A few weeks ago, I got something awesome in the mail: Joss's book series! Today, the books finally released to the public, so here's my first post all about Joss and her first book!
Full Name: Jocelyn Elizabeth Kendrick
Who she is: An athletic girl who's always looking for new ways to soar
Where she lives: Huntington Beach, California
Favorite activities: Surfing, cheerleading and skateboarding
Best friends: Her 'Surf Sister' Sofia and Brooklyn, a girl on her cheer team
Siblings: Two older brothers, Dylan (14) and Liam (18)
Fun fact: She was born deaf in her left ear and uses a hearing aid on her right
What changes her life: Being dared to join the cheerleading team by her brother
What she discovers: Nothing can stop you from accomplishing your dreams
Great news, guys... THE ILLUSTRATIONS ARE BACK! Here's Joss's friends and family:
Sofia Goto: Joss's best friend who also enjoys surfing and skateboarding. She likes making art out of beach litter.
Mr. Kendrick: Joss's dad, who enjoys woodworking.
Mrs. Kendrick: Joss's mom, who is also a surfer.
Brooklyn Tillerman: A cheerleader at Joss's gym who she befriends.
Mila: A cheerleader at Joss's gym who judges her for being a 'surfer girl' at first, but learns to accept her.
Cassie: A girl on Joss's cheer team.
Lily: A girl on Joss's cheer team.
Murph: Joss's English bulldog, who was taught to surf and skateboard by Sofia.
Dylan: Joss's 14 year old brother who likes surfing, photography and filmmaking.
Nico: Dylan's surfer friend.
Liam; Joss's 18 year old brother who drives a Volkswagen van and works at Sofia's mom's store.
Reina: Nico's brother and Liam's girlfriend, who is also a cheerleader.
Coach Kara: Joss's cheerleading coach.
Tina Hart (not related to Anna Hart): Joss's surfing idol who organizes a video contest with the prize of surfing with her. Her motto is "Be all in, 100%", which reminds me of another motto from an anime I watch...
Mrs. Goto: Sofia's mom, who runs a surf store.
Harper: Sofia's friend from school
Now, I'm going to recap the books for you guys with the godly ILLUSTRATIONS!
SPOILERS START HERE!
We're starting at Book 1:
For reference, here's the summary (Even though it didn't do the book justice): "When the surf's up, she pops out her hearing aid, hops on her board and paddles out to the lineup. Joss is stoked to enter a surfing video contest with her friend Sofia and Murph, the surfing bulldog. If she can master a killer aerial like the frontside air and get her brother Dylan to catch it on video, maybe she'd even have a shot at winning. But Dylan throws her a curve: he dares her to try out for the cheer team. No way--Joss can't see herself as a cheerleader ... She's 100% surfer girl, and Dylan knows it! Still, if she takes him up on his dare, then maybe he'll help her with the video. It's worth a try, right?"
The book begins with Joss and Sofia surfing together, having fun. They then find out about a surfing video competition where the prize is to meet pro surfer Tina Hart, get a board signed by her, and surf with her. Joss, being a big fan of Tina, is estatic and wants to enter with Sofia.
After surfing some more and playing around with Murph, Joss and Sofia realize that their phones aren't good enough to record a video of Joss surfing for the contest- especially not enough to capture the frontside air Tina did at the age of 10 that Joss wants to copy.
At first, they ask Dylan if he can film the video of Joss surfing. Dylan refuses at first, since he and his buddy Nico are already joining the competition. But once Joss and Sofia go to her mom's SoCal Board Shop and run into Liam, Dylan and Reina, Reina suggests that Joss tries out for cheer, since she's a cheerleader too. At first, Joss refuses the idea, but Dylan then says that if Joss tries out for cheer, he'll film the video. Reluctantly, Joss agrees.
Joss attends a cheer practice in preparation for tryouts, but isn't that happy about it. (She sends Sofia a text telling her "if you don't hear from me in two hours, I was abducted by cheerleaders." Thanks, Joss, you gave me another line to use in case of a popular girl bully attack.) She notices Brooklyn, another girl from school, and a girl in the next grade over named Mila, who questions the fact that Joss is there, calling her things like "surfer girl". Joss can't really hear anything at first since the girls don't really put the fact that she's deaf into account when they talk to her, but she's then forced to tell the other girls all about that stuff, even though she's clearly annoyed. (I cried during this part, to be honest. I've had to explain my diabetes too many times to others, and I totally felt Joss's pain.) After getting everything straightened out, Joss soon learns the dance for tryouts, does a front walkover (but not a back) and realizes that she kinda likes the trampoline at the gym since she can practice surf moves on there, but still feels like she's not that into cheer.
