Title: Shark Bait (Grab Your Pole #1)
Author: Jenn Cooksley
Published: June 15th 2012
Previously homeschooled Camie Ramsey is being shoved into the shark-infested waters of public high school, where even helium filled, penguin bespeckled arm floaties likely won’t help keep her inexperienced, fifteen-year old head above water in that rip current of hormones and emotions. Camie’s worldly wisdom might be severely lacking (i.e., the closest she’s come to being kissed was sitting too close to the TV whilst Jake Ryan leaned in to give Samantha that fateful 16th birthday kiss), but she does understand her only hope for survival is if she’s thrown some kind of “social” life preserver before she sinks like a freaking rock.
However, what will her fate be when she endeavors to flag down the only lifeguard on duty, the enormously popular and ridiculously beautiful Tristan Daniels? The most sought after and virtually most unattainable guy in school who not only makes Camie’s heart flatline on a recurring basis, he’s also the one guy who seemingly doesn’t know she exists. Feeling like an inept piece of chum that could ultimately be swallowed by Jaws, can Camie get Tristan to rescue her from floundering in the treacherous deep, or is she destined to be Shark Bait?
Author's Note: While the tales themselves are fictional, some of the events and characters are very loosely based in reality and on my experiences—but don’t worry, the names of the characters, most of their unfortunate fashion sense and/or questionable taste in music has been changed to protect the not-so innocent.
**Due to language and some adult content, this book may not be suitable for readers under the age of 16**
So I won this book from a contest that Mel, Erin & Regina put on --- http://mereadalot.com/
I needed something to read so I "dived" in :-) I was beyond pleasantly surprised. Not only did I breeze through this one, I went on to buy/read books 2 and 3 in this series and now can't wait for book 4 to come out. It's happy, fun, cute, snarky, hysterical and honestly had me laughing out loud (so much so that on the plane my husband & my 9 year old were asking what's so funny? -- and this book is not appropriate for those under 16 years old so I tried to contain my laughing out loud!)
The main character, Camie has been home-schooled by her mom, due to her mom's illness Camie gets put into public high school in her sophomore year. Well I can't even imagine that (because it would be hard to move from one high to another in your sophomore year but to come from being home schooled -- wow!). All in all I think Camie handles pretty well. Yes, she is incredibly "clueless" how things "work" in high school (social norms) and the normal craziness/drama of teenagers but if she wasn't --I would be questioning that. She sees Tristan on day 1 almost first thing in the morning and is immediately in "love" with him :-) (remember this is high school so it totally works)
Camie also meets Kate on her first day and together they plot to "reel" Tristan in. Kate has been friends with Tristan and Jeff (these guys are BFFs) since birth essentially and has been dating Jeff since 3rd grade. So its a cute little trio that Kate wants to add a fourth person too. She immediately likes Camie and essentially one the first day has decided that Camie is going to be her BFF and tells her as much. Since Kate really has the 4-1-1 on Tristan and devises a plan to help Camie get Tristan (this is also soooo high school -- I love it!).
Kate's boyfriend and Tristan's best friend -- Jeff -- I love this guy. He is hysterical, laid back, and full of love for Kate and Tristan. I could actually go on and on about all the so called supporting characters (I saw so called because its almost like they are all main characters).
Tristan - Well, he is totally swoon worthy -- pretty much every girl wants to date him and every boy wants to be him. BUT he has never done the whole girlfriend thing, just the whole hook-up thing with no strings attached. So you know there is something else going on with this mysterious boy.
In addition to Camie, Kate, Tristan, and Jeff -- There is Pete, Melissa, and Jillian (Camie's sister). All of them are written very realistic and they are not just background characters at all. They were integral to the story and provided a true depth.
I really enjoyed the characters love of music and I totally agree. I love music and it was a HUGE part of my high school experience, I definitely made "mix" tapes (we called them "Stirs" b/c I was just too cool for the word "mix" in high school I guess :-)), wrote lyrics out and put them on my walls, and I really remember being in high school thinking "oh these lyrics fit my life or the situation perfectly -- I still hear things today and am immediately reminded of a particular time when I was young. It was like the music was speaking to me. But the one thing I found odd was that characters were totally obsessed with 80s music which I was ok with b/c I got the references I found it odd that these high schoolers loved the 80s so much? Since I got most of the references I let this one slide :-) Otherwise I might of been "googling" song lyrics if they were from today :-) Someone should make a soundtrack for this book.
There is ALOT of a teenage drama in this book -- but honestly that's pretty realistic for teenagers so I was ok with it. That's what being a teenager is all about!
Since I have read all three books I have to they get better and better. Book 1 is in Camie's POV which is nice because you really get to know her and her inner dialogue is awesome. In book two Jenn throws in some other characters POVs and then in book three its almost always in someone else's POV -- including Tristan, Jeff, Pete, and Brandon -- which I loved. It is so cool to get inside the male characters heads and Jenn does a great job with them.
Fair warning, this does have some pretty vulgar language and some pretty steamy scenes so I would recommend it to a more mature crowd. I actually found myself thing did boys really curse that much in high school? I mean yeah kids curse but that much??? I could of done with a little less of the "F" word :-) I think I felt that Camie should of been a junior -- not a sophomore.