Game. Set. Match. by Jennifer Iocopelli
Outer Banks Tennis Academy #1
Published May 1st 2013 by Coliloquy, LLC
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 arch-rival, 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.
Review: Finally, my first read for the Debut Author Challenge 2013!
Game. Set. Match. was surprisingly hard to put down. I love tennis, so naturally the premise intrigued me enough to pick the book up. I’ve never actually read much sports-related books, despite my love for it and to my surprise, this book was very well written and completely sucked me in. This book is told in three different perspectives: Penny Harrison (golden girl of OBX), Jasmine Randazzo (child of tennis royalty) and Indiana “Indy” Gaffney (upcoming tennis prodigy).
One of the main things I liked about this book was how it was a good blend of tennis and an exploration of their lives. I find that even if I didn’t like or know anything about tennis, I’d still be able to understand and pick up all the different tennis terminologies used in the book. It wasn’t so tennis-heavy, such that each page was just tournament after tournament so it doesn’t get boring and when there is a tournament, it gets really exciting. The descriptions of the game throughout the book was lovely. I was able to imagine the game happening in my head and I really enjoyed that about the book.
Apart from all the tennis, a good portion of the book is dedicated to the relationships the characters have, with each other, their agent and all that comes with being a professional tennis player. We get to see how these three main characters’ lives intertwine with each other and how they cope with the pressure and even some locker room drama. And of course, the romance. We get not only one, but three different romantic links and we begin to see how things progress throughout the book. There wasn’t any insta-love, that happens quite frequently in YA books and for a book that has three romances going on, all three love lines were well written, well thought and well developed.
The one thing that bothered me about this book was Indy’s excessive use of the word friggin which made her look incredibly juvenile. I found that her description of her love interest was already so cheesy and her saying someone is friggin hot made me roll my eyes and laugh. I don’t know if this is supposed to be her “pet word” of sorts, but it seemed a little much and unnecessary, considering how Indy is actually already pretty cool.
I also found the ending a little bit cheesy but considering it is the first book in the series, it’s not too big of an issue. Overall, Game. Set. Match. was a very good read and I’m really looking forward to see how the series picks up.