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Game Plan

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  28 reviews
"Poignant, well-paced and compassionate, Game Plan is an achingly real look at how two families cope when life doesn't go as planned." — Tish Cohen, bestselling author of The Truth About Delilah Blue and Inside Out Girl.

Just because the play goes wrong, doesn't mean you quit the game.

Ella Parker seems to have everything: great friends, an awesome family and a star positio
Paperback, 362 pages
Published November 19th 2013 by Fierce Ink Press Co-Op Ltd. (first published November 17th 2013)
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Average rating 4.14  · 
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Nov 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Teenage pregnancies and adoption at times may be considered controversial but in Natalie Corbett Sampson handles them beautifully in her debut novel, Game Plan.

Seventeen year old Ella Parker has a plan – to get a basketball scholarship to college. And she’s on track to get there too. There are scouts coming to her games and she’s never been in better form. But then she meets Sam Cleveland. He’s gorgeous and the first boy to ever take an interest in her. Will one drunken accident change every pla
Lee (Rally the Readers)
Also posted on Rally the Readers.

* A copy was provided for review for a blog tour.

If you’ve happened to read reviews for some of my less than successful attempts at reading realistic fiction, you might recall that the contemporary genre has to work rather hard to command my reading attention. Game Plan caught my eye because of the opportunity to view its narrative from two perspectives—that of Ella, a pregnant teenager, and Katherine and Danny, a childless couple hoping to adopt. I thought it wo
Sep 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I loved this story.

If you wish to be immediately transported back to high school, including all of the angst, emotion, uncertainty, and joy that goes along with being a seventeen year old girl, then this book is an excellent choice for you.

If you have wished for the chance to fulfill your destiny and become a parent, give all that you can to a brand new living being who needs all the love and support you can give to him or her, then this book is also for you.

Within the initial chapters of the
May 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A basketball playbook is the metaphor for everything Ella and Katherine wish they had for their lives. Ella is a high-school student who craves security and predictability. Katherine is a married professional woman who has faced the heartbreak of infertility for 5 years. Ella's unplanned pregnancy causes their stories to intertwine as the two women face the unknown in their lives.

Author Natalie Corbett Sampson portrays the two main characters well, along with many of the characters who have supp
Natalie Sampson
May 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Yes, I gave my own book five stars. Because I love it. If I didn't love it, it would be hard to put it out there and ask others to read it too.

My favourite part of this book is the relationships between the characters, my favourite parts to write and to reread are the scenes between two or three of the characters when they are quiet together, chatting, playing ball, studying. I love the idea of comfortable silence.

This book is filled with the emotions drawn from the adoption of my littlest (who
Alison DeLory
Dec 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
The issue of teen pregnancy in current times is addressed so believably in this fine book. For a middle-class girl still in high school, it has widespread consequences that threaten her reputation and her future. The characterization of teen boys and girls seemed very real and honest. The parallel story of the couple considering adoption points the reader to what seems like it could be an obvious solution to both dilemmas, but of course the process of giving up/adopting a child is an emotional a ...more
Christine Wall
Feb 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Game Plan shines a bright light on complex, emotional issues like infertility, teenage pregnancy and adoption. Natalie Corbett Sampson introduces us to two strong and very likeable main characters: Ella and Katherine. Their journeys were beautifully narrated and I went along for the ride; feeling emotionally spent when it was all done and left wanting more. There was so much love in this book from the support that Ella’s family showed to the tender relationship between Katherine and Danny that I ...more
Dec 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic slice-of-life that pulls you in from the first page. This is the kind of book they stays with you and has you thinking about the characters long after the last page.
Nov 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ella had everything going for her that a teenage girl could possible want, great family, friends and being a star basketball player. But, with one desion your whole life can change in a blink. Can Ella get her life back on track, or will she lose it all forever? Not everything was in her play book, or goes according to the game plan.
Dan and Kat just wants one simple thing, to have a family of their very own. Can two different lives come together and each heal the others broken heart?
Ella a high
Nov 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Originally posted at Escape Through the Pages with a 4.5 star rating.

Game Plan by Natalie Corbett Sampson is an enthralling, emotional trek through a teen girls experience with an unplanned pregnancy and a couples desire for a child of their own. Through alternating narratives, Ella’s and Katherine and Danny’s lives slowly converge to a heartbreaking but heartwarming conclusion.

In the beginning, I was worried I’d have flashbacks to the movie Juno while reading this book, but that is definitely n
Susan Corbett
Dec 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the book Game Plan. The first chapter where the characters, setting, etc were being introduced was a bit long but as soon as the novel got into the plots, it moved well.

