involve much more than she has so far accomplished though. She intimately shares that basketball comes before anything else. Even as she knows it shouldn’t. It is a part of her. I loved how she continually wrestled with her responsibilities to her family and to her career. Ruth was an up and coming college basketball player before a devastating knee injury. She ended up marrying her coach and starting a family. As her husband’s career takes off, she too tastes success. Her husband’s expectation is that she will retreat from her career in order to take care of their daughter. As one can imagine, this does not sit well with Ruth and her ambition does not wish to be tamed. They end up divorced, yet are never far from each other in that they are both entwined in the game of basketball. The book follows their career while their daughter grows up. As expected, being a female in a male dominated industry is fraught with stress, over-examination and doubt. I don’t follow basketball religiously, and there were a lot of basketball games being discussed, but the author did an awesome job of writing those scenes so that fans at any level could understand and enjoy them. To me, the main story was the female struggle between following your career dreams and being a Mom. And the fact that it is a female only struggle. It’s just not the same for males. Either way, something has to suffer. I adored the inner dialog of Ruth throughout. I appreciated all the nuances that the author highlighted in her struggle for success. The ending was superb to me. I don’t really enjoy perfect endings. This one left me thinking about the costs of success and what we are willing to compromise on. I loved every second of this book. Definitely recommend. Thank you so much to NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for gifting me an advance copy to read and review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jessica | JustReadingJess

    The Second Season is a very interesting story about a woman in a male dominated field, working with her ex-husband and finding the balance between her career and motherhood. Adrian does a great job drawing the reader in and connecting them to Ruth. Since I work in a male dominated industry, I understood some of Ruth's troubles. Every time something good happened to Ruth it seemed like something bad happened. Ruth has to decide what is most important to her. I am not a big sports fan but still en The Second Season is a very interesting story about a woman in a male dominated field, working with her ex-husband and finding the balance between her career and motherhood. Adrian does a great job drawing the reader in and connecting them to Ruth. Since I work in a male dominated industry, I understood some of Ruth's troubles. Every time something good happened to Ruth it seemed like something bad happened. Ruth has to decide what is most important to her. I am not a big sports fan but still enjoyed The Second Season. This is a character focused story. I recommend The Second Season to sports fans and fans of novels about family and working mothers. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Nicol Zanzarella and thought she did a great job bringing Ruth's character to life. Thank you Blackstone Publishing, Blackstone Audio and NetGalley for The Second Season. Full Review Coming Soon: https://justreadingjess.wordpress.com/

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    A Slam Dunk!⁣ ⁣ This story is about Ruth Devon who was a college basketball star from Georgetown. An injury had her in the sidelines, announcing games on radio, and married to her coach. Fast forward twenty years, now divorced, and Ruth vying to be the first NBA sports announcer on national television.⁣ ⁣ No one writes books about motherhood and the complexities of unconventional women’s roles like Emily Adrian does. ⁣ ⁣ The writing was masterful and deeply engrossing, where I was transported into the A Slam Dunk!⁣ ⁣ This story is about Ruth Devon who was a college basketball star from Georgetown. An injury had her in the sidelines, announcing games on radio, and married to her coach. Fast forward twenty years, now divorced, and Ruth vying to be the first NBA sports announcer on national television.⁣ ⁣ No one writes books about motherhood and the complexities of unconventional women’s roles like Emily Adrian does. ⁣ ⁣ The writing was masterful and deeply engrossing, where I was transported into the world of sports broadcasting and professional basketball. The heart of this novel was about ambition and motherhood, passion and strength, in a warm and poignant story.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sarah at Sarah's Bookshelves

