cover image Summer's Promise: Lifeguards

Summer's Promise: Lifeguards

Todd Strasser. Scholastic, $3.5 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-590-46966-1

Strasser's ( Friends Till the End ) Lifeguards series gets off to a slick start with this story of several teenage lifeguards in the summer resort town of Far Hampton. Sharing lifeguard duty are Jess Sloat (she has ``straight, sun-bleached blond hair'' and ``long, tanned, bare legs'') and Reed Peterson (``handsome, chiseled looks, a high forehead, and a slim straight nose''). With such impeccable physical credentials, their instant attraction to each other could only be inevitable, but they are from very different worlds: she is a ``townie'' whose father is chief of police; he is a wealthy preppy from the city who summers at the family mansion on the beach. It sounds like a contrived setting for a hackneyed plot, but Strasser is a creative story teller and adds enough intrigue (much of it masterminded by Reed's incredibly but deliciously wicked, rich girlfriend) to move this novel along swimmingly. Readers may feel cheated when the ending leaves a number of loose ends dangling, but a sequel, Summer's End , will follow in another month. A series well suited for beach-blanket reading. Ages 12-up. (June)