The Singles Game
By Lauren Weisberger
Simon & Schuster
Hardcover, Ebook and Audio formats available
E-Galley provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
The new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Devil Wears Prada and Revenge Wears Prada—a dishy tell-all about a beautiful tennis prodigy who, after changing coaches, suddenly makes headlines on and off the court.
How far would you go to reach the top?
When America’s sweetheart, Charlotte “Charlie” Silver, makes a pact with the devil—the infamously brutal tennis coach Todd Feltner—she finds herself catapulted into a world of celebrity stylists, private parties, charity matches aboard mega-yachts, and secret dates with Hollywood royalty.
Under Todd’s new ruthless regime, Charlie the good girl is out. Todd wants “Warrior Princess” Charlie all the way. After all, no one ever wins big by playing nice.
Celebrity mags and gossip blogs go wild for Charlie as she jets around the globe chasing Grand Slam titles and Page Six headlines. But as the Warrior Princess’s star rises on and off the court, it comes at a cost. In a world obsessed with good looks and hot shots, is Charlie Silver willing to lose herself to win it all?
Sweeping from Wimbledon to the Caribbean, from the US Open to the Mediterranean, The Singles Game is a sexy and wickedly entertaining romp through a world where the stakes are high—and no one plays by the rules.
I don’t know how Weisberger got inside the game of Tennis without being a coach or professional player herself, but from my position on the far edge of nowhere near that world her experiences felt utterly realistic to me. From the experiences of a friend in Tennis I know the coaches can be somewhat tyrannical, but I suspect that is not unique to women’s tennis.
Told in the third person in vignettes on locations from home, to the places where there are matches sometimes chapters felt incomplete with the often gut-wrenching tale being told in that particular chapter truncated before its natural end.
I thought, however that might have had to do with the mental preparedness an athlete like Charlie would have to cultivate so she wouldn’t have to dwell on the negative things in her life.
One thing I really liked, and that is tempered by it having been uttered by her complete asshat of a coach, was that women are always apologizing. He tries to get Charlie to stop that, not because it holds her back as a woman but because he feels she needs to stop being a “chick.” But, this positive is far outweighed by the negative aspects of his coaching.
What Charlie, who has great skill, drive, talent and athleticism, is looking for is that special win, one she hadn’t yet gotten, the brass ring on the merry-go-round that is women’s professional tennis. It is especially tantalizing as it was within reach and lost. What the new coach does is to build her physically and as a commodity, but he also tears down her soul. The question that kept coming up in my mind was “When does this woman ever get a normal life?” The answer: In professional tennis, Never.
But she is also a young woman who has had only a few boyfriends. Right now she is involved with another tennis player. But, it is not a relationship. The two never sit down and talk about their hopes and dreams. It’s booty call and an image factor. We saw it with male and female athletes more in the past I think: Peggy Fleming and Jean-Claude Killey, Chris Everett and Jimmy Conners (younger readers may be saying “who?”). Now I think it is more common to mix these “showmances” between athletes and celebrities.
As a young woman is it worth it to spend her youth chasing a dream that always seems just out of reach?
While not as tight as THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA), this is a similar tale of a young person reaching for success in a demanding field. The difference is that this is Charlie’s field, where in TDWP the main character wasn’t trying to get into fashion journalism but saw it as a stepping stone.
As much as a tennis story, this is about coming of age, coming in to her own, becoming an adult but with some of the fun of a younger person. If you are into tennis or sports it is probably a must read. If you like your heat off the page, then this is a great choice.