    Following a career-ending knee injury ended her college basketball career, Ruth Devon married her college coach and pursued an uber-successful career as a basketball commentator and sideline reporter for the NBA. During the NBA Finals, something happens to force Ruth to figure out what she wants for her future. It's about a woman who is unabashedly in love with her career, but also raising a daughter. It's about a woman working in a male-domainated profession and having to figure out what she wa Following a career-ending knee injury ended her college basketball career, Ruth Devon married her college coach and pursued an uber-successful career as a basketball commentator and sideline reporter for the NBA. During the NBA Finals, something happens to force Ruth to figure out what she wants for her future. It's about a woman who is unabashedly in love with her career, but also raising a daughter. It's about a woman working in a male-domainated profession and having to figure out what she wants in life. And, it's darker and a lot more substantive than I expected! If you loved Charlotte Walsh Like to Win, you might love this one! Note: there is a lot of basketball talk.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    Put this winner on your summer TBR list. Thank you NetGalley and Blackstone for the 5⭐️ exciting, page-turning read. This book will appeal to sports fans, especially basketball, and fans of strong women characters and mothers navigating careers in male dominated industries as they wrestle with the sacrifices they're making elsewhere in their lives. And while purely fiction, was so fun to consider which real life players, analysts and coaches (Doris, Pop, etc.) inspired certain characters. The bo Put this winner on your summer TBR list. Thank you NetGalley and Blackstone for the 5⭐️ exciting, page-turning read. This book will appeal to sports fans, especially basketball, and fans of strong women characters and mothers navigating careers in male dominated industries as they wrestle with the sacrifices they're making elsewhere in their lives. And while purely fiction, was so fun to consider which real life players, analysts and coaches (Doris, Pop, etc.) inspired certain characters. The book reminded me of another one of my favorite books, Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win (elections, politics). This is my first book by this author. It won’t be my last.

  6. 5 out of 5

    M. Reads Books and Fics

    I don't read many books about sports, but I really liked this one! It was a different type of story than what I normally read, but I enjoyed it so much. It made me think about how basketball and sports are important to so many people! I just really liked this story because it made me see how dreams can grow and change. I don't read many books about sports, but I really liked this one! It was a different type of story than what I normally read, but I enjoyed it so much. It made me think about how basketball and sports are important to so many people! I just really liked this story because it made me see how dreams can grow and change.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Trianna/Treereads

    I keep breaking my own rules for basketball books and then I keep being let down. I really try to avoid books about women who are in their 30s/40s and having issues with their lives because it makes me anxious about my future. But, I wanted to read this one because I love basketball. Sadly, I was not a fan. First of all, I just had a hard time following this book. I had such a hard time tracking the timeline of this book. We flashback and even forward once without notice and maybe in the finishe I keep breaking my own rules for basketball books and then I keep being let down. I really try to avoid books about women who are in their 30s/40s and having issues with their lives because it makes me anxious about my future. But, I wanted to read this one because I love basketball. Sadly, I was not a fan. First of all, I just had a hard time following this book. I had such a hard time tracking the timeline of this book. We flashback and even forward once without notice and maybe in the finished copy they differentiate more, bc wow I had a hard time following the timeline. I also had a hard time tracking all the characters. We have players, Ruth's family, Ruth's coworkers/bosses, and other people. At one point I literally forgot the name of her boyfriend. I also realized that I can only follow basketball if I'm watching it. The detailed descriptions of the games confused me (the jumping around did not help) and I generally just did not know what was happening at any time. I did like the discussion on being a career driven woman versus focusing on one's family and how that pulls at a person. I wish these moment had been more reflective rather than flashbacks and Ruth in her own head. Most of this book she is in her head and it was not my favorite place to be. Even though I liked these discussions, I don't feel like the author fleshed them out enough for them to impact me. There is also a mention of Taylor Swift posting about coming to a game and clearly the author does not understand anything about celebrity culture because people as famous as Swift would not post about their location for safely. Plus, Taylor rarely posts personal stuff on IG anyways. This reference just felt dated and out of touch and as a Taylor fan, annoyed me. I hate to say it since this was the reason I picked up the book, but it had too much basketball. I wanted to see more moments between Ruth and her boyfriend, her ex-husband, her peers, and her daughter INSTEAD OF FLASHBACKS, but instead we got a weird plot line between two players that I did not care about. Overall, I sped through this one, but was not a fan. I would recommend it if you like nonlinear timelines and books about sports. *thanks to the publisher for an eARC; all thoughts are my own*

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    DNF-I felt like there was a lot of writing and nothing was happening. I wanted to like it but just wasn’t excited to read it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Destiny

