Thursday, February 5, 2009

Review: Swimming With The Sharks

Long time, no blog.

So here's a shiny new review for you to sink your virtual teeth into.

Swimming with the Sharks by Debbie Reed Fischer

Total: Two stars (maybe less, but I'm feeling generous)

{Summary from Back Cover}

Remember the pact. Or else.

Five-foot-eleven. Freckled. Flat as a surfboard. Peyton Grady sees her role on the varsity cheer squad as the only thing keeping her off the social sidelines at wealthy Beachwood Preparatory Academy. It's her umbilical cord to cool - and it's constantly in danger of getting cut.

As a base, it's Peyton's duty to be stepped on - literally - by cheer queen Lexie Court. So when Lexie hatches a fierce hazing campaign against the frumpy new girl, Peyton has no choice but to support her flier. Soon the pranks become sadistically cruel, even criminal. Suddenly, Peyton has more to lose than her new-found Alpha celebrity. Will she gamble her entire future for "the good of the squad"?

Behind The Grade:

For one, Peyton is painfully boring. I mean, some of the best books are spawned from characters that are very unlikeable (Catcher in the Rye, and more recently, Prep, to name a few), but at least Holden and Lee aren't so...blah.

The book is told from her first-person perspective, so a little more characterization would've been ideal. There's a short little passage I MUST share with you.

(It's noted that the stupidly-named Von is the apple of our gal, Peyton's eye)

"We finish and the crowd goes wild, especially Von. I love him even more for that. We do a few more jumps and tumble off to stand right in front of the bleachers. I would give positively anything - my right arm or my virginity or my entire CD collection - to be standing in front of his section..."

This girl has got her priorities in order.

Also, I wish the cheerleading part was featured more prominently. Although it's supposedly a HUGE part of Peyton's life, after the first couple chapters (where a pep rally and practice occur), the actual cheering aspect is barely mentioned at all.

I'm hardly an expect on all things pom-poms, but...don't they go to games or something?

The only really interesting character in the book is the "queen of mean," Lexie. She's never developed more than the nasty cheer captain stereotype and I wish she had been. She had a lot of potential, I thought.

Overall...this book was okay. It's completely predictable and overdone. Poor girl in rich environment? Mean cheerleaders? The writing is cheesy and Peyton doesn't feel like a real person (be that a teenager/friend/daughter/etc.) I wouldn't reccomend this, but it's too boring to be OMG THIS IS TERRIBLE!!111one!


Bookworm said...

Yikes. I thought it sounded good, but now that I read your review, I'm totally agreeing. Sounds a bit shallow.
But I really wanna read Debbie's first book, BRALESS IN WONDERLAND! Badly!

Laina said...

Gah, I hate books like this. It's why I avoid "Chick Lit" like the plauge.

Lenore said...

Wow - her priorites are in order!

Glad to have you back - don't disapear again :)

Khy said...


Ms. Yingling said...

There is always a demand for cheerleading themed books in my library, but it sounds like I'm better off with some Rallison or Scott. May take a look at it anyway, but if I don't like it, I won't be alone!

Sadako said...

I thought it looked good, too, but maybe not so much after your review.

You're right about how sometimes unlikeable characters can still make for good reading. But I guess that only works if the book itself is good?

Snowflake said...

To be honest, it sounds totally cliche. Most of my friends read this type of shallow "chick lit". Me? I like books with some more substance.

Tempestt said...

Wow, I thought this was going to be a good read. How sad to hear it isn't!

Love the passage from the book - when i read it i said: is that a joke, I can't even believe the character said that!


KD said...

Oh my! lol I have heard that this was a really bad or "terrible" one. Good review though :D