Monday, May 6, 2013

Review: Game On by Monica Seles and James LaRosa


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:

The Academy is the hottest international sports school for teen athletes. There are only two ways in: money – and lots of it – or enough talent to earn a scholarship.
Young tennis star Maya’s dreams have finally come true! She’s got the scholarship. She’s got the drive. She’s on her way from small town to pro career . . . But when Maya starts boarding at the sports training school, her fantasy of the Academy doesn’t quite match the reality – because where there are beautiful, talented teens, there’s plenty of drama.
Meet the players:
Nicole: a tennis star who feels threatened by Maya (although she’d never admit it).
Cleo: Maya’s rebel / punk room-mate who’s reaching the top of the golf world.
Renee: a super-rich, super-gorgeous swimmer.
Travis: the son of the Academy’s owner and perfectly groomed to be the next big star of the National Football League.
Jake: Travis’s younger brother – and the bad boy of the school.
A new commercial series in which hot young teens compete to be the next big sports star. Perfect for fans of Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars and Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls

MY TAKE:
I'm more of a basketball girl than a tennis girl but I had to give this one a try after seeing that it was written by Monica Seles.

In Game On, Maya has just started her scholarship at The Academy, a sports school known for making top athletes better. There, she befriends several other female athletes and a couple of boys too. When she starts getting noticed, will she realize who her true friends are?

The book is described as perfect for fans of Gossip Girl and Gallagher Girls. I'd definitely agree with that one. The friendships, luxury items, backstabbing, cheating and schemes certainly wouldn't be out of place in a mash-up of the two series.

I don't know of any schools dedicated to sports like this one is, so I enjoyed living vicariously through the students, especially when they were in posh settings or wearing expensive clothes. The plot twists were a bit unexpected, but if you always anticipate that things aren't always what they seem, you may be able to guess what happens next in the story.

I really hope that in the future books, the focus would shift to Cleo and Renee too, much like in the Gossip Girl novels. I liked Cleo and Renee more than Maya. At first, I was okay with Maya. I liked Cleo more but Maya was okay too. However, later on in the story, she did something despicable which, though some people may be okay with it especially in the context of a romance, is just unacceptable to me. After that, I didn't really like Maya and was actually even rooting against her at one point.

As for the love interests, neither Travis or Jake were really my type by the end of the story. If I had to choose one, though, I prefer Travis over Jake. I like hardworking, family-oriented guys over bad boys who act before thinking. Travis has his arrogant moments which isn't a turn-on, either, but Jake was too much of a gross jerk for me to like him.

Thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury Childrens for the e-ARC. Publication date of Game On is on June 6, 2013.

THE GOOD:

  1. It's like Gossip Girl but with young athletes.
  2. It's entertaining.
  3. It's a page-turner.

THE BAD:

  1. The love interests may be too arrogant/boring or too bad for your tastes.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
He'd created his own drive-in, for two.
READ IT IF:

  1. You're looking for a series similar to Gossip Girl.
  2. You like stories about student athletes.
  3. You like stories about the way the rich live.

RATING:
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