Game On (The Academy Series #1)

Game On (The Academy Series #1)

4.4 8
by Monica Seles
     
 

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The Academy is an International Sports Mecca for teen athletes. There are only two ways in. Deep pockets or enough talent to score a scholarship.

Young tennis star Maya's dreams have finally come true when she earns a scholarship to The Academy. Plucked from her small town, Maya moves to the sports training facility/boarding school to (hopefully)

Overview

The Academy is an International Sports Mecca for teen athletes. There are only two ways in. Deep pockets or enough talent to score a scholarship.

Young tennis star Maya's dreams have finally come true when she earns a scholarship to The Academy. Plucked from her small town, Maya moves to the sports training facility/boarding school to (hopefully) start the beginning of her pro career. But Maya's fantasy of The Academy doesn't quite match the reality. Because where there are hot, talented teens, there's a lot of drama. Meet the players:

Nicole: A tennis star who feels threatened by Maya (but she'd never admit it).
Cleo: Maya's rebel/punk roommate who is nearing the top of the golf world.
Renee: The gorgeous swimmer with enough money to buy her way into The Academy.
Travis: The son of The Academy owner--perfectly groomed to be the next NFL star.
Jake: Travis' younger brother--the bad boy to his brother's good.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sherryn Craig
Tennis phenom Maya Hart has earned a coveted spot at the Academy, but it may be game, set, match before a single point is scored. Maya, sporting ratty sweats and a messy pony tail, is unaccustomed to the coiffed, toned, tanned bodies around her; she is out with the in-crowd. But all that changes when Maya is matched against her personal idol, Nicole King. Barely a blip on Nicole's radar, Maya is now a rising star and a topnotch target. Celebrity is not the only thing competing for Maya's attention. Besides Nicole, she has attracted the interest of Travis and Jake. The Academy is a game like no other—nothing is ever what it seems. To survive, Maya will need to get a grip and make her own rules. The Academy is the first book in a new young adult series dealing with contemporary issues—socioeconomic statuses, friendships, dating, sex and sexuality, underage drinking—that will resonate with a female audience. The plot is fast-paced and well structured, accompanied by escalating tension and lots of conflict. The book's setting and the culture of competitive, amateur and semi-professional, sports are a refreshing change for the genre. The characters' dialogue is well-executed, at times resembling a tennis match, replete with lobs and volleys in a fast paced, back-and-forth, give-and-take style. One element that betrays the characters' authenticity, though, is the pop culture references (e.g., comparing a shopping trip in Brazil to a scene in Pretty Woman). In addition to the Psycho shower scene and the "leather jacket/pack of cigs tucked under his T-shirt sleeve," the narrative's tone evokes a 1990s sensibility, not the new millennium. Equally incongruous is the description of chalk on blackboards. Classroom technology has moved past that. Given the authors' description of the Academy and the emphasis on state-of-the-art equipment, one would think a blackboard would have no place amidst such posh surroundings. Despite these minor flaws, the book serves up a light-hearted, entertaining read. Reviewer: Sherryn Craig
Publishers Weekly
Seles won nine Grand Slam titles before her 20th birthday, and she bases her first novel on her experience at an elite sports school. But this first book in the Academy series fails to deliver, most fundamentally by including disappointingly little about tennis. Instead, Seles and coauthor LaRosa serve up a lackluster melodrama about backstabbing rich kids. Maya Hart, a "sixteen-year-old have-not from central New York with absolutely no connections whatsoever," wins a scholarship to the Academy, "without question, the greatest sports training facility in the world." She immediately runs afoul of reigning school doyenne Nicole King, already a world-class tennis player, but catches the eye of star quarterback Travis Reed. Maya bunks with another scholarship student, a conflicted Chinese golfer, until a makeover from a rich classmate reveals Maya's stunning beauty and new doors open for her. Seles touches on the expectations for female athletes to conform to a certain standard of beauty, but readers may sense a missed opportunity to gain greater insight into the psychological and physical pressures of competitive sports. Ages 12–up. Agent: John Steele, IMG. (May)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Tennis player Maya Hart, 16, has tried for years to make it into the Academy, an elite private school for the top athletes in the country. When she is accepted, she meets Nicole King, who at 17 is already a top-ten-ranked tennis superstar and discovers that life inside the Academy gates is cutthroat. The owner, former Super Bowl champion Nails Reed, has no patience for mediocrity, especially among scholarship students like Maya. The naive protagonist falls hard for Nails's son Travis but seems destined to remain low on the Academy hierarchy. When wealthy Renee befriends her and makes her over, she catches Travis's eye and is swept up into a world of spur-of-the-moment plane trips, shopping sprees, and wild parties. Although it seems that she is living a dream, Maya starts having mixed feelings about Travis and his bad-boy brother, Jake. The plot reaches a climax in Hollywood, where Nicole and Maya try out for a part in a movie. Maya realizes that Nicole has been pretending to be her friend in order to undermine all that is important in her life. The teen is devastated and almost decides to leave the Academy, but realizes in a cliff-hanger ending that if she does, Nicole will have won. This book is light on character development and heavy on melodrama, but it's a passable choice for readers who can't get enough of series like Cecily von Ziegesar's "Gossip Girl" and Zoey Dean's "The A-List" (both Little, Brown).—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Tennis champion Seles draws on her experience as a teen athlete to launch a series set in an exclusive sports academy. Maya Hart, a working-class teen from Syracuse, finally gets the prize she has worked tirelessly to achieve: a place at the world's premier sports-training academy. Almost as soon as she arrives, though, she finds herself socially in over her head. There is a huge gulf between the scholarship students and the spoiled kids of privilege. All of the pluck Maya used to get to the Academy buckles when she runs afoul of the Academy's star of tennis and endorsements, Nicole King. With the encouragement of her gutsy, punk-golfer roommate, she holds her ground, but she still needs the help of the owner's son, Travis (and her biggest crush), to avoid expulsion. Despite her rocky start, it appears she and the upper echelon will bond, and she even moves into their storied "villa." But Nicole has no plan to share her status. "There can only be one queen bee at the Academy. And it's not you." This is a series premise with a lot of potential: The world of high-stakes athletics and its impact on teens hungry to succeed is compelling. Unfortunately, there is not enough sports action to balance the "mean girls" intrigue. Still, the premise will attract readers, and the cast of characters is varied and interesting enough to hold them. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781619630055
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
06/04/2013
Series:
Monica Seles' Academy Series , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
684,159
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