    MAY CONTAIN SPOLIERS I really wanted to like this book. As a working mom in a male dominated field, I was expecting this to be a major hit. Unfortunately, it drastically missed the mark for me. First of all, the writing was all over the place and jumped from future to past without any warning. Second, and the major reason for the bad review was that the main character who was supposedly supposed to be juggling work and motherhood actually did a terrible job at being a mother. I know that's harsh, MAY CONTAIN SPOLIERS I really wanted to like this book. As a working mom in a male dominated field, I was expecting this to be a major hit. Unfortunately, it drastically missed the mark for me. First of all, the writing was all over the place and jumped from future to past without any warning. Second, and the major reason for the bad review was that the main character who was supposedly supposed to be juggling work and motherhood actually did a terrible job at being a mother. I know that's harsh, but a couple examples: she missed her daughters graduation even though her daughter was begging her to go and SHE DIDN'T LEAVE WORK WHEN SHE THOUGHT SHE COULD BE MISCARRYING. That last reason alone was enough for me to leave a one star review, especially when the author seemed to act like prioritizing a job over your CHILD'S LIFE and your HEALTH is somehow remotely admirable when it's actually TRASH. This book made me incredibly angry if you can't tell. Please do not read this. Thanks Netgalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lynne Spreen

    Ruth Devon is a sidelines sports reporter for the National Basketball Association. At 42, she's fiercely passionate about her profession. She started out as a basketball player herself until a game-ending knee injury. She married her coach, Lester, and they had a daughter, Ariana. Ruth is the absolute best at what she does. With a true interest in the players and the sport, and a near-photographic memory for stats, anecdotes, and personal tidbits, she's achieved celebrity status herself, stalkin Ruth Devon is a sidelines sports reporter for the National Basketball Association. At 42, she's fiercely passionate about her profession. She started out as a basketball player herself until a game-ending knee injury. She married her coach, Lester, and they had a daughter, Ariana. Ruth is the absolute best at what she does. With a true interest in the players and the sport, and a near-photographic memory for stats, anecdotes, and personal tidbits, she's achieved celebrity status herself, stalking the players in high heels and pencil skirt, occasionally dribbling an errant basketball, much to the delight of the fans. But it didn't come without sacrifice; she and Lester are divorced, and Ruth's mother virtually raised Ariana, a fact that weighs heavily on Ruth. But is it enough to change her life's trajectory, at this moment when the greatest promotion of all looms in front of her? This was a fascinating story, one that I can't stop thinking about after finishing the book. Ruth's play-calling, the smart, savvy jargon, is captivating. Her descriptions of the athletes, their moves, their challenges--it's just masterful. So interesting, and I don't watch basketball. I even wondered if "Emily Adrian" was a pen name for Doris Burke, the famous real-life NBA reporter this book is so clearly modeled after. But there's a photo of the author in the book, and Adrian tips her hat to Burke in the Acknowledgements. So the author did this all herself. Astonishing. Ruth's emotional conflicts will resonate for any woman who has followed her passion and paid a heavy price, and yet, if she had to do it all over again, would probably not change a thing. Ruth's love for the game and the players is almost palpable. What other choice does she have? Because she's dedicated to her work, conflicts arise. Joel, her boyfriend, a wealthy younger man who founded a record label and now owns a network of luxury hotels, isn't a basketball fan. He wants her around more. Says he's okay not having kids, but Ruth knows he's making the best of things. Her daughter, a budding model, is about to graduate high school. She wants to skip college and pursue her passion, and she's a good businesswoman, obviously getting something from her mother! Yet the profession is fraught. It parallels the high risk/reward dynamic of the young athletes Ruth reveres. Shouldn't Ruth be there to guide her? Would Adrian even let her? (Empty nest alert!) I would suggest the theme of this book is the resilience of love. Even though Ruth and Lester are divorced, they seem like best friends, always supportive of each other. And although Ruth wasn't present for many of her daughter's big moments, her love for Adrian seems to have translated into a strong and self-assured young woman. Even the two main players, Darius and Emory, are bound by a brother-love friendship that prevails over their on-court battles, continuing the theme. There's so much to love about this book. I'm thrilled to have been given the opportunity to read it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dkbbookgirl

    Well written Story of a female bball reporter

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cari

    Read for Booklist. I love Emily Adrian's writing! Read for Booklist. I love Emily Adrian's writing!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Christine (Queen of Books)

