Monday, August 1, 2016

REVIEW: Out of Bounds by R.S. Grey

Title: The Summer Games: Out of Bounds
Author: R.S. Grey
Release Date: Aug 1, 2016


Court and I loved our first foray into R.S. Grey's books when we read THE SUMMER GAMES: Settling the Score and when we saw that she was writing another book about the games and a gymnast we were allll over it. 

In Out of Bounds the dynamic between Brie (an Olympic bound gymnast) and her newly appointed coach, Erik, was immediately explosive and I knew I was going to be in for an angsty ride. I wasn't wrong. Brie was already tense and nervous about everything that was about to happen and then you throw in a coaching change and she was on edge. THEN, when your new coach is a dick before you can even process things, BAM! we have some interesting pages ahead. Right? Right.

By the 34% mark I was inhaling the book like it was my first donut after weeks of horrible dieting. I loved the tension between them--I found myself nervously laughing to myself at Brie's attitude and Erik's general pissed off nature. I liked how Brie didn't back down from his challenging ways and demands. She shrugged him off and pretended like he wasn't constantly under her skin (he sooo was under her skin). Meanwhile Erik and his snarling "I don't play with girls" comments made me want to smack him and have Brie own his ass. Gah. He could be such a dick sometimes. Those punishing runs were killer. I'd want to kill him if I had him as a coach.

SIDE NOTE: Dude. The sexual tension between these two was epic. I think I've found a new sexual tension queen to crown--RSGrey--this crown belongs to you. And then you hit me with the yoga session: I don't know if  yoga will ever be the same and also he was ughhhhh.. a douche. The way he refers to her as his doll. It angered me, no lie.  And then I'm going along..and let's just say that alley scene? ON FIRE. Or so I thought. Then you hit me with a scene in the practice gym and OMG. OMG. O-M-G. Wut. 

So, their relationship was intense but the novel was so much more than that--the humor (hello easy bake oven), the special relationships with his grandfather and her mother, and the way the Olympic competition part was paced (no lie--I started stress eating at this part) all had me immersed in the world R.S. Grey created. Anytime I had to put the book down I found myself looking longingly at it until I could pick it back up. 

Let me end with two final observations about this novel: 

I have no idea whether R.S. Grey is or was an athlete, but if she's not, she's a great researcher and observer of people. I loved how she captured that feeling of being an athlete and also of how she wrote about friendships. I appreciated how she made Brie a team player and gave her teammates (except June) that were awesome--they egged her on to do stupid stuff  and they always had her back. It's what you want to imagine Olympic teammates are like and that's what really enhanced this novel for me--those moments of their down time when they got to be girls and to do funny things? I loved the friendship aspect of this novel--everyone should have a Molly and a Lexi and a Rosie--every scene they were in was perfect.

And, I especially liked Grey had Brie reflect on her hard work to get to the top. All the sacrifices she made (and her mom made) felt so real without overly dramatizing her life or minimizing what it took to get there. That's what made this more for me. The romance and the sexy times were good--great even-- but this reflective quality is what made it stand out and made me like Brie that much more.

Whether you read this in time for the summer Olympics or not, I think anyone who picks this one up will have quite an enjoyable experience with it. For more info, read below~
I despise Erik Winter.
He’s arrogant and cruel—a man I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy—and by some twisted turn of fate, he’s my new Olympic gymnastics coach.
I’ve had to contend with gruff coaches in the past, but Erik is far worse. His stern demeanor complements a body built for intimidation, and his reprimands come from a mouth so cunning, I know it could strip me of my defenses—if I let it.
Though each of us would love to be rid of the other forever, we are bound to each other by need and necessity. I’m his rising star, his best shot at proving himself to his critics. And without a coach, I have zero chance of winning gold in Rio.
The easiest way forward would be to wave a white flag and make peace with the man I’ll be sharing close quarters with for the foreseeable future, but he is intent on war.
Fine. By. Me.
If he pushes me, I’ll push back harder. If he wants to test me, to play with my head, I’ll show him just how many boundaries I’m willing to cross. Because I know it’s not a choice between winning or warring—not if you can have them both. At the end of it all, I plan on leaving Rio with gold around my neck and his icy heart in the palm of my hand.
I am a lover of books, chocolate, reality TV, black labs, and cold weather. Seriously, if I had it my way, I would be curled up on the couch with all of those things... everyday.
I live in Texas where I spend my free time writing and reading. My favorite authors include Mindy Kaling & Jonathan Safran Foer. I'm a comedy geek and love all things "funny". Women like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling are definitely the biggest inspirations for my writing, though I think my work tends to skew a bit smuttier than theirs.

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