Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Dive Smack ~ Demetra Brodsky review [@demetrabrodsky @torteen @StMartinsPress]

Dive Smack
Tor Teen
June 19, 2018
336 pages
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Theo Mackey only remembers one thing for certain about the fire that destroyed his home: he lit the match.

Sure, it was an accident. But the blaze killed his mom and set his dad on a path to self-destruction. Everything else about that fateful night is full of gaping holes in Theo’s mind, for good reason. Maybe it’s better that way. As captain of the Ellis Hollow Diving Team, with straight A's and solid friends, he's only one semester away from securing a scholarship, and leaving his past behind.

But when a family history project gets assigned at school, new memories come rushing to the surface, memories that make him question what he really knows about his family, the night of the fire, and if he can trust anyone—including himself.
A dive - like those one by members of the a dive team - is the perfect reflection of how Dive Smack will make you feel: it is full of twists, turns and sometimes the unexpected, it's fast and can seem confusing from the outside, but can be amazing at the finish.

Not to mention just how wrong you know things can go in an instant.

There were times when I really did not know what was going to happen in the story. I wasn't sure what genre the book fit into, whether things were really happening the way they seemed to be - or if it was a trick on the mid of the character and/or readers.

You don't know why Theo doesn't know what happened the night his house burned and his mother died - and you aren't really sure if you want him (or readers) to discover the truth. Will it be more painful than what he's imagined? Than the not knowing?

I loved that Theo was the captain of his school's Dive Team. Not only were the diving definitions at the top of each chapter great little peeks into what might be to come, it really was the perfect sport/hobby/pastime/skill/talent/passion for both Theo and the story. The notion of control and what that meant for not only his diving but his life away from the pool; the real danger that not being completely present and cognizant could put him in, really amps up the tension and your desire for answers.

The secondary characters in the book were real fun while still playing important roles in the story. I loved Chip (with his lack of a filter), his mother (and the dog she'd so smartly trained), even GP and his less than stellar parenting style. At first I was not sure about Iris (she seemed more what Theo, or a general teenage boy, would want her to be than a real, actual teenage girl) but she definitely grew on me.

Everything, from the losses Theo experienced to his current living situation to his friendship with Chip to his not-stalking of a girl to his not-really-Uncle Phil to why he wants to dive so well to the school project he has to do, all made for this perfect confluence of factors and events for both the character and the story. Dive Smack,, its characters and its story were very original and creative and made for an incredibly entertaining read.

finished copy received from publisher, for review consdieration

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