Sunday, 28 July 2013

First Reads Review: The Academy: Game On by Monica Seles

Title: The Academy: Game On
Author: Monica Seles
Genre: Young Adult
Series: The Academy #1
Source: Won from goodreads
Publication Date: 6th June 2013

Tell Me About It
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.
My Thoughts
I had not heard much about The Academy: Game On, and when I saw it on a goodreads giveaway I was interested to see what it was like, I entered and then forgot about it until I received an email saying I had won a copy.  It has taken a while for me to actually get around to reading this book due to review book I had requested taking priority, but a trip to London gave me just the right amount of time to squeeze a few small books (small in page count and also small in size so that they would fit in my bag) in to read.

**This review may contain spoilers for what happens in the book hidden behind a spoiler warning**

The Academy: Game On picks up with Maya, the protagonist, leaving home to make her way to the academy to train on a scholarship she tried lots of times to get.  Maya is excited and nervous about this new endeavour, but is eager to start.  This scholarship means the wrold to Maya, and in order to stay at the academy she needs to prove she is the best.  Being a scholarship student, she is relegated to living in the not so fancy residences, and sharing a room with Cleo, a golf player.  She is the comic relief in any situation and while I loved her instantly, she just gets better and better as the story progresses
"If I'm going to be a guy, I'm going to be the hairy-chested, knuckle-dragging gorilla kind," Cleo said. She mock-spit into her hand, wiped it clean on her jeans, and shook Rene's hand.
Rene is one of the rich students at the academy, who has paid her way in, and while she initially isn't someone who I would like or feel like there was more to her than money, she soon changes me minds after befriending Maya over a lost contact lens.  Soon enough Rene, Maya, and Cleo become firm friends that manage to survive the difference in 'class', and some bumpy roads.

I went into this The Academy: Game On not knowing what to expect and I found myself really enjoying it.  So much so that I finished it on the way to London, and I am sure the person sitting opposite me thought I was straight off the crazy train with all the smiling and curse words muttered under my breath

Jake and Travis are brothers, Travis seemed to be sensible one and Jake is the wild child. As we get to know this duo more we discover what they hide beneath the surface, each one having their own issues to deal with. Whilst my first impression of Jake wasn't a good one I did feel sorry for him, Travis was someone who I never really liked, I felt like there was something about him, no-one can be that perfect. When some truths are revealed I felt sorry for Maya, she put her trust in people who she thought were friends and they betrayed it, and the friends she had outdo themselves in order to help her and save her from the truth, causing her to re-evaluate herself and her relationship.

The Academy: Game On was an amazing, surprising read that ends far too soon, and not to my liking.  My only issue with The Academy: Game On is now I have to wait till 2014 for the next instalment

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