Here’s a fun fact: the first job I ever had was working for a sports management firm in the tennis division. Every summer from 10th grade until I graduated from college, I helped a team of amazing people put on these massive sporting events. I mostly worked in the men’s tennis division, but spent a little bit of time in the women’s tennis department. I met a lot of players, coaches, and entourages (Including Oates of Hall & Oates. John Oates is a tennis groupie. I had no idea!). I quickly learned that these tennis players, who are some of the most elite athletes on the planet, had no idea how the rest of the world works. They couldn’t socialize with normal people. They didn’t know how to do anything that wasn’t arranged for them.
And they were not a monogamous bunch of people, for sure. We found players and groupies in locker rooms, empty sponsor tents, and even in the bushes more than once.
I recently saw a few reviews of this book on our site, and thought it might be a fun read for me. And it was. I loved the tennis bits of it, which were pretty accurate. The rest of the story was fine.
Charlie Silver is a 24 year old ranked in the mid-20s and about to play a big match at Wimbledon. She’s known as a nice girl, adorable in her braids and flouncy tennis dress. Always a smile on her face and handshake for her opponent, she’s like the girl next door.
When Charlie is badly injured, she decides she needs to make some changes in her life. She fires her long-time coach and hires a brash, loudmouth asshole (he’s pretty much the male version of Miranda Priestly) who has never coached a woman before. She finds herself with a new image — the Warrior Princess — created by a team of people that don’t even know her. She wears black leather on the court and doesn’t smile or shake hands anymore. She’s a badass. She wants to win a grand slam and does whatever this team of new people tells her to do in order to move up in the rankings.
But this Warrior Princess isn’t the real Charlie, and that’s what most of the book spends its time trying to tell us. And that was fine. I didn’t mind going along with Charlie to realize that she’s really just a nice girl and that rankings and sponsorships aren’t that important if you don’t like who you’ve become.
And I’ll admit, I was fooled for a minute and was wrong about Charlie’s love interest.
I really thought Dan was the one that Jake was secretly spending time with. And I thought Charlie might just end up on her own, which would have been ok.
END OF SPOILER
Not everything was completely believable here. Seriously, who would go to bed if they were on a boat with U2 and they were considering having a “jam session”? But enough of it worked. And it brought back lots of crazy memories of travel and tennis, so that was good enough for me.