Skip to main content

The Harper Effect

Review

The Harper Effect

Ever since she went professional, Harper’s life has revolved around playing tennis. She barely has any friends, doesn’t go to school and spends most of her time training or competing in tennis matches. So when Harper’s coach refuses to coach her anymore, claiming that she doesn’t have what it takes mentally to succeed, Harper is devastated.

"A heartfelt story...THE HARPER EFFECT did not disappoint. Bashford kept me hooked from the first page."

Just when it seems as though her whole world is falling apart, Harper is approached by a new coach with an offer she can’t refuse: a new coach wants to train her and another one of his athletes, Colt, to win doubles at the world renowned Grand Slam tournament. Without warning, Harper suddenly finds herself stuck with a partner harboring dark and tortured secrets, but as the weeks of training go by, things start to look up. Colt begins to open up to her and both of them begin climbing the tennis ranks, as they improve physically and mentally. Just as Harper thinks everything in her life is finally in place, she finds herself thrust into complex love triangles involving her sister, her childhood crush and Colt. Will Harper manage to find both love and success?

A heartfelt story about perseverance, believing in yourself, family and love, THE HARPER EFFECT did not disappoint. Bashford kept me hooked from the first page. I was so engrossed, I ended up reading it in one day. This was in large part thanks to the incredibly intricate plot. I couldn’t wait to see how Harper and Colt would perform at their tennis matches and how the drama would resolve itself --- when Colt’s secrets would be revealed and how the love triangles would unfold. Throughout all this suspense building, Bashford definitely delivered; I was unable to see most of the characters’ revelations or decisions coming and was often shocked. 

What I enjoyed most about THE HARPER EFFECT, though, were the characters. I was easily able to identify with Harper at the beginning of the story since it’s easy for me to feel down about myself. This made Harper’s success in surmounting her self-doubt all the more inspiring. Bashford also conveys Harper’s character so well that I found myself wondering what I would do if I were Harper even in situations I had never experienced before.

Harper’s relationship with Colt which was more developed than most boy-girl relationships. As a whole, Colt transforms Harper from a bratty, childish girl into a compassionate, thoughtful young woman. Conversely, Colt goes from a hothead who shut out everyone around him to a caring and open partner. By having Colt and Harper win their tennis tournaments together as they learn from each other, Bashford ultimately communicates a very touching message about winners not winning alone and not doing it purely based off of talent.

I would recommend this book to everyone, especially romance lovers, but I have to warn you, it might convince you to become a professional tennis player.

Reviewed by Alice D., Teen Board Member on May 29, 2018

The Harper Effect
by Taryn Bashford