MONICA SELES won the French Open at the age of 16. She went on to become the number one ranked woman in tennis, winning a total of nine Grand Slam titles before retiring from the game in 2004. Monica was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009. She is now an ambassador for IMMSAM, the inter-governmental institution for the use of Micro-algae Spirulna Against Malnutrition and a board member of the Laureus Sports for Good Foundation, using the power of sport as a tool for change. Her memoir, Getting a Grip: On My Mind, My Body and Myself was a national best-seller.

JAMES LAROSA loves drama, but he was too much of a goody-goody growing up to actually cause any. So he became a television writer, concocting scandalous tales for CBS, NBC, ABC Family and MTV among others. He also dug up dirt in sports, interviewing top athletes for USA Today, Tennis Magazine and Tennis Channel.
MONICA SELES won the French Open at the age of sixteen. She went on to become the number one ranked woman in tennis, winning a total of nine Grand Slam titles. Monica was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009. She is now a board member of the Laureus Sports for Good Foundation, using the power of sport as a tool for change. Her memoir, Getting a Grip: On My Mind, My Body and Myself was a national best-seller. Monica lives in Florida.

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Game On (The Academy Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Readergirl_Revus More than 1 year ago
I've always been a big fan of sports books, so getting hold of this one was great, and I am so happy that I did. This book was a lot more than what I expected, and it devoured me, not the other way around. I literally read it in one sitting, the pacing was so great and the story sucked me in so deeply. I loved this book. First of all, I loved the competitive environment of the Academy. It was so well done that I could literally picture myself there, picture the different types of personalities involved, and picture the rivalries depicted in the story. All of the characters were so well drawn, so three-dimensional and real to me. Yes, there were some stereotypical archetypes, but at the same time, they weren't. The author did something different with them that, just when you think they're a stereotype, they do something to completely change your mind. And that right there is what I loved most about the story. I loved Maya. This is a little bit of a mousy girl to begin to begin with, or at least you think she is. But her personality is complex. She is cute, sweet, innocent, and real. She goes through several personality changes in the story that are brought about by circumstances she has to face. I loved the many layers of growth she experiences. I changed my mind about the brothers numerous times throughout the story. The author really kept me guessing until the very end. I thought Travis was so sweet and Jake a jerk. Then I thought Travis was still sweet but Jake misunderstood. Then I thought Jake was a jerk and Travis was who she should be with. Then I find out I was wrong again and there was a lot more to be uncovered. Wow. What a way to keep you guessing. The romance here was definitely not predictable in any way. And I LOVED that. Great way to keep the reader guessing. She also totally fooled me about Nicole. I had instincts in the beginning that told me Nicole was one way, then I thought I'd misjudged her, than I thought I hadn't. And back and forth. Nothing you think you know is exactly what it seems in this book, and that is one of things that made it so good, and set it apart from so many other contemporary stories that are out there. There were some great twists in this story that I really just didn't expect. This author definitely turned me into a fan of this new series. The writing was so well done, I never knew what to expect, and I was so happy with each and every choice she made for her characters and the direction they were going. Great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love tennis so this book pulled me right in. I cant wait until the sequel comes out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like romance books and all this is a great book to read it has friendship relationships and other relationships. I was surprised by the end but overall i liked the book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I ain't no kid, Roy. Step off.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Smiled. Holmes and watson.... wow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Back.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did you see what i did to that kid, watson?