Read Surviving High School by M. Doty Online


What's the secret to surviving your freshman year of high school?Emily Kessler thinks she has it all figured out. She eats, sleeps and trains for competitive swimming. All she has to do is keep her grades high and swim times short -- short enough to live up to her sister Sara's. But walking the crowded maze of unfamiliar high school hallways is like diving headfirst into sWhat's the secret to surviving your freshman year of high school?Emily Kessler thinks she has it all figured out. She eats, sleeps and trains for competitive swimming. All she has to do is keep her grades high and swim times short -- short enough to live up to her sister Sara's. But walking the crowded maze of unfamiliar high school hallways is like diving headfirst into shark-infested waters. Shark #1: Dominique, her biggest competition on the swim team and all-around mean girl. Shark #2: The adorable and popular Ben Kale... Emily can't resist his smile no matter how hard she tries. When the pressure builds to the point where Emily isn't sure she can stay afloat, she begins to question the strict path her life has always followed.Maybe there is more to life than studying and swimming. Maybe the secret to surviving high school is just to have a little fun.The hit mobile game Surviving High School comes to life in an original novel about perfection, failure, and following your dreams....

Title : Surviving High School
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780316220156
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Surviving High School Reviews

  • Aj the Ravenous Reader
    2019-04-22 22:37

    A very genuine depiction of high school life exactly as it is through the life of Emily, a swimmer, the kind who joins and wins national swimming competitions much like her older sister when she was still alive. Emily just like almost everybody else is a normal 15 year old who wants to be able to joggle everything at once- swimming, hard trainings (especially when the super strict coach of the team is her dad) academics, social activities (to be able to blend in) and romance. Things are not too easy especially with the mystery behind her older sister’s death still gnawing at her emotions. When I picked this book up, I was expecting an easy, cutesy read but what I got was deeper and more meaningful than what I expected. The writing is very light though and often very funny and genuine so it didn’t feel like a sad or angsty read at all. “The high school cafeteria is like the solar system. The nerds inhabited the icy asteroids on the farthest reaches. Then, as you got closer to the middle, the planets became larger, warmer and more desirable until finally you reached the sun, the brightest center where only the most popular kids dared to sit.” There were a few plot holes and the characters could use more development. Some parts especially those towards the ending felt rushed but I blame that to the length of the novel. It would have been a lot better if it were longer but overall; it was still a surprisingly likable read. Even more surprising is the fact that this novel is actually based on a game?!

  • Hidalgelis
    2019-05-03 00:32

    *I seriously don't know how I would react or do if I was in the position of the great character of Emily Kressler.Awesome (Check)Interesting (Check)Page Turner (Check)I seriously have no other words to describe this book, I truly recommend this YA contemporary with romance as well. This is my favorite genre out of all of them and I have to say that after reading this book it made my mood go from normal to excited. What are the reasons I have for my mood to go from normal to excited? no idea, probably it is because this book since page 1 (or may I say Page 4 were it really started) made me keep flipping the pages not only because the characters and the theme was incredibly awesome but it was all related to a girl who was following a dream of becoming a professional swimmer who competed and practiced a lot and did not have a normal life like the kids her age. Not only did she not eat ice cream.. Yes ice-cream! but she had to always sleep at a certain time she couldn't have boyfriends, or skip practices. Her dad was someone who pushed her a lot (too much I would say) but that is what parents do I guess they push a lot so us teenagers could pursue our dreams.This book had a strong message which opened my eyes and thought me that it is really important to follow your dreams but not in a way that you miss on life and don't see your friends after school or have fun. Not only did this book had a strong message but it included romance as well.. What could I say? this book is complete book which I give it a 5/5 stars Yea stars! If I were you I would try to get this book and read it as soon as possible I truly recommend this book. I am not saying that everyone would love it because everyone has different opinions but what I am saying is that in my opinion this is an awesome book who has taught me a lot while reading it. I am glad Hip Scouts gave me the opportunity to read this ARC and see how awesome and exciting this book actually is. Well enough talk just go and try this book because I recommend it. Have a nice day. The review is also found on my blog hope you check it out and subscribe.

