Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: June 7th 2016
by Feiwel & Friends
Lou Brown is one of the fastest swimmers in the county. She’s not boasting, she really is. So things are looking pretty rosy the day of the Olympic time-trials. With her best mate Hannah by her side, Lou lines up by the edge of the pool, snaps her goggles on and bends into her dive…
Everything rests on this race. It’s Lou’s thing.
… or it was. She comes dead last and to top it all off Hannah sails through leaving a totally broken Lou behind.
Starting again is never easy, particularly when you’re the odd-one out in a family of insanely beautiful people and a school full of social groups way too intimidating to join. Where do you go from here? Finding a new thing turns out to be the biggest challenge Lou’s ever faced and opens up a whole new world of underwater somersaults, crazy talent shows, bitchy girls and a great big load of awkward boy chat.
Lou Brown guides us through the utter humiliation of failure with honesty, sass and a keen sense of the ridiculous. This girl will not be beaten.
-A copy was provided by Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for review-
Hello loves!! Today I have the pleasure of taking part in the Goldfish blog tour. I have my review and a guest post from the author. This book is about swimming and summer is the perfect time to be thinking about that. I can’t wait to hit the beach soon. Hopefully some of you will be too. Just don’t forget the sunblock!! (Sorry, I work at a dermatologist office so I have to promote keeping your skin protected.)
While I enjoyed this book, it wasn’t one of my favorites. The MC kind of irritated me, but once again it may be because since I am older, it’s harder to remember the high school girl mind. She just seemed so much about herself and it took too long to really think about others. The cast of characters was pretty good though, and I did enjoy getting to know each and every one of them. Even the mean girls. I do understand how competitive sports can be as I was once a competing gymnast. I also understand how horrid coaches can be when there goal is to be the best and they forget that you are also still a child or young adult. That was where this book really hit home with me.
I will start with Louise. Swimming is her life, her dream, her everything. She dreams of the Olympics and she is convinced she has what it takes. That she is good enough. When she totally bombs at the trials, she can’t believe it, but even worse, her BFF has come in first and she will be going away to this amazing training camp. She knows that she shouldn’t be bitter, but she can’t help but hate Hannah a little bit. Not only that, but she is afraid that everyone at school will know she is a failure. She’s no longer on the swim team, and all the girls are snotty and mean like she is the scum of the earth, and even her coach who loved her is cold and unsympathetic. So she tries to go about her life, but she just loves swimming. When she stumbles upon some of the popular boys wanting to do something fresh and new for a talent tv show, she decides she will be there coach for sychronized swimming. She is in way over her head, but it makes her come to her senses and start thinking of others before herself.
Meanwhile, poor Hannah is not having a good time at the training. It’s so hard, she’s so tired, and she is too concerned about every bit of skin and non-existent fat on her body. It’s so much pressure from them, and her parents. She really needs a friend, but Louise is distant. She is in a bad state and she is having a really hard time. Luckily, eventually Louise comes around and she realizes that Hannah may actually be a danger to herself due to all the pressure to be the best.
The boys are all really great. I won’t get into each one, but they all have their own personalities. Some are not so pleasant, and some are really sweet. All of them are determined to win this talent thing, and they all are actually really great to Louise in there own way, even through all the ups and downs of everything.
I think that all the characters had major growth throughout the story and that it was very real to how people that age act. I think the author did a great job at capturing reality with this. I thought the story flowed really well and it kept me engaged to where I was able to read it in two nights. Though this story wasn’t perfect for me, I did enjoy the author’s writing and will be looking forward to more in the future, whatever genre or type of story it may be.
Now for a fun guest post from the author!!
Author Guest Post- Five Favorite Places You Like to Swim
The sea! Always the sea, I love it – especially the warmer ones. Though I do find after about 10 minutes
of swimming in the sea I’ll suddenly think of Jaws and see my own spindly legs thrashing above me from
a Shark’s point of view and then I’ll panic and race back to the beach.
I used to work in a spa in Watford (they made me answer the phone “Watford’s 6 star resort!” which is
WRONG like “we give 110%!”) but they had a lovely pool that was painted black so the water looked
black. I loved swimming in there but invariably would convince myself there was a shark in there and
The Lido near me, Brockwell Lido. It’s unheated and freezing 350 days of the year BUT you can see to the
bottom and definitely no sharks and sometimes ducks swim alongside you.
Muswell Hill Lido when I lived in North London. Same deal as Brockwell Lido.
Hampstead Heath ponds – they are lovely. Despite being quite cold and there are weeds that catch at
your legs and gross you out, and there’s a big goose nicknamed Ryan Gosling who pecks your head when
you swim past AND last time I was there a man followed me, flashing and I called the police. But c’est la
vie. It is still a nice swim.
Thank you for the great guest post. If I ever make it to London I will have to check out some of your favorite swimming spots. I mostly go to Hampton Beach in New Hamphire here in the US, but the water is quite cold. My favorite beach is one in North Carolina and it’s on the bottom edge of the outer banks. The water is warm and beautiful, but it’s quite a far trip away from Massachusetts.
I hope you all enjoyed the guest post. I would love to know where some of your favorite places to swim are. I may have to make a list and maybe make a fun road trip out of it.