Book review: The Academy, Game On by Monica Seles

Yes, that Monica Seles. The one who won nine Grand Slam titles in her tennis career. She’s written a book.

Well, she’s co written a book with a guy called James LaRosa, but his name is in tiny print inside, so you probably wouldn’t even notice.

The first in a series, Game On is set at a place called The Academy. Sixteen-year-old Maya has just managed to swing herself a tennis scholarship to the place, but things don’t start so well when she has a run in with The Academy’s owner Nails (yes, Nails), gets ignored by his gorgeous son Travis, and gets tricked into breaking and entering by the hottest tennis property around, Nicole.

Don’t go into Game On expecting a serious read, this is utterly ridiculous. I’m sure there are places kind of like this out there, and Seles herself went to a sports academy at the age of 13, but The Academy just seems completely unreal. From the initial description it’s like a small, really, really expensive town. It’s got villas for the rich students to live in, and shops like Versace on campus, not to mention the 52 tennis courts (although I’m sure there are less the second time they’re mentioned).

Maya is typically naive when she turns up at The Academy, but quickly makes friends with her roommate Cleo, a golfer. After some chance encounters, Maya finds her fortunes turning around – she’s suddenly dating Travis, has his father’s approval, is living with Nicole and her newfound celebrity status means she’s getting away with a whole lot.

I could see nearly every “twist” of Game On miles away, so I wasn’t reading it for the plot (which moved very, very fast at the end and ran back and forth over itself), and I wasn’t reading it for the reality, since Maya barely picks up a tennis racket unless she absolutely has to for much of the book – weird, considering she’s at an elite sports academy on a scholarship.

What I did read it for was the friendship between Maya and Cleo, and later with rich girl Renee, who, while a bit of a cliche, is still a lovely one, and for bad boy Jake.

While I’m not sure I’ll pick up the sequel Game On was a delightfully trashy read that I enjoyed spending time on.

How I got this book: Picked up from the publisher Bloomsbury.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Trish Hannon says:

    Was hoping there would be more tennis it in. But it has beach read written over it. Sometimes delightfully trash is all you need 🙂


  2. There was hardly any tennis, which was really disappointing. And also didn't work for the premise of the Academy. Still, it was trashy enough to be enjoyable!



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