Review: The Deep End by Jenna Guillaume

A special publication to celebrate Australian Reading Hour, The Deep End is a sweet story of a girl. A girl who completely humiliates herself at the school swimming carnival. A girl who feels that she can never show her face at school again. Then the hottest boy in her year, who is also a swimming champion, offers to give her swimming lessons.

The Deep End is a fun story. Rosie is a character who is easy for readers to relate to, as she struggles to swim in a race, eventually humiliating herself in front of the whole school. And Jake Tran is a pretty awesome character too--it's rare to read a book where the hottest boy in school also turns out to be a genuinely nice person. Of course, he has his own problems, anxiety and a pushy mother who is so desperate for her son to do well in his chosen sport that she cannot see how much Jake is struggling. Of course, the pair help one another, but soon it seems that they might be more than just friends ... and none of their parents are happy about them keeping the swimming lessons a secret.

This was a fun, short read, the sort of thing that would be ideal to pass on to a teen who needs a bit of encouragement to do a bit more recreational reading. In all honesty, I'd love to see a few more short teen and YA books like this out there. I know they can be expensive for publishers to create and distribute, but these would be excellent for teens who don't have a lot of time to read due to study/sport/work/family or for those who might find longer books to be a bit daunting for any number of valid reasons. 

And Rosie's experiences in the pool are just so relatable. Who hasn't felt pushed into doing something at school that they know they will fail at? And who hasn't been embarrassed in front of a group of people at one time or another?

A short and great read.


This book was read as part of the Aussie Author Reading Challenge 2021


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