'The Academy: Love Match' is the second book in Monica Seles's series about promising tennis player Maya, who finally seems to be getting her fair sha...more'The Academy: Love Match' is the second book in Monica Seles's series about promising tennis player Maya, who finally seems to be getting her fair share of the limelight. I enjoyed the first book last year and although I liked the fact that it combined sport with lashings of drama and gossip, I did wish that the tennis angle had been played up a bit more. I wanted to be given more details and insights into what it meant to be a full-time player trying to make it on the big on the professional circuit and the sacrifices that this entailed. Sadly, this wasn't remedied in 'Love Match' as I felt like I never really saw the blood, sweat and tears that Maya should have been putting in to achieve success. That aside, I still enjoyed the story and I found it a light, entertaining read which I finished in one evening.
At the end of the previous book, things were left in a bit of a mess between Maya and her boyfriend Jake and I was looking forward to seeing how this was going to be resolved. Their romance was however put on the back burner for most of the story and it wasn't until the very end that this thread seemed to be picked up again. There was a lot more Travis than Jake throughout which was a shame because I think Travis is definitely the more one-dimensional of the two brothers.
I love the friendship between Maya and her friends Cleo and Renee. They've really formed a strong bond and it was nice to see them helping each other out and supporting Cleo through a difficult situation. I imagine that the environment they're living in fosters intense competition between athletes but also provides them with a built-in support system because everyone understands what they are each going through.
Although a little light-weight on plot, I'm sure sports fans will lap this up. I still feel invested in Maya's story but I do hope that the next in the series will remedy some of the issues I had with 'Love Match'. I'd love to see Maya finally put some of the petty dramas behind her and really step up to the plate. I know she has it in her to do so. (less)
I really wanted to read this book because I'm a massive sports fan and there just aren't enough YA books out there set in the sporting world. Another...moreI really wanted to read this book because I'm a massive sports fan and there just aren't enough YA books out there set in the sporting world. Another plus was that 'The Academy: Game On' is written by tennis superstar Monica Seles, so I was expecting some interesting insights into what it takes to become a top notch tennis player.
At the start of the book Maya Hart arrives at the academy, where sporting greats are made. She faces stiff competition but is determined to succeed, as tennis is the only thing she's ever wanted to do. With access to top coaches and an amazing facility, she starts off as very single-minded but gradually finds her head turned by some of the new people she meets. There's her arch-rival Nicole, room mate Cleo and new friend Renee, along with hot brothers Jake and Travis who she develops a complicated relationship with.
Personally, I would have liked to have seen more of the tennis aspect of the story. Considering the fact that the plot is set in a sports academy, at times it felt like events could have been happening anywhere. I did feel like I gradually began to understand the cut-throat nature that the young people in the book have to develop to try and make it but I would have enjoyed seeing more of their struggles and less of the non-stop partying.
The book is predominantly about making friends, being popular and trying to fit in but also being true to yourself and who you are. These are all things that Maya has to learn throughout the course of the story as she has to learn to make her own decisions without her parents by her side.
I'm impressed with the efforts of Seles in her first YA offering but I hope that the next book in the series has a little more depth to it, as well as drawing more on her own experiences of being a professional tennis player. (less)
I really liked this book. It was part-travelogue, part-biography and part-sports book, following Lance Armstrong on his record breaking seventh tour w...moreI really liked this book. It was part-travelogue, part-biography and part-sports book, following Lance Armstrong on his record breaking seventh tour win. (less)