    There's so much to love in this fictional tale of Ruth Devon, a sideline reporter hoping (gunning?) to become the first woman to call NBA games on national television. I read The Second Season practically in one sitting, switching between the text and the audio. I could have put it down around the halfway point but honestly, I just didn't want to. As a woman who's long felt a love of sports and journalism in my bones, this is very much the sort of book I'd find easy to love... or throw across the There's so much to love in this fictional tale of Ruth Devon, a sideline reporter hoping (gunning?) to become the first woman to call NBA games on national television. I read The Second Season practically in one sitting, switching between the text and the audio. I could have put it down around the halfway point but honestly, I just didn't want to. As a woman who's long felt a love of sports and journalism in my bones, this is very much the sort of book I'd find easy to love... or throw across the room in frustration. (I'm delighted that my feelings while reading were generally the former.) The book mostly takes place over the course of the NBA Finals (between the Cincinnati Wildcats and the Seattle Supersonics). I so enjoyed following Ruth on the job -- where her ex-husband also works -- as well as in her personal life. She has a daughter about to graduate high school and a boyfriend who wants to get married. Much of the writing was visceral: I could feel the action as if I were watching a real game, feel Ruth's experiences as if I were having them myself. There is one odd scene in which it's implied that boyfriends are watching the last game of the finals, while their girlfriends ask who they're seeing on screen and need to infer what it means to call the games. In a book that otherwise seemed to bat down misogyny around women in sports, it seemed out of place and more than a little off. (Ideally, it'll have already been rewritten and won't appear in the published text.) That and a few clunky spots aside, I loved my reading experience so much I'm rounding up from 4.5 to 5 stars. And because author Emily Adrian really stuck the landing. Thank you to Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley for a free e-arc and ALC of this title for review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    3.5 stars rounded up! "The Second Season asks why, how, and whom we watch, while offering a rich and complicated account of motherhood, marriage, and ambition." Synopsis: Ruth Devon starred don't the Georgetown Women's Basketball team in college. That is until a knee injury ended her career. Ruth subsequently married her former coach and they had a daughter together. Ruth and her now ex-husband Lester are two of the most famous faces in sports media. Ruth is vying for Lester's job as an NBA analy 3.5 stars rounded up! "The Second Season asks why, how, and whom we watch, while offering a rich and complicated account of motherhood, marriage, and ambition." Synopsis: Ruth Devon starred don't the Georgetown Women's Basketball team in college. That is until a knee injury ended her career. Ruth subsequently married her former coach and they had a daughter together. Ruth and her now ex-husband Lester are two of the most famous faces in sports media. Ruth is vying for Lester's job as an NBA analyst once he retires, but there are many hurdles she will have to jump and decisions she will have to face to achieve one of the most respected jobs in the NBA- a man's world. Thoughts: I LOVE sports-related books, and The Second Season definitely hit the spot for me! Adrian delivers a character-driven book on the complexities of motherhood and ambition. We get to explore the costs of following your dreams as a female in a male-dominated industry, while also balancing a career and being a "good" mother. There are plotlines in this book that I think were underdeveloped and could have been explored further, but I also enjoyed the focus on Ruth's career and her personal character development. Bottom line, I enjoyed this book a lot more than I expected to, and I would absolutely recommend it to any sports fan, or individual looking to read a female success story! Thank you to #NetGalley and #BlackstonePublishing for the #ALC of this book!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Kritzer

