Surviving High School

M. Doty. Little, Brown/Poppy, $9.99 ISBN 978-0-316-22015-6
This novel by screenwriter Doty (who is also the game-writer for the Electronic Arts mobile game the book is inspired by) follows the trials and temptations of high school freshman Emily Kessler in the months following the death of her older sister, Sara, in a car accident. A competitive swimmer and top student like Sara, Emily follows the strict diet, exercise, and sleep regime set forth by her domineering coach (and father), a former Olympian. Narrative tension builds as Emily’s longing to satisfy her father competes with her desire for normal teenage experiences, heightened by her growing awareness that Sara kept many secrets from her—like a boyfriend. An engaging cast of supporting characters includes Emily’s best friend Kimi, who makes pro/con spreadsheets of her crushes; Dominique, Emily’s nemesis and chief competitor both in and out of the pool; and Ben Kale, a popular bad boy with a good heart, whose unexpected interest in Emily upends her world. Although the conclusion resolves conflicts too tidily, Doty’s story is a fast-paced, entertaining read. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/06/2012
Release date: 09/04/2012
Open Ebook - 978-0-316-22016-3
Open Ebook - 107 pages - 978-0-316-24649-1
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