Monday, 24 June 2013

The Academy: Game On Review

The Academy: Game On (The Academy #1)
Author: Monica Seles and James LaRosa
Publication Date: June 6, 2013
Source: Bloomsbury UK



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.




So...this isn't my usual read, and because of it I wouldn't necessarily have bought The Academy: Game On, which is a shame, but I received a copy from Bloomsbury

It was a quick, light read that I started in-between books and honestly even though I wasn't in love with this book, it was hard to put down. Alright, it was really cheesy in some places, mainly with Travis, but I could deal with that.

Onto the characters, we have;

Maya- The main character, on scholarship, away from home, in a completely different world to her own, who also needed to grow a backbone for the first half of the book. Okay, I get it, it's a new experience but her brain really needed to be connected to her mouth. The Maya we got when it came to Travis, I'll gloss over that, especially since ***Spoiler*** (most of the book we were hearing how fantastically awesome Travis is and then she suddenly gets with Jake after one dinner with Travis, Jake, their father and Mand- Sorry Mindy.) Also, the whole changing-when-someone-takes-notice-and-drops-friends routine grated on me. Don't get me wrong, I liked Maya, though mainly the Maya we got towards the end who decided, yes, she did have a spine and grew a pair.

Travis- Maya's first interest and also the oldest son of the Academy's owner. For me Travis was a carbon copy in the making of his father, and that isn't a good thing. I liked him in the beginning, he was sweet, once he suddenly took notice of Maya, and hey, I'll even forgive him this lovely quote...

"Your hair," He said. "And your eyes. Were they always this blue?"

Apart from being over the top with Maya, and trying to impress his father so hard he needed to loosen up, he was likeable, or so he seemed likeable, but the Travis towards the end was a self-absorbed image holder who I guess didn't really care if he was in love with Maya or not, she was good for his image, and he was good for hers, it was all that mattered to him, and he became a right sly little slime ball, for partnering up with Nicole to break up Maya and Travis just because he didn't get the girl, and mainly just because he didn't get what he wanted.

Jake- Maya's second love interest and the younger brother of Travis. Hmm, Jake. I'm not sure what to say about Jake. He's the typical bad boy who's in and out of other peoples beds. The first scene where he met Maya, (who was in towel locked out of her room), he's sweet and goes and breaks the window to let her in, which is sweet, in a way, but then he goes and proposition's Maya as a thanks for breaking her back in? No, no, no Jake. I liked Jake and his funny quips and remarks, and we get a little hidden depth in scenes with his father, but the romance with Maya was too quick for me. Though I will say he was entertaining and a little bit of a jackass, but a sweet jackass. Until the end.

Nicole- The "It" girl who has everything, the clothes, the hair, the makeup, the personality of your textbook bitch, and also Maya's "idol". She's also an overzealous jealous paper doll, and by paper doll I mean, that's all she was, on paper. There wasn't much going on there until it was convenient for her to be there. And I didn't really get why she did what she did. Okay, I mean somebody else was getting attention other than her for a change and she goes [and partners up with Travis to take Maya down by taking that photo to hurt Jake, so he would sleep with her, and put Maya of her game. Just because she had some sort of competition.] I mean, really? For someone who's supposed to be as confident, egotistical, and famous and was written that way, competition shouldn't be her weakness. She was true to her role though, as the frenemy, and played it well.

Cleo- The roommate, who is also on scholarship, and pretty much the only character that saved this book. I was just sad we didn't get more of Cleo, she was funny, and witty, and though she was dealing with her own stuff, she was there for Maya.

And lastly;

Renee; The rich-enough-to-be-in-the-academy-without-any-actual-talent, Maya's friend. I didn't know what to think of her at first, from what we were told she was the schools friendly [slutty] character; I thought she'd be in league with Nicole, as her roommate. But she wasn't, she was friendly, and nice, the underestimated character, who wanted to prove herself to her friends, and her never there parents who sent her to the Academy because they didn't know what to do with her. She was a bit blank to be at times, a flyaway character that wasn't really needed, just a bridge gap to fill to get to Nicole, so I hope there's more of her in the second book.

Overall, even though it's not usual my usual read, and the characters need to grow a bit more, but I enjoyed it enough that I can't wait to see where the next book takes us.

The only problem I had with this book was that since the main character won a scholarship for tennis...there wasn't much tennis going on.


Rating: 3/5