Jenna's Reviews > Game Time

Game Time by Kate Christie
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it was amazing
bookshelves: athletes, female-protagonist, f-f-romance

When I reviewed the first book in the Girls of Summer series, Training Ground, I stated that you shouldn't read it until the second book came out due to the way the first one ended. Well, if you haven't done so already, it's time to buy and read both books.

I really enjoyed this one, and I'm not a soccer fan, or really even a sports fan. Okay, I like tennis and women's saber fencing (it's a long story), but my general sporting IQ is decidedly low. Fortunately, Christie's work in this series doesn't require a great deal of soccer knowledge--it'd help and be rewarded, but it's not necessary.

The story in the second novel takes place a decade after the events of the first, which, if I'm being honest, bothered me a bit when I first started. Given how sadly the first book ended, I really wanted to see that heartbreak resolved as quickly as possible. A decade of lost years unconsciously pining for one another wasn't really on my lesrom wishlist. And yet, I had a great time.

The author did an excellent job with her settings and research. Taking place in multiple locations, I felt certain upon finishing the book that she, herself, lived in Seattle and spent a great deal of time involved in professional women's soccer in some capacity. And that's saying something, because I lived in Seattle for most of my adult life--which, okay, is only like seven years, but still. My partner and I have had coffee in a shop she mentioned on Broadway and had a Valentine's Day picnic at a Park she described in Queen Anne. It's really gratifying when an author gets the little details right, and Kate Christie did that here.

The lead characters, now in the second halves of their twenties, still seem very much like their teenaged selves. There was personal growth and accumulated life experience, but the characters themselves felt largely the same. Maybe too much, after a decade? I don't know, and, frankly, it doesn't matter. I still liked them both, I liked their friends, I liked their teammates, and I liked the returning supporting characters. Worrying about anything else just feels like quibbling over details, so I'm not going to do it.

On an emotional front, the book had everything I needed. The relationship had time to find itself again and grow, nothing was rushed. More importantly, most of the tension in the book was derived from external sources rather than contrived problems or breakups between the two leads, which I found to be a huge relief. The life of a professional athlete is stressful enough, and that stress kept the pace moving and the outcome uncertain. It gave the story everything it needed without ever delving into melodrama. Thanks for that, Kate.

Kinda-sorta spoiler here: I will say that the romance only officially gets started at the veeeeeery end of the book, so don't expect torrid sex scenes. It takes Jamie and Emma a bit to rekindle their friendship, and quite awhile longer for them to admit they want more than that, but that felt right to me. This was very much a middle book, and it did exactly what it needed to do: it kept me invested and made me look forward to the next one.

4.5 stars, rounded up to 5. A nice read.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
August 23, 2016 – Shelved
August 23, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
October 2, 2016 – Shelved as: athletes
October 2, 2016 – Shelved as: female-protagonist
October 2, 2016 – Shelved as: f-f-romance

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Emanuele Perfect review, Jenna! *-*

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