  • Jennifer Young
    2019-04-25 04:46

    Once I started, I couldn't put this book down! Addictive read. I enjoyed following Emily's story. She has a lot of heart, and I felt the author did a good job depicting realistic relationships with her friends and family. Her relationship with her father in particular is one that I could relate really well to; it's hard knowing that someone in your life loves you while they're simultaneously pushing you so that you'll do better in your life. I also found the storyline fascinating because it really gave me a glimpse into how an athlete would train and live. All in all, this is a really great book!

  • Darkfallen
    2019-05-15 01:37

    This book was soooooo cute!We meet Emily and it's her freshman year of high school. She's just trying to survive it. It's not easy keeping up your perfect grades, training to be an Olympic swimmer under her dads watchful eye, and having an actually life to to that off; but still she has to try. Worse yet she is constantly living in her sisters perfect shadow ever since she died in a tragic car accident. Just when Emily thinks she has it all figured out her lack of sleep catches up to her and everything falls apart. When secrets surface about her sister it's just the push Emily needs to make the decision to be happy, and maybe let swimming go.Like I said before this book was just so darn cute! Once I started I couldn't put it down, and I wish it never ended. Emily was just so sweet and innocent, and the pressure her father put on her was crazy, but still Emily handled it. And of course there was the ever swoon worthy boy, Ben. My heart brook for both of them several different times during this book and I am sooooooo glad they got their HAE!Overall this is a well written book about the stresses of the life of a high school athlete that will grip you from the beginning and never let you go. It's sweet, it's fun, it's a perfect fall read!

  • Spotacus
    2019-04-22 05:38

    I loved this book. Even though I'm a guy, I still related really strongly with Emily's character. It's so tough being a freshman, and this book gives really good insight into what it's like to go to high school for the first time. I think a lot of high school books tend to present a caricature of high school, but Surviving High School really captures the real experience. There's so much pressure... From parents, from friends, from yourself.I just feel that a book that makes you think about this kind of stuff is a great book. That's all.

  • Jacqueline
    2019-05-14 23:36

    I actually really enjoyed this book. I read it in one sitting, and it was quite addicting. I am really interested in elite athletes so maybe that's what got me hooked to it. It was sweet with little life lessons thrown in there, and I appreciated how clean it was--rare these days. It was an uplifting book and I was smiling on the last page.

  • Cabiria Aquarius
    2019-04-27 23:45

    This is a perfect book to explain about being serious about a dream of yours and really going after it and chasing it and doing your hardest. Sometimes it can get hard maybe something happens and you fall out of whack. But he reason we fall is to get back up again, and that's exactly what Emily Kessler did. She fell .... hard .... and stood back up again stronger and happier than ever. I loved it.

  • Justin
    2019-04-23 02:46

    Books based on games are things that have been done before. But I feel like Surviving High School takes that idea to a whole new level. I will admit that I have never played the game the book is based off, but I did think it was a pretty fun idea, especially how younger teens. When you think of books based around games however, you expect to see them based around something Sci-Fi or at least a similar genre to that. You don't really expect to see a contemporary created around one.I really, really enjoyed this book though. It was just what I needed. At the start, it deal with a tough issue but soon after it really mellows out and turns into this really cute and fun story of a girl trying to make it through High School. I am sure we all know how rough of a place High School can be, no matter your "Social Ranking" but it can also be a really fun experience. And I feel like that is what Emily tries to make it into, she deals with a lot throughout the book and while I don't think she handled it all in the best way, I guess that is because I wasn't trying to think as a teenager. And I think that shows that the author did a really great job capturing that teen voice and projecting it onto the pages.For the most part, all of the characters had the vibe you would expect to get from reading a book about High School Freshman. Granted some of the kids are older, it's most about the Freshman. I really loved how the voice was captured, and it wasn't really in a negative way like I have seen in the past. There was angst, but it wasn't really the negative type you see associated with younger teens in other books. I thought it was all written in a really tasteful and enjoyable way. There was some great character building, I liked the friendships and relationships too. When it comes down to it though, there was really nothing I was disappointed about when it came to the characters.I really think this is a great book. It's a contemporary, yes. But the idea behind it is pretty unique seeing as it was inspired by a game. If you look at it in terms of just being a contemporary novel based on High School it isn't the most unique, but it's still a very fun and enjoyable book. It's got a fantastic story, and extremely well written characters that really fit their parts. I just honestly can't think of many complaints that I would actually have in regards to the book.I hope you all will make sure to check this one out though. It's a light and cute read, so if that is what you're looking for I would highly recommend it. I usually tend to get somewhat annoyed with books that involve High School simply because a lot of the times the characters don't seem to really be portrayed like people that are actually that age. But I feel like the author did an amazing job really capturing that essence, and crafting some wonderful characters that led to an even better story.

