If love in tennis is a zero score, what is it in real life? As Will
Holland's Encyclopedia of Tennis tells him, "You can learn a lot
from the way people move." And that is what Corbet's comedy of
teenage manners is all about: paying attention to each other's
moves, wondering what the other is thinking, and, finally, learning
to respect the other's game. Will and Mia Foley, in alternating
turns, like tennis players on a court, wonder about each other,
tell their own stories of friends, families, fortunes, and
misfortunes, and gradually find each other. Depth is added to a
light story by action apart from the game: Will's struggles in
tournaments, Mia's struggles with her viola, Will's brother Dave,
paralyzed in a diving accident years before, and Mia's uneasy
relationship with Vanessa and Renata, her popular friends. Despite
discussions of bra sizes, toe-sucking, and a seventh-grade girl who
wants Will to autograph her underwear after he wins the state
championship, this is a light, well-intentioned outing with nothing
too rude and lots of good humor. Though the characters' voices are
sometimes as flat as Mia feels, good use is made of dialogue,
imaginary conversations, Will's to-do lists, and viola jokes left
on Mia's locker. Eventually, Will and Mia play a good match, are a
good match, and meet at the net. Fans of Louise Rennison's Georgia
Nicolson series will find familiar turf here. (Fiction. 12+)
Mia knows that boys think about sex every fifteen seconds. No
wonder they find it so difficult to say hello. Will wishes he had a
hidden microphone and a tape recorder so that he'd know what girls
talk about. Mia thinks that Will could be deep and interesting,
sitting alone on the grass staring at the sky. Maybe he's thinking
about global warming or meteorology. But then again, he is wearing
a tracksuit. Will is training to be a tennis star. Mia plays the
viola in the school orchestra. Will doesn't even know the
difference between a viola and a lawnmower! It looks like it's
going to be a disaster. But when Will wins a tennis tournament and
temporarily becomes the school hero, Mia's friends get interested
and the game gets serious. A fresh and funny take on the game of
love and all its faults (sorry!)
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