I really wasn't expecting to enjoy this Young Adult book about competitive high school swimming as much as I did, but it grabbed me right from the start and didn't let up for 590 pages (or more accurately, 14hrs 43mins of Audible listening). The narrator, Evelyn Eibhlin, was brilliant and the issues covered by the book were deeper than just competitive swimming.
Aerin Keane is starting her third high school and has signed up for the swim team. In her previous schools she was a prize-winning swimmer and she knows the pressures that involves. She decides to swim for release of tension only and not to let on that she is any more than a mediocre swimmer, just good enough to ensure a place in the team.
It's a friendly team with a great team spirit and for the first time she begins to feel accepted and to have real friends.
She keeps her family life to herself and gives away little when she is asked why she's living in a new town with her 'Aunt' Maggie.
As the competition intensifies, the truth about Aerin's situation begins to reveal itself and not everyone takes it well.
I really enjoyed the way this novel built the tension around Aerin's story and how she reacted to the inevitable bullying and eventually rose to the ultimate challenge.
The characters were excellently drawn and even though there were a good number of them, I didn't lose track at all.
For anyone who knows any competitive swimmers, this is a must-read, for the rest of us, well, it's a must-read too!
I don't suppose the author would consider a sequel???