Title: Lace up (Pretty Smart Girls#1) by Shae Ross
Genre: New Adult Romance
Rating: 3.5 / 4
*ARC received in exchange for an honest review*
Summary: For Goodreads Summary Click Here
Lace up, features two teams as they head to New York to battle it out in their respective university teams in a high profile entrepreneurial competition. The winning team will receive a large sum of money, a years contract at a five star industry and the opportunity to gain invaluable contacts for the future. The two teams are from rival schools, therefore there should be no problem for Team Ryan and Team Jett to battle it out, but they soon find out that they’ve met their match and the competition turns into more than just business.
Lace up is the first novel in the Pretty Smart Girls series by Shae Ross and her debut novel.
The novel’s premise is original in terms of it’s setting of a business competition, this is unlike any book I have previously read before. However one of my reasons behind my rating of 3.5/4 is because I often found myself lost in all the business elements, the competition lasts only a week therefore it felt slightly rushed as they had to go immediately from one part of the competition to another. If the competition lasted longer it may have allowed for more tension build up between the characters and longer descriptions of their initial interactions.
As the teams Shae Ross’ chooses to focus her book on are from rival Universities Team Ryan is an all girls team from MSU and Team Jett is an all boys team from University of Michigan it allows her to play around with the stereotypes each university holds for the other. This was easy to identify with on a personal level as a University Student myself, the stereotypes and rivalry from two universities in the same City are exactly like how they are portrayed in the novel.
Additionally to this, the rivalry between the two schools and the stereotypes they share mean as characters they each fall back into using the stereotypes to critique the other team. Resorting to ideas such as ‘party girls’ rather than relying on thinking rationally about each other based on their personal experiences together which does add to the chemistry and the tension as it builds up between the teams.
Like many other New Adult Novels Lace up alternates chapters from Ryan’s POV to Jett’s POV which offers the reader the chance to experience both main protagonists thoughts and feelings about an interaction/event therefore allowing for a well rounded story.
Another reason as to why I rated Lace up 3.5/4 stars is based on the couples. Ryan and Jett, Devi and Ben, Jade and Vaughn each are presented as being mutually linked in some way therefore I felt like they were too matched as people. Ryan and Jett both share the loss of someone they held dear in the lives and Jade and Vaughn both had a Chinese parent living away from them. For this reason, I felt like I couldn’t fully enjoy the book as it was evident from early on how the novel would progress in terms of couple interactions.
Despite this, their was many a moment throughout the book where I felt myself laughing along with a joke shared between the two teams. Lace up is filled with many elements from the thrive for success, Business, Comedy and Romance to Deceitful Game Tactics. Therefore there is a little bit in there to attract everyone as a reader.
If you are interested in the New Adult Genre and like the business Boy VS Girl element then be sure to check out Lace up.