Making Waves

Saturday, December 31, 2011

“I feel so much pressure. My mom is pressuring me not to let anything slip. Coach is pressuring me to be the best. I’m pressuring myself to earn a scholarship.” She took a tissue from Pam and blew her nose. “All of those are good things, but sometimes it’s just too much when you put them all together – especially when I’m so tired.”

Book: Making Waves by Nicole O'Dell, Barbour Publishing, 2010
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 13-18
Subjects: Stress, Friendship, Evangelism, Relationship with parents, drugs, dating relationships
Summary: The pressure is everywhere! If she really wants to succeed at swimming and earn a scholarship then Kate needs to be at practice twice a day and on Saturday. And she needs to be at her best during each of these practices, but especially during competitions. But she can’t let anything else slip – her friendships, her relationship with her mom, her commitment to the Church musical, her grades, her new dating relationship – anything. Finally the pressure gets too much and some of the other team members notice and give her a suggestion: get addicted to caffeine. So she starts using coffee, energy drinks and caffeine pills to get through the day. It works great until her mom finds out and demands she stop completely. Then comes the big state competition and with no supplements Kate feels worn down and desperately in need of something. When she asks the other team members for help, their offer comes in the form of a new substance she hasn’t done yet: drugs.
Notes: This is one of the Scenarios books – a series where the books start out as a standard realistic fiction book with girls in their mid-teens dealing with normal teen issues. Then at the climax of the book it becomes a choose your own adventure style with two endings the reader can pick from. Both endings are fairly realistic, not a happily-ever-after fairy tale with one choice and misery with the other, but rather both open and real about possible consequences of choices. In this book, the character gets overwhelmed with all the pressure of a normal high school girl and turns to supplements to get by until she if offered illegal drugs and has to choose whether or not to accept it. One ending shows the possible consequences of accepting, the other shows the possible consequences of not accepting and going so far as to turn in to the teacher those who offered it. Another issue brought up is that of dating relationships as she considers whether or not to pursue turning a friendship into a dating relationship. With both endings she considers the possibility of waiting before stepping into that kind of relationship. As for spiritual elements, the character is a Christian but has hidden that fact from the others on her swim team. They know she goes to Church, but she says her mom makes her. In the endings we see how her decision to not act like a Christian or be bold about her faith causes her team members to doubt her when she claims she is. She also learns to turn to Christ as a source of strength and begins praying and putting her trust in Him rather than supplements to find the strength to do her best.
Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Isaiah 40:29 – He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.


Post a Comment

Total Pageviews