Wednesday, May 1, 2013

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

Title: Game. Set. Match. (Outbanks Tennis Academy #1)
Author: Jennifer Iacopelli
Genre: Contemporary New Adult, Romance, Sports

Goodreads rating: 4.33 out of 5.00 (30+ ratings, pre-release)
Goodreads | Amazon

Nestled along the coastline of North Carolina, the Outer Banks Tennis Academy is the best elite tennis training facility in the world. Head Coach, Dominic Kingston has assembled some of the finest talent in the sport. From the game's biggest stars to athletes scraping and clawing to achieve their dreams, OBX is full of ego, drama and romance. Only the strong survive in this pressure cooker of competition, on and off the court.

Penny Harrison, the biggest rising star in tennis, is determined to win the French Open and beat her rival, the world’s number one player, Zina Lutrova. There’s just one problem, the only person who’s ever been able to shake her laser-like focus is her new training partner. Alex Russell, tennis’s resident bad boy, is at OBX recovering from a knee injury suffered after he crashed his motorcycle (with an Aussie supermodel on the back). He's hoping to regain his former place at the top of men’s tennis and Penny’s heart, while he’s at it.

Tennis is all Jasmine Randazzo has ever known. Her parents have seven Grand Slam championships between them and she’s desperate to live up to their legacy. Her best friend is Teddy Harrison, Penny’s twin brother, and that’s all they’ve ever been, friends. Then one stupid, alcohol-laced kiss makes everything super awkward just as she as she starts prepping for the biggest junior tournament of the year, the Outer Banks Classic.

The Classic is what draws Indiana Gaffney out of the hole she crawled into after her mom’s death. Even though she’s new to OBX, a win at the Classic is definitely possible. She has a big serve and killer forehand, but the rest of her game isn’t quite up to scratch and it doesn’t help that Jasmine Randazzo and her little minions are stuck-up bitches or that Jack Harrison, Penny’s agent and oldest brother, is too hot for words, not to mention way too old for her.

Who will rise? Who will fall? 

Told from rotating points of view, GAME. SET. MATCH. is a 'new adult' novel about three girls with one goal: to be the best tennis player in the world.

Review by Chantelle

Okay listen up people, what makes a perfect summer read... a cute romance, sport, great characters, and a bit of drama. Am I right?

Now, what does Game. Set. Match. have? Tennis (which, let's be honest, is the ultimate sport), THREE cute romances, even more great characters and a whole lot of drama. I'm telling you now, Jennifer Iacopelli pulls off this winning formula, and I for one, will be rereading this incredible, light, feel-good book every summer, especially during the Australian Open!! So I'm so happy to be celebrating the release of this book with a review as part of it's blog tour and book blitz. To check out other blogs who are also participating in this, click here.

I was quite excited when I heard about Game. Set. Match. because I absolutely love tennis (a Roger Federer fan for life), and I've never read any young adult books that have centred around it. Add to that, the fact that the characters are ELITE players who live in an academy to train, and I was basically drooling while counting down the days until I'd get my hands on it.

Game. Set. Match. effortlessly centres around the three perspectives of Indiana (Indy) Gaffney - the new girl to attend at the prestigious Outer Banks Tennis Academy, Penny Harrison - the world number one junior from OBX who is making her move up the woman's ranks, and Jasmine Randazzo - the girl from tennis royalty who is fighting hard to defend her spot at OBX. Each have refreshing and unique personalities, but all of them share a passion for tennis and Game. Set. Match. is about each girl's fight for glory on the court, and for love off the court. For fellow tennis lovers, this novel has multiple passages dedicated to the imagery of the perfect serve, the right strategies, the mental game and training drills; just aspects of tennis that I absolutely relished. The competition, the stakes and the ambition were all factors that captivated me from start to finish and thank goodness this is only the first of a series because I really need more!

Personally, my favourite character was Indy, probably because as the new girl, she was the underdog but my favourite romance was Penny's, which had the 'feels' I know you are all hunting for! That was the great thing about this novel, each character had different strengths, and together, they covered everything you'd want for a memorable summer read.

The only fault I noticed was that the plot was a little idealistic in favour of our main characters. Indy quit tennis for a few years before attending OBX but is still immediately one of their top players while Jasmine probably had the most convincing story line. Penny only just got out of the juniors but in the opening chapter, she beats the world number one.  She also has a top twenty ranked male player (Alex) for a hitting partner with whom she apparently trades long hard rallies. The cynical part of me couldn't really believe this since in reality, there is a HUGE gap in the quality of play between the male and female games, so the odds that Alex would think it beneficial to train with a female junior player in preparation for Roland Garros, in real life if he was in the least ambitious, would be close to none. However, these hiccups were incredibly easy to overlook in favour of adorable romances, fist-pumping victories and heart warming friendships which were really what I was after anyway.

Game. Set. Match. is a must-read for summer. And it's out now! Believe me, it is well worth the read! Now for the second novel... fingers crossed it will be released very, very soon.

Overall: 9/10
Plot: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 5/5


  1. Thanks for your review! This looked like a cute book to me, plus it's pretty neat to me that it is set in the OBX, which is where I used to go for a week every summer (it's only an hour from where I live in VA). Anyway, thanks again for your review!

    1. Wow that's so cool, I'd love to visit one day! I hope you like the GSM!

  2. All the reviews have been raving about this book. SO many have recommended it to me as well. I guess I'll need to read it :p

  3. I just finished reading this book and it's amazing! Nice surprise!