Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Review: Losing at Love by Jennifer Iacopelli + Giveaway

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I received this book for free from Jennifer Iacopelli in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Losing at Love by Jennifer Iacopelli + GiveawayLosing at Love by Jennifer Iacopelli
Series: Outer Banks Tennis Academy, #2
Genres: Contemporary, NA
Source: Jennifer Iacopelli
Buy on Amazon

Grass courts, tennis whites and the fiercest competition in the world. Wimbledon. After two crazy weeks in Paris, the girls of the Outer Banks Tennis Academy are headed to London with just one thing on their minds: winning.

Indiana Gaffney is fresh off a surprise win at the French Open junior tournament. Sponsors are clamoring for her attention, but what she wants more than anything—aside from a wild card to Wimbledon—is to be with Jack Harrison, but international fame and a secret relationship rarely mix well.

When Penny Harrison dreamed of playing at Wimbledon she never imagined agonizing pain shooting through her ankle with every step. With just a month until the tournament and the whole world expecting her to win, she’s determined to play, with or without the support of her coach or the love of her life, Alex Russell.

For the first time ever, no one expects anything from Jasmine Randazzo. After a crushing first-round defeat in the French Open juniors, the tennis world has given up on her, but worse than that, so have her parents, her best friend Teddy and maybe even her coach. With everyone writing her off, can she find it within herself to go after her dreams?

Penny, Jasmine, and Indy are back in all their wonderful glory! Losing at Love is the sequel to Game. Set. Match. which I completely loved when I read it 2 years ago. And even though so much time has past since, I was easily taken back into the world of tennis and competitions and romance and drama. This novel is more character than plot driven – the later doesn’t progress all that much, but the friendships and personal goals do, which are just as important for the story to move forward.

All in all, this novel is a character driven drama about these girls’ complicated lives as Tennis pros. Don’t let this scare you off, however, I know squat about that sport, and I was completely captivated by the matches. It’s all due to the atmosphere that’s so wonderfully painted throughout. It’s a sport with a lot of pressure, a lot of uncertainty, and just as much about the physical skills than the mental – this intensity is very well captured by Jennifer’s writing style. I easily found myself rooting for these girls both on and off the court. It’s not all about Tennis, though, the story is full of friendship and romance to give it a great balance overall.

My favorite aspect of this story is definitely the friendships that we have between the girls. There are 3 main characters with alternating perspectives, so we get to experience everyone’s fears and insecurities, and how these look from the outside, as well. I’m especially a fan of Indy and Penny’s friendship. They’re forming a bond that’s closer than ever which I love, though with some bumps in the road, naturally. All 3 girls also have obstacles to overcome that range from a confidence issue to a serious injury. They make it easy to understand their determination to push through no matter what, though, making their story bittersweet at times.

The romance is again a welcome part of this story. We get just the right amount of romantic subplots with some drama, but not overwhelmingly so. I’m most happy about how Jasmine doesn’t drop everything for her first crush. Someone who’s actually moving on, guys! So refreshing! With 3 perspectives who are all in relationships, not to mention have families and friends, the cast of characters is quite large, but not once did I lose track of who was who. Each voice is distinct, each personality is unique; the characterization is overall incredibly genuine.

Like I mentioned, this book is very character focused, while there’s no significant plot developments, we get to see the girls make sacrifices and big decisions. The ending, although very happy-feely… kinda feels like a bad omen – the calm before the storm, maybe? I was left with a bad vibe towards Indy, especially. Book 3 is bound to give us nothing but greatness! And probably heartbreak. I feel it coming, guys! *clutches heart* >.<

4 Hot Espressos

About the Author

Jennifer Iacopelli was born in New York and has no plans to leave…ever. Growing up, she read everything she could get her hands on, but her favorite authors were Laura Ingalls Wilder, L.M. Montgomery and Frances Hodgson Burnett all of whom wrote about kick-ass girls before it was cool for girls to be kick-ass. She got a Bachelor’s degree in Adolescence Education and English Literature quickly followed up by a Master’s in Library Science, which lets her frolic all day with her books and computers, leaving plenty of time in the evenings to write and yell at the Yankees, Giants and her favorite tennis players through the TV.

This post is part of the Losing at Love blog tour.



Jennifer Iacopelli has generously offered up a signed set of Game. Set. Met & Losing at Love, a $50 Giftcard, and 5 swag pakcs for giveaway!

  • Open internationally
  • Giveaway ends on March 14th, 2015

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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6 Responses to “Review: Losing at Love by Jennifer Iacopelli + Giveaway”

  1. Ramona

    Ooh, this one sounds so good! Despite the bad omen-y ending vibe, I think I shall give this series a try. I enjoy character driven stories and this is sure to keep me turning the pages. As always, a very compelling review.

    • Giselle

      Thanks, Ramona! The bad-omen vibe is not a bad thing, either, esp if you like emotional reads. I just feel like there were small hints of something emotional coming in book 3 that I picked up on. I could be totally wrong, too, we shall wait and see! 🙂

  2. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    I need to read this series. If there’s something I seriously enjoy in YA books it’s friendships between girls and this sounds like it has a great dose of that. I’m also glad to hear that the romance is just enough to satisfy you and not overwhelm the plot. And you know how I feel about character-driven stories! 😉
    Uh oh! Bad omeny? Eep! I hope it will be just as great.
    Lovely review, Giselle!

  3. Sarah @ One Curvy Blogger

    I’m generally not the biggest fan of NA books and though there are a few that are favorites, I try to steer clear of the genre as a whole. This does sound kind of interesting, though! It sounds unique to what I’ve read before.

  4. Benish

    I love female friendships in novels, it’s so uncommon nowadays. I’m glad you enjoyed this novel, the cover caught my eye right away – Lovely review Giselle!