Thursday, May 9, 2013

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: GAME. SET. MATCH. by Jennifer Iacopelli


 
Check out the full tour line-up here
GAME. SET. MATCH. by Jennifer Iacopelli
Series: Outerbanks Tennis Academy, Book #1
Published: May 1st, 2013
Publisher: Coliloquy
193 pages (eARC)
Genre: Contemporary New Adult/Sports
Acquired this book: From the author in exchange for an honest review
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Barnes & Noble}

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.
 
I’m going to be honest: I didn’t expect to like GAME. SET. MATCH. nearly as much as I did. I added it to my TBR list on GoodReads several months ago as an entry in a giveaway, and while I thought it sounded interesting, I didn’t give it much thought beyond that. When Jennifer Iacopelli herself contacted me and asked if I’d like to be part of her Street Team and help with the cover reveal and blog tour, I thought ‘What the heck? I like supporting authors, especially debut authors who need to get their names out there’. I’ve only read a couple of sports-related books, and since I’m personally not into sports, I wasn’t sure if GAME. SET. MATCH. would really do it for me. I’m thrilled to say I misjudged this book and that I loved it! 

GAME. SET. MATCH. is a well-written debut with dynamic characters, life lessons, friendship, sexual tension, and plenty of tennis-related action. We’re introduced in turn to the three main characters: Indy, Penny, and Jasmine, whose lives revolve around tennis. All three girls are very different; they have the same ultimate goal - to become the best tennis player possible - but their personalities, and how they go about reaching their goals is very different.
 
I always worry when there are so many points of view in a story, but Iacopelli did a fantastic job of giving each girl a distinctive voice and personality, while skillfully weaving their stories together. My favourite characters were Indy and Penny. I loved how determined Indy was, and how driven Penny was. I was happy to see them become friends, because they both really needed someone in their lives for support. I’ll admit that I hated Jasmine at first. She was the mean girl/queen bee type, but we quickly learned that it wasn’t necessarily that people really liked her, so much as they liked who she was: the daughter of famous tennis players. I began to sympathize with her when I realized the motivations behind her snarky attitude and that she was actually deeper than I first thought.

Iacopelli also did a great job with the romantic elements of the book. It was alternately sweet and sexy, and I liked all three guys: Jack (Penny’s oldest brother, and Indy’s love interest); Teddy (Penny’s other brother, and Jasmine’s love interest); and Alex (Penny’s love interest). They all had their ups and downs, and things didn’t come easy for any of the three couples, which I liked. I found myself rooting for each couple and enjoying their journeys and the sometimes-painful lessons they had to learn. My favourite boy was definitely Jack. He was confusing and gave Indy all kinds of mixed signals. He clearly liked her but was worried she was too young for him. It made him run hot (and I do mean hot!) and cold with her, which was frustrating, but I also loved the anticipation. I also really enjoyed the tension between Penny and Alex, and the unrequited love aspect of Jasmine’s interest in playboy Teddy. 

GAME. SET. MATCH. drew me in and kept me captivated from beginning to end. While the tennis aspects were over my head at first and I thought I might get tired of the sports theme, I ended up getting really invested in the girls’ successes and failures. This book is a perfect example of what the new adult genre should be - it has elements of sexiness to it, but it’s so much more than that. It’s about the bonds of friendship, family, love, and it has a really positive message about believing in yourself, going after your dreams, and never giving up. Iacopelli has written an incredibly strong debut, and I can’t wait to meet up with Indy, Penny, and Jasmine again and continue on with their stories.

*I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*
 
Jennifer Iacopelli was born in New York and has no plans to leave...ever. Growing up, she read everything she could get her hands on, but her favorite authors were Laura Ingalls Wilder, L.M. Montgomery and Frances Hodgson Burnett all of whom wrote about kick-ass girls before it was cool for girls to be kick-ass. She got a Bachelor's degree in Adolescence Education and English Literature quickly followed up by a Master's in Library Science, which lets her frolic all day with her books and computers, leaving plenty of time in the evenings to write and yell at the Yankees, Giants and her favorite tennis players through the TV.

Find Jennifer online: {Website || Twitter || Facebook}


Tour-wide Giveaway:



Have you read GAME. SET. MATCH.? Do you enjoy sports-related fiction?


2 comments:

  1. I added this one when I first heard about it, but like you, I was kinda wondering how I'd feel about it. I'm glad you liked it! So far I've dug all the YA/etc sports books I've read!

    All three love interests sound awesome! I have a soft spot for the name Alex, so I may end up swooning over him. I'm glad you thought the multiple POV's were done well! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've been looking for new adult books! This sounds good!

    ReplyDelete

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~Marie

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