01 December 2012

Book Review: The Perfect Game by J. Sterling

SYNOPSIS: He's a game she never intended to play. 

And she's the game changer he never knew he needed.

The Perfect Game tells the story of college juniors, Cassie Andrews & Jack Carter. When Cassie meets rising baseball hopeful Jack, she is determined to steer clear of him and his typical cocky attitude. But Jack has other things on his mind... like getting Cassie to give him the time of day. 

They're both damaged, filled with mistrust and guarded before they find one another (and themselves) in this emotional journey about love and forgiveness. Strap yourselves for a ride that will not only break your heart, but put it back together. 

Sometimes life gets ugly before it gets beautiful... 

REVIEW: I'll do my best to avoid including spoilers but if ever a few might slip out, do know that I only included those because you know it's bound to happen. I promise the itty bitty spoilers I do include won't ruin the reading experience for you. 

ALSO... this is a long review. I tend to write long reviews for books I really like/love. Just so you know. Thank you for your patience.

I read a few reviews of this book on Goodreads so I can gauge whether or not I would enjoy reading it. The overall feedback was great although I felt iffy having read "drama" over and over again. I still gave it a shot because my friend, Janeen, insisted I read it ASAP.

The Beginning. I didn't like the story immediately because I thought Jack Carter's just like every other jerk I've read about in books. The kind who sleeps with every girl he can get his hands on. And he only sleeps with them once... because that's the rule of male promiscuity of course (duh, everyone knows that). I also felt like the story escalated quickly in the first few chapters - it was Cassie vs. Jack early on. But I quickly forgot about that once the chase started. Of course Cassie would try hard to repel Jack and eventually fail. Otherwise there wouldn't be a story to begin with. I usually don't like formulaic love stories with a girl being the bad boy's "game changer" but com'on, who can resist that? Sometimes I think it's always been one of my hidden desires (I couldn't think of a better word). Kidding. Half kidding. Or not kidding at all? I have no shame.

As the story progressed I found myself slowly liking the real Jack Carter underneath that hotshot-baseball-player-image. He had trust issues just like Cassie and it was really interesting to read how they were able to get past that. In addition to that, the way he tried to win Cassie's trust and affection was just adorable. For example, when Cassie told Jack it'll cost him a quarter every time he touches her, Jack gave Cassie loads of quarters so he can pay off every touch he gets. Is it just me or is that seriously one of the cutest things ever! 

Cassie and Jack's relationship was loving and fun and quite frankly I was jealous of them... minus the stalker college fan girls. And the weird nickname Jack kept calling Cassie, Kitten. I don't know if it's my lack of imagination or what but I can't picture a guy saying that without sounding cheesy. Err. Sorry. But that didn't ruin the experience for me. I learned to appreciate it eventually. I loved their banters, the way Jack was mushy even around his teammates, the way he got along well with Melissa (Cassie's roommate), and how Cassie became a part of Jack's family. Everything was peachy. And that scared me. Because deep down I had an inkling of what was about to happen. 

What. The. Frak. Throughout the story, J.Sterling made sure that Jack's baseball career would constantly remain relevant, after all it's called The Perfect Game. Cassie and Jack had to adjust to Jack's budding career which involved getting used to the crazier fan girls and distance etc etc. This was inevitable so I'm not even going to spoil that one.

When the conflict in the book came my body went cold and my hand was seriously shaking. I started crying and my heart was beating hard. In my head I was going, "Wait a minute, where did THAT come from. Tears? TEARS?

Now I'm not sure if it's because I can relate to Cassie so reading that one-freaking-chapter affected me so much or J.Sterling simply knows how to describe things in such a way that it'll pull your emotions out. It's probably both. The situation was believable, I knew how Cassie felt, and I knew how confusing it can get. I felt for her. You know? (Please know. It's pretty self-explanatory)

I was so close to hating the book because I didn't exactly agree with the way the characters, particularly Jack and Cassie, handled the situation. I was so frustrated and furious at both of them! Then I realized... I was frustrated and furious on an entirely different level. I wasn't angry at how the story was written. I was more upset with how the characters reacted to everything. There's a difference, believe me. And I think it takes a good writer to appeal to emotions like that. 

The End. I had a discussion with Janeen about the ending and I told her maybe I finally understood how/why Cassie handled the predicament the way she did. I understood because in the end Jack was honest (albeit late in doing so) and he tried to make everything right the best way he can. Plus I'm a sucker for cheesy surprises. You just can't go wrong with those.

Writing style. I like J.Sterling's writing style, she dives right into the important stuff. I don't like how some writers waste so much time with narratives and descriptions. Sometimes they don't really add much to the story, you know. It just becomes dragging. The sex scenes (yes there are a couple and I had to say it just in case you're thinking this is some regular chick lit) were tasteful and not at all awkward, which I highly appreciate. Sometimes adult novels can get a bit annoying with the unnecessary frequency of these events. 

Furthermore I really liked that some chapters were written in Jack's perspective. It was easier for me to relate to Cassie when I saw what Jack was going through because it wasn't just about her anymore. I saw why she loved Jack because I saw how his mind works. Ugh. I hate that I can't give concrete examples because I'll surely spoil everything. I'm sorry for leaving this part unclear. You'll get it when you read it!

Overall I loved The Perfect Game. It played with my emotions but I don't hate it one bit for doing that. 

Oh before I forget! Something cool happened over at Twitter.

I'm not much of a great writer but I tried. So I'll show her this post and hope for the best. LOL I repeat, I have no shame.


J. Sterling

I got fired from my last job. It's true. I know you're sitting there thinking "Jenn, how could anyone in their right mind fire someone as amazing and awesome as you???" And i'd love to give you a good reason, but the truth is- being this awesome is clearly very scary to other less awesome people. 

So I said screw them and started writing my first book. And you know what I realized? Writing books that mean something to me is a million times better than working for my ass off for someone who doesn't really care about anything other than the bottom line. 

My soul feels more satisfied. 
My heart, more full.

So thank you for reading, loving and recommending the stories I write. 
I think you're awesome- and not only am I not scared of other awesome people, I want them on my team!

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