Blog Tour & ARC Review: The Harper Effect by Taryn Bashford (+US giveaway)


The Harper Effect
Series: None
Author: Taryn Bashford
Published May 15th 2018 by Sky Pony Press

Goodreads Summary
Sixteen-year-old Harper was once a rising star on the tennis court--until her coach dropped her for being "mentally weak." Without tennis, who is she? Her confidence at an all-time low, she secretly turns to her childhood friend, next-door neighbor Jacob--who also happens to be her sister's very recent ex-boyfriend. If her sister finds out, it will mean a family war.

But when Harper is taken on by a new coach who wants her to train with Colt, a cold, defensive, brooding young tennis phenom, she hits the court all the harder, if only to prove Colt wrong. But as the two learn to become a team, Harper gets glimpses of the vulnerable boy beneath the surface, the boy who was deeply scarred by his family's dark and scandalous past. The boy she could easily find herself falling for.

As she walks a fine line between Colt's secrets, her forbidden love, and a game that demands nothing but the best, Harper must decide between her past and her future and between two boys who send her head spinning. Is the cost of winning the game worth losing everything?

A sizzling tennis romance perfect for the summer months, The Harper Effect, will be a grand slam for fans of Kasie West, Miranda Kinneally and Simone Ekeles.


I received an Advance Reader Copy from the author. This in no way impacted on my view.

I adore reading contemporary YA, especially when the weather is starting to get better, and an sunny bank holiday weekend seemed to be the perfect time to read The Harper Effect.

In The Harper Effect, our MC is Harper, a 16 year old tennis professional who has just lost her coach, and been told she doesn't have what it takes to become a star. Her sister, Aria, and best friend, Jacob, have been together for a few years, and she's had to deal with her unrequited feelings for Jacob ever since. However, Jacob and Aria have no split up, and he's telling her he's loved her all along, not Aria. Harper has to cope with all the mental anguish that comes with losing her coach, conflicting feelings of hurting herself or her sister, and then the fact that her new coach wants her to work with the moodiest tennis player she has ever met, with the hopes of winning the Mixed Doubles final at the Australian Open.

I've never been a massive fan of tennis, if I'm honest. In recent years, I've occasionally watched Wimbledon when its been on in the summer - particularly because I know us Brits actually have a chance now. However, the film, Wimbledon, is one of my favourite rom-coms to watch, and when I heard about this book, I thought it would be something I could enjoy, and I was right. I adored learning about what life was like as a professional, both the ups and the downs, and I feel as if Bashford showed how tiring both mentally and physically it can be for a professional athlete, especially a teen athlete.

Harper, as a main character, sometimes annoyed me, and at other times I understood exactly why she was acting the way she did. When it came to her feelings for Jacob, I couldn't really forgive her for messing around with her sister's ex, just days after they split up. Aria was devastated when Jacob unexpectedly dumped her, and can't understand why it happened. Jacob, if I'm being perfectly honest, was a despicable character, and I detested him from the get go. He knew exactly what he was doing to both Aria and Harper, and all he cared about was himself, screw everyone else. Harper thinking she could be with Jacob, even in the future when she knew how difficult it was for Aria, was something that I found awful about her, and it did make me enjoy the story a little less than I might have originally.

On the other hand, there was Colt, who was the moody tennis pro who Harper's new coach had paired her with for mixed doubles events. When you learnt more about him, and his home life, you could understand why he was the way he acted, and it was a front to protect himself from being hurt further. The chemistry between Colt and Harper was off the charts, and I found myself hating Jacob even more, if that was actually possible, when he got in the way of those two.

Obviously, there were quite a few predictable angst filled moments, which you find in basically every YA contemporary I've ever read, but I did enjoy the story line, and the ending in particular. I don't think this is a book I would be jumping at to reread, like I have done with some other contemporaries, but I would recommend it to others who don't mind a bit of a predictable story, and love just getting lost in the pages until the ending.

Dates Read:
April 5-7, 2018


4 Stars

About Taryn Bashford:
Taryn lives the typical writer’s life alongside supportive husband, teen children, and characters from her latest book insisting they help make dinner. This can be disconcerting as Jacob is always sticking his fingers in the cheese sauce and Harper can’t cook. 

Taryn’s been an English Literature Honours student, an advertising sales rep and a CEO of an internet company, but writing is her first love. The Harper Effect is her debut novel. 

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Giveaway (US):

1 winner will win a finished copy of THE HARPER EFFECT & A Tote Bag, US Only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. I have not yet read a book about a cold, defensive, brooding young tennis phenom, and this promises to be a good one!