Thursday, May 9, 2013

REVIEW: GAME, SET, MATCH (Outerbanks Tennis Academy, #1) by Jennifer Iacopelli

Title: Game, Set, Match
Series: Outerbanks Tennis Academy, #1
Author: Jennifer Iacopelli
Publisher: Coliloquy
Publication Date: May 1, 2013
Genres: YA, Sports, Romance
Reviewed by: Books4Tomorrow
Source: Received from publisher for review
My star rating: 5/5


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.


Oh my gosh, I so didn’t want this book to end. I’ve been reading as much as I could every day, inching towards the finale, but hoping upon hope it would never end.


I think I’m in love with about three characters in this book…Alex…Jack…even Dom. Game, Set, Match oozes sexiness. I don’t know how the author managed it, but she wooed me with this amazing book and her superb writing. Even the girls were hot, okay? Is it possible to be in love with a book, cause I think I am.

OK, swoon session over. I loved this book from the first chapter and the more I was drawn into the story, the more I adored these characters. Penny is undoubtedly my favorite and I’m so happy things between her and bad boy Alex developed the way it did, but then it ended the way it ended, and I’m just so confused. Are they on or are they off? I guess I’ll have to wait for the next book. Indy is a great character and I liked her from the word go. She brings that positive, happy-go-lucky sort of vibe to the story. Jasmine took some getting used to, but even with her surliness I couldn’t help but like her, especially nearer towards the end. Honestly, I loved all the main characters. They grew throughout the story and I was incredibly sad to say goodbye to them at the end. I take comfort in the fact that this is only the first book in the series and I’ll soon meet up with them again.

The world building in this book is done beautifully. OBX didn’t feel like a fictional tennis academy from a book, but more like a place I’ve been to in real life. Plus, it’s right next to the ocean, so it was even easier for me to imagine being there with all these extraordinary characters. The story is simply fantastic. Filled with romance, drama, excitement and nailbiting suspense whenever a tennis match was in progress, Game, Set, Match kept me riveted to the edge of my seat. Lately I’m into sports novels and I’m not a big fan of romance. This novel has both, but the author effortlessly keeps both these elements balanced in such a way that tennis fans and romance junkies will enjoy this book to its fullest extent (I’m neither, but this book took my enjoyment level to new heights). Oh, and you don’t need to actually know the ins and outs of tennis to enjoy this story. I don’t know a thing about tennis, but the author keeps it simple and now I know a lot more about this game than I did before I read this book.

I can’t express enough how much I enjoyed this book. It’s definitely going on my favorites shelf. I loved absolutely everything about it, including the ending, and I can’t wait to read the next installment in this mindblowing series!  I enjoy books with strong, self-assured female protagonists and this novel reminded me of Georgetown Academy by Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwartz; another series with similar strong and self-assured female leads. Game, Set, Match is an absolute must-read!




Game, Set, Match by Jennifer Iacopelli has 54 reviews on Goodreads. Read it here.



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.


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