    ** I received a free ARC via Netgalley and Blackstone Publishing in exchange for my honest review ** First of all, I have to say, it’s only January and this book doesn’t publish until July, but I’m going to make a bold statement: it is one of my favorites of the year, perfect for fans of “Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win.” “The Second Season” explores female ambition through the story of NBA sideline reporter Ruth Devon. Ruth’s standout collegiate basketball career ended with an injury; she married he ** I received a free ARC via Netgalley and Blackstone Publishing in exchange for my honest review ** First of all, I have to say, it’s only January and this book doesn’t publish until July, but I’m going to make a bold statement: it is one of my favorites of the year, perfect for fans of “Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win.” “The Second Season” explores female ambition through the story of NBA sideline reporter Ruth Devon. Ruth’s standout collegiate basketball career ended with an injury; she married her coach, became a young mother, and worked her way up to one of the most respected (fictional) women in sports media, frequently the subject of longform magazine profiles. Lester Devon, Ruth’s ex-husband and a famous NBA announcer, is retiring at the end of this season. Ruth wants nothing more than his job — or does she? As her daughter’s high school graduation nears — and the girl’s fledgling Instagram modeling career shows actual promise — Ruth has to figure out which wins: motherhood or her own ambitions. “The Second Season” is a raw dissection of the price of female ambition and the infuriating patriarchy that women with goals must navigate with care. Ruth has the level of ambition and career aspiration that most find polarizing; I find it refreshing. Honestly, I would be all in for a sequel.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    The main character of this novel, Ruth Devon, was a successful college basketball player who, after a career-ending injury, married her coach and had a baby, but then became an NBA sideline reporter and analyst. Most of this book is set during the NBA finals when Ruth’s daughter is about to graduate from high school, and Ruth is pursuing a job as the very first female NBA announcer while at the same time grappling with thoughts about how her career has affected her motherhood and other relations The main character of this novel, Ruth Devon, was a successful college basketball player who, after a career-ending injury, married her coach and had a baby, but then became an NBA sideline reporter and analyst. Most of this book is set during the NBA finals when Ruth’s daughter is about to graduate from high school, and Ruth is pursuing a job as the very first female NBA announcer while at the same time grappling with thoughts about how her career has affected her motherhood and other relationships. Ruth is a terrific character, not perfect by any means but feels very real, and this book really explores interesting themes regarding the balance between pursuing a demanding and successful career and being a mother - would make a great book club book. The basketball games and commentary also came very much to life, though I think this book could also be enjoyed by someone who is not a sports fan. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This book examines the choice between motherhood and career. The characters felt complex, multidimensional, and very real. The relationships were messy, even when filled with love. Without spoiling anything, I will say trigger warning for discussion of abortion. Overall, a good quick read that also tackles being a woman in a male dominated field. I do wish the ending was less rushed and the basketball players more fleshed out- Emory and Darius have such an interesting relationship that would’ve This book examines the choice between motherhood and career. The characters felt complex, multidimensional, and very real. The relationships were messy, even when filled with love. Without spoiling anything, I will say trigger warning for discussion of abortion. Overall, a good quick read that also tackles being a woman in a male dominated field. I do wish the ending was less rushed and the basketball players more fleshed out- Emory and Darius have such an interesting relationship that would’ve been cool to analyze. I also would love a deeper look into the past of when Ruth played. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an early copy in exchange for an honest review!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dominic Carlin

    I did not start following Seth Partnow for his literature recommendations. No, I followed him because he was doing interesting things with data in sport and that's just something I'm fascinated by. But when I saw him recommend a fiction novel? And I saw that fiction novel was classed as chick lit on Goodreads? And that it was set around sports? Boy was I in! It was actually great too. I was hoping for a little more sports drama, a little more romance, so one star deducted. But still. Good book. I did not start following Seth Partnow for his literature recommendations. No, I followed him because he was doing interesting things with data in sport and that's just something I'm fascinated by. But when I saw him recommend a fiction novel? And I saw that fiction novel was classed as chick lit on Goodreads? And that it was set around sports? Boy was I in! It was actually great too. I was hoping for a little more sports drama, a little more romance, so one star deducted. But still. Good book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    HQ

    pretty good book but sometimes it was impossible to separate the characters from who they were inspired by

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lance

    Full review to come

  21. 4 out of 5

    Letitia Asare

    Thank you @netgalley and @blackstonepublishing for the advanced copy to read and review. I never liked the idea that sports belong to men or that women can only enjoy sports superficially, so as a passionate NBA fan this was such a treat. Follow my Book Instagram for more reviews and recommendations https://www.instagram.com/bookshelfbyla/ ‘The Second Season’ is a great for those who love strong women characters, honest conversations around motherhood and being a women navigating careers in male Thank you @netgalley and @blackstonepublishing for the advanced copy to read and review. I never liked the idea that sports belong to men or that women can only enjoy sports superficially, so as a passionate NBA fan this was such a treat. Follow my Book Instagram for more reviews and recommendations https://www.instagram.com/bookshelfbyla/ ‘The Second Season’ is a great for those who love strong women characters, honest conversations around motherhood and being a women navigating careers in male dominated fields. Ruth (inspired by the legend Doris Burke 🐐) starred for Georgetown Basketball until she had a career- ending knee injury. She married her coach and pivoted to a new career as a basketball commentator and sideline reporter. Fast forward two decades, Ruth and her now-ex-husband Lester, are two of the most famous names in sports media. The book mainly takes place during the NBA Finals where Ruth is faced with battling motherhood and her ambition to become the first woman to call NBA games on national television. I loved how you are transported into the world of basketball and it was so fun to see the comparisons and inspirations to real life players, coaches and celebrities (Hi Drake). Ruth is honest, ambitious and strong-willed which I admired. She is also beloved by the players and respected among true fans. She is honest in her admission of how basketball and her career are her number one priority but she reflects and shows remorse at some of her shortcomings as a mother. I appreciated the dialogue and transparency Ruth had with herself and her commitment to fiercely fighting for her ambitions. The discussions around the price of female ambition was honest and I loved the plot around the players as well. “That Ruth is a woman who understands basketball should not be remarkable, basketball is a sport that women understand” There were a lot of basketball plays and depictions shown in the book but even if you have never watched a single game in your life, you will still be able to follow. Overall, loved the story and looking forward to reading more by Emily.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jessica - How Jessica Reads

