Feb 222024

Publishers Weekly: Three elite tennis players randomly assigned as roommates compete at Bastille, a tournament where they go head-to-head both on and off the court, in this multilayered novel by Gracia (Boys I Know). When 16-year-old Japanese American Violetta Masuda arrives at Bastille’s tennis academy, she’s expecting to have a roommate with whom she’ll share her dorm for the duration of the tournament. What she’s not expecting, however, is that along with Taiwanese American high school sophomore Alice Wu comes 17-year-old Cambodian and Vietnamese American Leylah Lê, Violetta’s former best friend. The stakes are high, as is the pressure to come out on top, and as the teen athletes wrestle with their performance and their families’ expectations, they each struggle with their own challenges—Leylah uses an insulin pump to manage her diabetes and Violetta vapes to mitigate stress—and their desires to live a “normal” life. Via the trio’s alternating first-person POVs, Gracia—a former D1 collegiate player—imbues the narrative with insider knowledge and traces the competition as the girls move through their draws and navigate romance, racism, and friendship. The supporting cast is racially diverse. Ages 14–up.