Title: Dive Smack
Author: Demetra Brodsky (Debut Novel)
Genre: YA Thriller
Release Date: June 19th 2018 from Tor Teen
Pages: 336 (US Hardcover)
Goodreads Synopsis: 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.
About the Author
Demetra Brodsky is an award-winning graphic designer & art director turned writer. She has a B.F.A from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and lives in Southern California with her family of four and two lovable rescue dogs. Dive Smack, her debut novel, is dedicated to Pumpkin, the monarch butterfly she once saved from the brink of death. Once you read the book, you’ll understand why. She is a first generation Greek-American and a member of the International Thriller Writers. Dive Smack is a 2018 Junior Library Guild Selection.
This awesome tour is going on now! These ladies that run the Fantastic Flying Book Club are amazing and have awesome blog tours. Here’s the schedule for the full tour:
When I heard about this blog tour, I read the synopsis and was interested to give it a try. I’m not a huge contemporary or YA thriller reader; I read more fantasy and occasionally sci-fi. But this was a surprise for me; I didn’t know what to think going into it. Here’s the breakdown of my thoughts:
- Male Main Character: For once, I’m glad to have a male main character in YA! I feel like there’s not enough YA novels that are from the male’s POV (seriously, it needs happen more) so that was a nice change. Theo does deal with a lot of stuff, but he grew on me. He’s a guy who is having some crazy stuff happening to him, but he is very smart with drawing conclusions and fights for finding out the truth. His story is really admirable 🙂
- Overall Plot: The plot of this story is really unique. The aspects of Theo being a diver is so cool! The diving is always one of the things I HAVE to watch when the Olympics are on, so having a book dealing with diving is so cool. The author really shows her knowledge of the sport. I also liked how things quickly snow balled with all the revelations. Crap really hits the fan and I had to keep reading to find out what happened. The overall plot is cool, interesting and kinda twisted as well.
- Side Characters: Both Iris and Theo’s grandfather definitely stood out during the story. I liked seeing the family aspect of Theo living with a grandparent, which is rare to see in books. While both butt heads, I liked how they worked things out. Iris is also really smart like Theo and both of them realize their connections and work together as a team.
- Interesting Ideas: I like that this book deals with the psychological stuff as part of the plot. It was both crazy but fascinating to read about with all the stuff Theo goes through and finds out. I won’t say much more, but the author brought up some really cool ideas I hadn’t seen before.
- It took me at least 110 pages to get really invested in the plot. I felt some of the beginning was a bit meandering and repetitive, but that got fixed after that point and I had to keep reading.
- I personally didn’t like Theo’s guy friend Chip who felt like a one dimensional teenage boy stereotype. I think he could have had a bit more depth, but in the end, he did have some great moments with helping and standing up for Theo.
- I also think that the villain didn’t try enough to be conspicuous in public but he was still pretty scary and messed up.
- While I really enjoyed the ending, I think it needed about 10 more pages to not feel quite as rushed. But this is a small thing.
Overall: I definitely recommend this book if you like darker contemporaries, books with diving in it and a book with a great overall plot. I’ll definitely read more from this author in the future. A solid debut!
Rating: .75 out of 5 stars
This giveaway is really awesome! The winner will receive: a hardcover copy of DIVE SMACK, a signed bookmark, a necklace, a bracelet and signed book plate. Unfortunately, this is US ONLY. But if you want to enter this awesome giveaway, go to the Rafflecopter link here. Good luck 🙂
Have you guys read this book? Are you excited for it? What books with diving or darker contemporaries would you recommend?