    This was fascinating!! As someone who doesn’t know much about the NBA, I was still completely invested by Ruth’s dilemmas. Full review coming for Shelf Awareness.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jillian Smith

    It was refreshing to read about a strong, female character - not in some dystopian future or on a made-up planet - but living in the here-and-now, who wrestles with daily challenges like motherhood, complex relationships, body image and a career in a field with few other women in it. I, myself, know and understand little about basketball. But from the first sentence, I was drawn in and captivated by Adrian's storytelling, which reminded me at times of Elizabeth Strout's novel, Olive Kitteridge. It was refreshing to read about a strong, female character - not in some dystopian future or on a made-up planet - but living in the here-and-now, who wrestles with daily challenges like motherhood, complex relationships, body image and a career in a field with few other women in it. I, myself, know and understand little about basketball. But from the first sentence, I was drawn in and captivated by Adrian's storytelling, which reminded me at times of Elizabeth Strout's novel, Olive Kitteridge. I would highly recommend this read to anyone who loves a raw and honest female lead, whether sports are your world or not. A huge thank-you to NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for the free eARC in exchange for my honest review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Faith Hurst-Bilinski

    I love sports and I love women in sports. Reading about a woman who trailblazes and the things she gives up for it should be right up my alley. I loved so many parts of it but it didn't quite resonate with me in others. You can be driven and not ignore those in your life. That's a choice. It is a choice some make, but it grated on me some that it was presented as the price of her fame. I love sports and I love women in sports. Reading about a woman who trailblazes and the things she gives up for it should be right up my alley. I loved so many parts of it but it didn't quite resonate with me in others. You can be driven and not ignore those in your life. That's a choice. It is a choice some make, but it grated on me some that it was presented as the price of her fame.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mandi

    The Second Season was a highly anticipated read for me. The synopsis had me anticipating a read that would both show how hard it is to be a woman in a male dominated profession as well as what sacrifices people make to achieve their dreams. The premise was there, but the delivery fell short for me. After the opening of the book, I already felt like I was missing something, that maybe there was a book I should have read first. The thoughts flowed similar to an internal dialogue, scatted but loose The Second Season was a highly anticipated read for me. The synopsis had me anticipating a read that would both show how hard it is to be a woman in a male dominated profession as well as what sacrifices people make to achieve their dreams. The premise was there, but the delivery fell short for me. After the opening of the book, I already felt like I was missing something, that maybe there was a book I should have read first. The thoughts flowed similar to an internal dialogue, scatted but loosely connected. As a reader you'd be emerged in what Ruth was feeling, what she was thinking and then without warning, you were reading about a post game interview. The jump between wasn't smooth as it could have been and I found myself going back a few sentences to make sure I hadn't missed anything. Big things happen to Ruth that are large parts of the story but in the end, you're left piecing what must have happened together and you know there are missing parts. I wanted to love this story and I like where the author was trying to take you, but this one wasn't for me. • • Thank you Edelweiss for my advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mary Beth