Joss spends the rest of the few days before tryouts practicing her moves so she can get everything over with, even letting Sofia do the cheer dance with her in the sand. Finally, the day of the tryouts comes, and Joss auditions with everything she has, even though she's just seemingly doing this to win the bet with her brother. Once she gets the results, Joss makes it onto the junior team. She's thrilled since this means she won the bet, so she drafts an email to Coach Kara and explains that she won't be joining the team. Something's holding her back from hitting send, though, so she ignores the email and goes to the beach. Joss then realizes that if she tries cheerleading out, the skills she learns there might make her a better surfer and might help her learn the frontside air in time to win the video competition. She edits the email to one saying "I can't wait to join the team!" and sends it.
At the first practice, Joss is still judged by Mila for being a surfer, she still fumbles on the back walkover, and Joss is caught doing a surfing move on the trampoline. But one person's not that happy about all this cheer stuff... Sofia.
You see, Joss and Sofia wear these matching friendship 'Surf Sister' bracelets all the time and never take them off. But for practice, Joss had to take the bracelet off... and didn't put it back on when she came back to the beach. In addition, cheerleading is three days a week, so Sofia is like "YOU BETTER QUIT AS SOON AS YOU LEARN THE FRONTSIDE AIR." But they still are able to hang out at the dog beach together with Murph surfboarding (who they figured out would be in the video at this point) and Sofia working on her beach art for the video. It hasn't gotten that bad, yet...
At the next practice, Joss is goofing off doing surfer stuff on the trampoline again when she face-plants and her hearing aid falls off. It takes a search from all the girls on the team to get it back, but Mila is annoyed upon hearing that Joss was doing surfing stuff in the cheer gym. Joss snaps at her, yelling that she likes surfing better than cheer... but then feels really bad that she said that, considering she is starting to like cheer a bit.
But Sofia then finds out that Joss is going to cheer an extra day a week for extra practice, and she gets really mad, since that day was usually the day they surfed together. She snaps at Joss, asking her to drop the frontside air from the video so the cheer stuff can be over with.
It seems as if cheer is the only place where everything's going right, and Joss is having fun there, realizing it's not that bad. She practices a bit with Mila on her back walkover, and ends up inventing a new jump of her own. Mila records it, and Brooklyn cheers her on as she jumps around with her new yellow headband protecting her hearing aid from falling off.
As Sofia gets more and more annoyed, Liam comes in his van and comes to take Joss out to the beach so she can do the frontside air. She tells him, "if I learn the trick by the time we film the video, I can stay in cheer." It sounds awkward to her, since she's been denying her newfound love of cheer, so she corrects herself to "hopefully get to do it in the video."
After she almost attempts to do the move at the beach, the next day, Sofia and her friend Harper are watching a stopmotion video she made with her beach art. Joss is confused that Sofia didn't show it to her first, but Sofia says that she was surfing when she made the video... and then notices Joss's bracelet is off AGAIN. As Joss tries to defend herself, Sofia tells Joss that she's "not really a surfer girl anymore."
Once she goes to surf the frontside air for real, Joss almost succeeds... but falls down.
Dylan laughs, Sofia writes "Time To Quit Cheer" in the sand.
But Joss isn't giving up yet. She almost does it... but then accidentally steals Nico's wave, colliding with him and spraining his ankle.
Dylan gets mad, and calls Joss a "snake" for doing that... the word for stealing someone's wave on purpose. Sofia feels like they should give up on the video since Joss failed and she only cares about the frontside air, and tells her that she's done with it. And Joss doesn't even have a single video clip without her... she feels alone. Lost.
At first, Joss doesn't understand it... sure, she's a surfer, but she's a cheerleader, too... and she's passionate about both. She then realizes she isn't 100% surfer anymore... and gives up.
But then Liam tells her that she can be both a surfer and a cheerleader, since having different interests doesn't mean you're defined by one thing. "You can do and be more than one thing. That's what makes you you." She then uses this to reconcile with Sofia, apologizing about not really caring about anything else but the frontside air. They then team up with Dylan to finish the video before the deadline.
At the beach the day before the deadline, Joss lets out her cheerleading jump before attempting the frontside air. She then films more videos of her surfing and cheering, and soon enough, they're done.
At the beach cleanup where the results were going to be announced, Joss learns that her video won. As she surfs with her idol, Tina Hart tells her that she thought her mixing up cheer and surfing was cool... after all, Tina is also a dancer, which Joss didn't know. Joss then happily surfs with her friends, thus ending the book.