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Review - Surviving High School

Saturday, September 22, 2012
Surviving High School
by M. Doty

Publication: September 4, 2012
Pages: 272
Publisher: Poppy
Buy it: Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Book Depository

What's the secret to surviving your freshman year of high school?

Emily Kessler thinks she has it all figured out. She eats, sleeps and trains for competitive swimming. All she has to do is keep her grades high and swim times short -- short enough to live up to her sister Sara's. But walking the crowded maze of unfamiliar high school hallways is like diving headfirst into shark-infested waters. Shark #1: Dominique, her biggest competition on the swim team and all-around mean girl. Shark #2: The adorable and popular Ben Kale... Emily can't resist his smile no matter how hard she tries. When the pressure builds to the point where Emily isn't sure she can stay afloat, she begins to question the strict path her life has always followed.

Maybe there is more to life than studying and swimming. Maybe the secret to surviving high school is just to have a little fun.

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review purposes

Emily is training to be an Olympic swimmer. Her older sister Sara was on her way to breaking tons of records before she died in a terrible car crash. Emily worships Sara, and she feels like she needs to live up to her sister’s legacy by sticking with an 8,000-calorie daily diet, a strict sleep schedule and a daily three-hour training with her dad, who is also her coach. Emily’s schedule leaves no room for a social life except a monthly sleepover with her best friend Kimi. When Emily tries to discover what really happened the night her sister died, she finds out a secret about her sister.

Kimi and Dominique are the two supporting characters in the book. Kimi cares about popularity, and she loves making pro/con spreadsheets of how popular the guys are. Other than that, however, there is not much to distinguish her. Dominique is Emily's number one competitor both in the pool and as competition for Ben Kale. She is always looking for ways to insult and humiliate Emily. She's the mean girl you don't want to mess with.

Ben Kale is hot and popular. He is a party animal and prankster who is not afraid of breaking the rules. With Ben coming into the picture, Emily begins questioning her commitment to swimming, if it's worth the effort she puts into it. Emily starts to cheat on her sleep schedule to spend time with Ben and happy for the first time. Ben makes her see that there is more to life and that it's okay for her to be who she wants to be.

Emily’s dad is a former Olympian and the one who pushes her a lot. He even acts like her coach at home. Emily’s relationship with her father is the main focus of the book. Emily wants to satisfy her father’s Olympic dream, but on the other hand, she desires the normal teenager life. When Emily gets caught by breaking the rules and sneaking out with Ben, she confronts with her Coach Dad about Sara’s secret and her own desire.

Surviving High School is a fun, contemporary book with lots of little life lessons of teenagers. I can’t wait to read the next book, which about Kimi. We didn't really get to know about her in this book, so I'm excited to get to know her more!

4 comments on "Review - Surviving High School"
  1. Sounds like a fun, interesting book! :)

    1. It is. Let me know how you feel about it after you read it.

  2. oh this sounds like a great novel. I love ones centered around sports!

    great review

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf


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