    Whether or not you are a basketball fan, you will love this book about the choices women have to make when balancing a demanding career with motherhood. Ruth Devon lives and breathes basketball. She played at Georgetown University, but was sidelined in her senior season with a major injury. She married one of her coaches (after he left the university), got pregnant with her daughter Ariana, and fell into a career calling games on the radio. Years later, Ruth has (almost) reached the pinnacle of h Whether or not you are a basketball fan, you will love this book about the choices women have to make when balancing a demanding career with motherhood. Ruth Devon lives and breathes basketball. She played at Georgetown University, but was sidelined in her senior season with a major injury. She married one of her coaches (after he left the university), got pregnant with her daughter Ariana, and fell into a career calling games on the radio. Years later, Ruth has (almost) reached the pinnacle of her career. She is a sideline reporter for NBA games, working with her ex-husband, who is a color commentator. She occasionally gets to call a game from the booth, and now that her ex-husband is retiring, she wants to get his job. Her daughter is almost grown and is pursuing a career in modeling after she graduates from high school. But there may be a spanner in the works of her plan to become the color commentator (or several spanners, really). She has to decide what is most important to her - her child? her significant other? her career? How can she balance all three? Will the network give her the job she so obviously deserves, or will she lose it to another former coach (like her ex-husband) because of prejudice and the assumption that no one wants to listen to a woman call an NBA game? Is she ready to "retire" and be a mom again, or does she put her career first once again? Ruth obviously is fantastic at her job, but she still feels inadequate because that keeps her from her child. Any woman will tell you that this is not a conversation men typically have with themselves; they rarely agonize over missing important milestones because of work. But women are expected to be both a mother and a career woman, not missing a beat in either role, which is, quite frankly, impossible. Or they are judged for not being a "good" mother or "good" employee for having to choose between the two. I loved this book because whether or not you agree with Ruth's choices, it makes you think about what you would do in her place (or what you have done in similar circumstances). It underscores how much family needs can derail the career of a woman, unless she has tremendous familial support (as Ruth does), and how women often must decide, family or career, while men are offered the opportunity of both because they have a partner willing to take up the slack. This is especially relevant right now, when scores of women had to leave the workforce to take care of children and oversee their virtual schooling during the pandemic. Thanks to Netgalley for the advance copy of this insightful book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Chloe (Always Booked)

    2.5 stars. Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book but this was definitely not the book for me. This book is about a woman named Ruth. She was a college basketball player and now she is a sideline reporter for the NBA (I guess-- although there were a lot of references to college basketball too). She has an ex husband who announces games and is also involved in the basketball world. She has a teenage daughter who models and is more unde 2.5 stars. Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book but this was definitely not the book for me. This book is about a woman named Ruth. She was a college basketball player and now she is a sideline reporter for the NBA (I guess-- although there were a lot of references to college basketball too). She has an ex husband who announces games and is also involved in the basketball world. She has a teenage daughter who models and is more understanding of her mom prioritizing basketball over her than I think would ever be realistic. She also has a young boyfriend that wants to marry her. Life is good for Ruth, but when her ex husband decides to retire, she wants the job and has to fight for it and know she likely won't get it because she's not a man. Of course this is a very male dominated field so she's at a disadvantage and we follow her as she tries to get the job. My complaints about this book are many, but lets start with the structure of the book. There are so many huge jumps that are left without explanation that I found myself rereading at times to see if I missed something. They aren't time jumps but just massive plot holes (like the back and forth between college basketball and NBA terms) that leave the reader confused as to what's going on. Her relationship with her daughter felt very unrealistic, but perhaps it was just under explained. There are huge elements of Ruth's life that are made to seem like nothing. The relationship with her boyfriend was also so under developed that at times I was like "wait, who's that?" despite the fact that major plot points involve him. There's also a lot of focus on 2 players that felt really unnecessary. While this book set out to challenge gender roles and inequality in the workplace, I think it also made some harmful comments about women who do enjoy sports. It almost set up a class system where if you weren't able to recite every fact about sports history than you were one of "those" women. Finally, I think the message about fertility is really offensive in this book and thats a surefire way to get me to dislike a book. I wouldn't recommend this. SPOILERS AHEAD: 40 something Ruth gets pregnant despite all odds and then can't decide if she wants to keep the baby. In the end we don't really know what she did as its all just implications. She does get the job but I never cared.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Zieger

