Author: J. Sterling
Published on: June 25, 2013
Genre: New Adult, contemporary romance
Published by: Lake Union Publishing
Format: E-book, paperback, Audible
Jack appeared at my door last night after six months of no communication wearing a Mets jersey and holding a dozen red roses. He told me he was sorry, that he loved me, and that he would earn my trust again. It took everything in me to not fall apart at the mere sight of him. I wanted to take him back into my life, but I needed to know that this time it would be forever…
In J. Sterling’s highly anticipated follow-up to her USA Today bestselling novel The Perfect Game, Jack and Cassie quickly realize that their new lifestyle can often be cruel and unforgiving. Their happiness is put to the test as the past is never truly far behind.
How do you stay together when the world’s trying to tear you apart?
After Cassie and Jack became hugely popular (which surprised the author), J. Sterling got to work on a sequel. The story was supposed to have been wrapped up in book 1, but the door was open for another installment. So, Cassie and Jack returned by popular demand!
The Game Changer is a direct sequel to The Perfect Game. The story picks up around the last chapter or so of the previous book. Jack explains to Cassie what he had been up to during the last parts of the book. This is new information that wasn’t given. All this exposition makes the first few chapters seem to drag a little. There are quite a bit of flashbacks. If you don’t give up on the book, though, your patience will be rewarded. The Game Changer will put Cassie’s and Jack’s relationship through their most grueling test yet.
Jack is now playing ball for the major leagues (specifically, the New York Mets). That means he and Cassie are now in the glamorous Big Apple. They’ve got themselves a stunning apartment, and quickly make friends with a local pizza guy. Soon after, things start to complicate. Being the girlfriend of a major league ball player is not what Cassie expected. The wives of the other players hardly give her the time of day. And then the villain from the previous book returns. All hell breaks loose as she puts a cruel plan into motion. Cassie’s name is dragged through the mud. She begins to crumble under the vastly increased pressure and the harsh criticism that she endures. Will her love for Jack be enough for Cassie to persist this time around?
Once again, the author’s experience–or thorough research–shows. I personally have no idea what life as a major athlete’s spouse is like. For a woman, I’d imagined it must be tougher than for a guy. When Cassie sits in the section where the other players’ wives sit, they all ignore her. She believes they figure she won’t stick around for long. Only one of the women reaches out to Cassie, and they form a relationship. Without her, Cassie probably would have cracked under the pressure. It doesn’t help that she’s also harassed away from the field. Having people take photos of you while you’re oblivious to it must definitely not be fun.
A lot of stuff happens in this book, but none of it feels like fluff. Except, perhaps, for the first few chapters of exposition. I think they help the reader understand the story better. The main characters share a variety of experiences, and it helps them grow. Jack and Cassie feel different at the end of their story arc. The road isn’t easy for them, though. The only way they’ll get through the challenges in this book is if they have true love.
Of the two protagonists in the book, I think Cassie’s the one who changes the most. She is seen in more situations than Jack, who mostly just plays ball. Cassie goes out and about in New York, getting acquainted with being one of their people. She also gets a job with a magazine, doing what she loves: photography. Cassie also gets a surprise love interest, but I don’t think it added much to the story. A guy can’t help falling for a girl like Cassie, though, especially when it seems like things with her boyfriend aren’t going well.
Despite the slow start, The Game Changer is a stunning second installment in the story of Jack and Cassie. The stakes are higher, the pressure is mounting, and in the end only time will tell if Cassie will prevail. I was (figuratively) on the edge of my seat with this book. I greatly enjoyed it.
Seriously liked it!
BUY THE BOOK