Monday, April 8, 2013

Surviving High School by M. Doty

book cover of Surviving High School by M. Doty

Title: Surviving High School
Author: M. Doty
Release date: September 4, 2012
Publisher: Poppy
Pages: 224
Source: BEA
Reading level: YA

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.

Surviving High School is a cute, quick read that I enjoyed. There’s not much depth to it but that honestly didn’t bother me. I enjoyed it for what it was.
At the beginning of the book Emily is nicknamed Robot by some girls on her swim team. She gets upset by that but it’s a pretty accurate nickname for her. She eats, she sleeps, she goes to school, and she swims. Ever since the death of her older sister Emily has been this way. She is the sole focus of her dad (the swim coach) and he pushes her to be her best. Sadly it leaves no time for anything else. Emily doesn’t really care though until Ben Kale comes into the picture. For him she just might want a life but to do that she will have to stand up to her father and start living outside of her sister’s memory.
Emily is rather annoying for most of the book. Swimming is her whole life and she won’t make time for anything else. She shuts herself off from the whole world and she freaks out over the smallest things. She acts pretty immature and naïve. I really wanted to smack some sense into her a few times. Her friend, Kimi, was fun and interesting but she seemed to care a bit too much about popularity and fitting in. Kimi and Emily had an odd friendship since they didn’t really seem to get each other. However Emily was easier to like when she was around Kimi. Ben definitely made the book better though. Ben was cute, funny, smart, and popular. He wasn’t afraid to laugh at himself and he acted quite crazy a lot of the time. He brought out a better side of Emily and I liked her best when she was with him. Their relationship was really cute.
The story itself isn’t really that interesting. There’s a lot of swimming, a little romance, and some growing up. The swimming parts really bored me and I don’t usually find myself bored with sports stories. There was just something about this one that I couldn’t enjoy. I think it was just how Emily acted while she was swimming. She was always trying to impress someone rather than swimming because she loved it. The romance was cute though and it was nice to see Emily growing. I liked her a lot better by the end of the book. I really just wish there was more to the story. It seemed a little lackluster.
Overall, Surviving High School could have been better but it was still an enjoyable read. If you are looking for something light and quick, I would recommend this one.
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  1. quinnsbooknook

    Hmm, sports books aren’t usually something I can ever get into. Also I am getting a little tired of all the “mean girls” in books. Talk about stereotypes.

    Thanks for the review, though.

  2. Christina Kit.

    I think the fact that there are more and more books about girls being competitive athletes is awesome!! Though she should’ve enjoyed it more for herself and not just to compete

    Love that this was fluffy but had a few good points!

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