    I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The Second Season by Emily Adrian is about a woman,Ruth, who is a sports announcer of sorts (please forgive me because some of this is a bit confusing to me as I don’t follow sports in the least). Her and her ex husband both report on basketball games. He had a higher job and is planning on stepping away and she wants his job, but there is a larger picture to this. She is a mother and has a lot to question about what more time I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The Second Season by Emily Adrian is about a woman,Ruth, who is a sports announcer of sorts (please forgive me because some of this is a bit confusing to me as I don’t follow sports in the least). Her and her ex husband both report on basketball games. He had a higher job and is planning on stepping away and she wants his job, but there is a larger picture to this. She is a mother and has a lot to question about what more time away and a jump in her career will do to her future, both positively and negatively. I really liked how this book showed how difficult it is to be a woman in a field dominated by men and how expectations for women, especially women who are mothers are so different than what is expected of men who are fathers. There are some uncomfortable situations brought up about choices on pregnancy and motherhood that I think some people would take issue with, but I do truly respect the way this story was handled in Ruth’s case to illuminate her struggles with dealing with who she is and what she ultimately wants. For someone like me who doesn’t love sports or know much about them, I felt like the parts that were heavy into the basketball games were a bit hard to follow and didn’t fully hold my interest. I felt like you almost needed to have some knowledge of interest in sports to really enjoy this book all the way. I thought the story was good, but I really wanted it to get more personal with Ruth’s life outside of basketball. I wanted more about her relationship with her boyfriend and her daughter and there were times that the lack of this made it hard to truly connect with Ruth’s character.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Poptart19 (ren)

    4 stars A meaningful story of a woman carving out a career in a male-dominated sphere (sports reporting), the joys & sacrifices she’s had along the way. I cared a lot about Ruth & was able to invest in her as a character. [What I liked:] •I appreciate the candor with which this book discusses aging female bodies, fertility, & sexism. All of which are addressed from several angles, with no neat, trite answers. •Ruth is a very engaging character, & her goals & the stakes are clear early on. I was 4 stars A meaningful story of a woman carving out a career in a male-dominated sphere (sports reporting), the joys & sacrifices she’s had along the way. I cared a lot about Ruth & was able to invest in her as a character. [What I liked:] •I appreciate the candor with which this book discusses aging female bodies, fertility, & sexism. All of which are addressed from several angles, with no neat, trite answers. •Ruth is a very engaging character, & her goals & the stakes are clear early on. I was very invested in her career success, her longing for meaningful relationships, & her drive to work hard & do well. At the heart, this is a story about basketball, & Ruth is clearly passionate about the game. •I enjoyed the narrative around the unfolding NBA semi-finals & finals, including the Emery & Darius rivalry & the underdog team. It wasn’t just an emotionally rewarding backdrop to the story but helped me understand Ruth better through her reporting, & her rapport with the players & coaches. •I appreciate how Lester is a well-rounded character. Yes, he is sometimes a huge jerk, but sometimes he’s not. His relationship with Ruth was nuanced & real. Ruth knows they’re better off divorced, but they still care about one another. It would have been easy to make Lester a one-dimensional villain, so I appreciate the complexity. [What I didn’t like as much:] •The epilogue left me hazy on a few things. First, do Joel & Ruth stay together? Second, why did Ruth make that decision about her pregnancy—job reasons? Because of Joel? That was very unclear. CW: sexism, miscarriage [I received an ARC ebook copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Thank you for the book!]

  30. 4 out of 5

    ReadingTilTheBreakOfDawn

    The Second Season is a book that will both awaken and empower women. It asks the questions we always seem to have to ask ourselves as women. Career or family? Love or career? And why is it always the women that have to give something up? This was just my type of book. I'm a huge basketball fan and to see a woman in the trenches and succeeding in the male dominated field of basketball broadcasting, this was a pleasure to really dive into. Emily Adrian wrote with such a strong voice for our main ch The Second Season is a book that will both awaken and empower women. It asks the questions we always seem to have to ask ourselves as women. Career or family? Love or career? And why is it always the women that have to give something up? This was just my type of book. I'm a huge basketball fan and to see a woman in the trenches and succeeding in the male dominated field of basketball broadcasting, this was a pleasure to really dive into. Emily Adrian wrote with such a strong voice for our main character, Ruth Devon. She is 42 and still wants the world. She is successful and knows her basketball and the players. She is the woman's voice in the sport that has been dominated by men. I liked that we got a woman's perspective and to see her relationships and how they were affected with the decisions she made concerning her family and career. I was right there with her interviewing players and questioning if I made the right decisions in the past for my child and career. Just when she is on the brink of changing her future, something else throws a kink into her plans. This book was a quick read that took me a little bit to read. It's fast paced but the characters and the story are well developed and easy to relate to. I loved seeing a powerful woman in a "man's world" and succeeding. Give me more women in sports and doing it well, please.

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