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SNAPPED by Alexa Martin


by Alexa Martin

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-593-10250-3
Publisher: Berkley

A woman examines her own life after landing her dream public relations job with a pro football team.

Elliot Reed is a biracial woman who knows working for the Denver Mustangs will be challenging, but she doesn’t expect to be thrust into the middle of a PR nightmare the first week of the season. Quinton Howard Junior, the team’s new Black quarterback, protests racism in football and society by taping over the league’s name on his uniform and taking a knee during the national anthem. The team’s owner tells Elliot that if she can’t convince Quinton to stop protesting, she’ll eventually lose her job. Elliot understands Quinton's reasoning, but she decides to use her PR skills to convince him to start his own foundation, hoping it will redirect his energy while placating the team’s owner. The romance is a late-stage and underdeveloped thread in the novel. Instead, the focus is on Elliot’s personal journeys: maintaining her female friendships, struggling to keep her job, dealing with her grief over her father’s death, and learning how racism works. After Elliot’s Black mother died when she was a baby, her White father “raised [her] with the mentality to be color-blind,” and she learns that racism is real from Quinton, his agent, and her White friends. Perhaps Martin’s intent is to teach White readers about racism in sports and in America, but unfortunately this means Elliot is characterized as someone who has spent her entire life ignoring the racial aggressions she has witnessed and experienced. She tells Quinton, “I try to ignore race, and what you’re doing is forcing me to examine things in a way I never have.” The book neuters Quinton's Colin Kaepernick–like protest, turning it into a cutesy romantic plot device instead of respecting it as a furious, full-throated repudiation of the real injustices faced by Black Americans.

A quarterback's fight for systemic change in football takes a back seat to his girlfriend's personal journey.