I enjoyed the diverse characters. They were developed well and this is why they seemed real. They seemed like folks who could live next door to you. I loved the realstionships that existed between some of the characters. At one minute I would be laughing at something said between two characters and angry at comm
Sharon Burnett
Aug 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved this was slow at the beginning but then totally captured me so much that I couldn't put it down.
I loved the relationships and how they developed.
It portrayed the dilemma faced by this young girl and also by the
couple who were trying to adopt a baby in a very captivating and also a very understanding way .
Both perspectives were developed in a way that made me feel the strong emotions that they were going through and it felt so real that it almost didn't feel like fiction.
A job
Janet Cameron
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadian, blue, young-uns
Beautifully told story of a strong young woman with a very difficult choice to make. The pacing is perfect, drawing you into the characters' lives, and I loved the scenes where the kids are just hanging out or playing basketball together. (That's saying a lot as I tend to avoid anything sports-related.) But the real strength of this novel is the characters and the author's respect for them. Ella is someone who will stay with me for a long time. Great book, for all ages and not just teenagers. ...more
Angela Misri
May 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wow, I finished Game Plan in one evening - started right after supper and literally couldn't put it down. Great characters, amazing insight into the teenage world we all kind of remember but kind of wish we didn't and a very sweet but realistic ending. Also, really liked the movement back and forth between the two protagonists - very smooth - I want to try writing in that style someday! ...more
Carol Moreira
Jul 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
An emotional novel that cleverly blends the storylines of an accidentally pregnant teen and a couple longing for a child. Believable characters and relationships immerse the reader in the characters' lives and problems. It is probably impossible to read this book without shedding tears. ...more
Amanda Hecht
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I stayed up late to finish this story. A moving story about 2 women, one who decides to adopt a child, and one who decides to give a child for adoption. I liked the complexity of the event, viewed from 2 sides. Very compelling!
Feb 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
The characters and the dialog were great. The story was well constructed and interesting. I enjoyed the two perspectives and felt I could relate to both. I find myself wondering how the story would continue to play out in the future for these characters.
Natalie Joan
Oct 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Yes I did read it in a day. Couldn't stop. Excellent. May have cried a little. (May have cried a lot.)
Whether you are deadline with infertility, adoption, or unplanned pregnancy, or just want to understand the struggles of those who are, this is an excellent read.
Jul 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ella and Katherine's journey is an emotional rollercoaster fully of laughs, tears for sure, anxiety, and relief.

This is a story that makes you appreciate all of the good things, the mistakes, and the little bits of fate that make us who we are.

A must read.
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was a page turner, I could not put it down. It was so well written that there were times I got caught up in the emotions the characters were feeling. I read this book in like 24 hours because I just could not put it down. Can't wait to read her other book. ...more
Marlo Lawrence
Great book! I couldn't put it down. I got so involved in the lives of these characters. Very interesting to see the different sides of such a difficult decision. Enjoy! ...more
Jun 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
A gently told story that's really a love letter to life and love itself. A great read for teens. ...more
Hazel Rook
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story, the characters were real and interesting. Don't read in a public place if you don't want to cry! ...more
Annabelle Heath
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m not the biggest fan of contemporary fiction, but I went through a phase at Uni where I read every single ‘teenage pregnancy’ novel I could get my hands on. I was writing a story centred around a pregnant teenager at the time, so it was required reading for my course. Since then, any books featuring pregnant teens have a sort of nostalgic feel to me, making me inclined to like them despite my general lack of interest in contemporary YA.

Of course, my comprehensive knowledge of YA pregnancy fic
Susan Barton
Ella Parker is a popular teen, with plenty of friends and activities to occupy her time. She’s been a tomboy most of her life and enjoys playing sports. The one thing Ella would like to add to her otherwise happy life is a boyfriend. When she begins dating Sam, things change quickly and Ella finds herself in a difficult position.

This is a quick and interesting read. I enjoyed the way the author handled the teen pregnancy aspect of Game Plan – it truly comes across as genuine and sincere. The boo
Sep 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Natalie Corbett Sampson did a wonderful job telling the story of a young girl left with a very tough decision. Her ability to show both sides of an adoption story really made me understand, and feel, all of the complexities and emotions involved in such a difficult situation. Seeing from the adoptive parent's side that "her joy was born form someone else's pain" is a great example.

The support from family and friends that Ella received was so inspiring. My favourite line was from Charlie : "the
Paula Montgomery
Apr 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wow - Game Plan took me back to high school and all the memories of "where will we go after high school". The author also took me down a road to make me appreciate all the women who have given babies up for adoption. I must say I cried a few tears for both women in the story! Once Ells opened her eyes about Sam she did the right thing! Once you pick this up you won't be able to put it down!!! ...more
Camille Bryan
rated it it was amazing
Mar 19, 2014
rated it liked it
May 01, 2014
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