Friday, May 3, 2013

Book Review: Game. Set. Match. by Jennifer Iacopelli

SUMMARY: Nestled along the North Carolina coast, the Outer Banks Tennis Academy is the world's most elite training facility. In this pressure-cooker environment, futures are forged in blood and sweat, and dreams are shattered in an instant.

Penny Harrison, a rising female star, is determined to win the French Open and beat her archrival, Zina Lutrova. But when her coach imports British bad boy Alex Russell as her new training partner, will Penny be able to keep her laser-like focus?

Tennis is all Jasmine Randazzo has ever known. The daughter of two Grand Slam champions, she's hell-bent on extending her family’s legacy and writing her own happily-ever-after...until her chosen Prince Charming gives her the just-friends speech right before the biggest junior tournament of the year, the Outer Banks Classic.

With a powerful serve and killer forehand, newcomer Indiana Gaffney is turning heads. She’s thrilled by all of the attention, especially from Jack Harrison, Penny’s agent and hot older brother, except he keeps backing off every time things start heating up.

With so much at stake, dreams—and hearts—are bound to break. Welcome to OBX: Where LOVE is a four-letter word, on and off the court.

OPINION: Game. Set. Match. is a cute, fun read with great tension. I loved the interplay between the characters, both as people and as competitors, along with their own personal issues to work through. Though the ending was too abrupt for my tastes, this is still a book with plenty of appeal to both tennis lovers and general readers.

Indiana was my favorite character of the three, a girl with plenty in her past to keep her down but who is determined, now, to be the best. With her mother now dead from cancer, and a father who is beyond absent, the only person to encourage and push her is herself, and she stands up to the challenge beautifully. She’s the kind of girl who keeps her head down less out of weakness and more because overall, she has her mind in the right places. She’s not impervious, though, and certainly gets rattled in some respects, but there’s still this great strength to her that I totally admired.

Then there’s Jasmine, a girl who can easily be called selfish at the start, but who goes through some great growth and change. She has some hard realizations to come to, and I think she handles them perfectly for her character. She’s the kind of character you don’t like so much to start, but come to love by the end. Finally there’s Penny, who I liked overall, though I admit, in regards to things with Alex, I had a hard time stomaching everything that played out there. They aren’t my favorite couple, but with sequels in the works, I’m hopeful for some redemption on that front.

The overall story of this one is great, though a little too bogged down at times in technical details for my tastes, there is still a palpable air of desire and competition in regards to the tennis stuff. The tension both on the court and off is carried throughout the book in a strong way, and it wasn’t always easy to figure out which girl to root for in a match. The ending happens pretty abruptly, leaving me without a strong sense of closure, and though I would’ve liked a bit more before this installment ended, I’m definitely intrigued and on board for more.

1 comment:

  1. As an ex tennis pro, this book sounds very interesting. thank you for sharing