  • Katie
    2019-05-18 01:20

    Surviving High School is a cute, quick read that I enjoyed. There’s not much depth to it but that honestly didn’t bother me. I enjoyed it for what it was.At the beginning of the book Emily is nicknamed Robot by some girls on her swim team. She gets upset by that but it’s a pretty accurate nickname for her. She eats, she sleeps, she goes to school, and she swims. Ever since the death of her older sister Emily has been this way. She is the sole focus of her dad (the swim coach) and he pushes her to be her best. Sadly it leaves no time for anything else. Emily doesn’t really care though until Ben Kale comes into the picture. For him she just might want a life but to do that she will have to stand up to her father and start living outside of her sister’s memory.Emily is rather annoying for most of the book. Swimming is her whole life and she won’t make time for anything else. She shuts herself off from the whole world and she freaks out over the smallest things. She acts pretty immature and naïve. I really wanted to smack some sense into her a few times. Her friend, Kimi, was fun and interesting but she seemed to care a bit too much about popularity and fitting in. Kimi and Emily had an odd friendship since they didn’t really seem to get each other. However Emily was easier to like when she was around Kimi. Ben definitely made the book better though. Ben was cute, funny, smart, and popular. He wasn’t afraid to laugh at himself and he acted quite crazy a lot of the time. He brought out a better side of Emily and I liked her best when she was with him. Their relationship was really cute.The story itself isn’t really that interesting. There’s a lot of swimming, a little romance, and some growing up. The swimming parts really bored me and I don’t usually find myself bored with sports stories. There was just something about this one that I couldn’t enjoy. I think it was just how Emily acted while she was swimming. She was always trying to impress someone rather than swimming because she loved it. The romance was cute though and it was nice to see Emily growing. I liked her a lot better by the end of the book. I really just wish there was more to the story. It seemed a little lackluster.Overall, Surviving High School could have been better but it was still an enjoyable read. If you are looking for something light and quick, I would recommend this one.

  • tarawrawr
    2019-05-01 06:42

    Review originally posted on my blog High School by M. Doty was an interesting read for me and I definitely enjoyed it. I was concerned at first because the back of the book says it’s based on a mobile game and I wasn’t really sure what depth Surviving High School would bring. I just don’t have a lot of confidence that a game for phones can truly bring across the emotional aspects of losing your sister.And Surviving High School, while not the sort of typically fluffy and hilarious book that I’ve come to expect from YA contemps involving freshman year, definitely did the grief in a lighter sort of tone. Rather than focusing on how Emily really felt about the loss of her sister (although there were certainly moments where she was clearly grieving), a lot of it was Emily trying to discover what really happened the night her sister died and also showing everyone that she’s not her sister. If any of that makes sense.But Surviving High School certainly packed an emotional punch. I loved the way Emily’s relationship with her father was done – the strains in their bond was so clear and so upsetting and I really felt for Emily every time her dad acted like he was just her Coach, even at home. For me their relationship was the biggest part of Surviving High School and I really liked how it was handled throughout the story.And, of course, there’s the romance. The romance in Surviving High School was very sweet and I was really rooting for Emily to stick it to her parents and go out with Ben. I didn’t see a huge connection developing between them at first, it kind of just happened, but even still, I really liked them together.Overall, Surviving High School by M. Doty is certainly an enjoyable contemp that made laugh but still had a lot of depth to it. There’s a lot of little life lessons in Surviving High School, but I thought the focus on family was done perfectly. I recommend Surviving High School to fans of contemps looking for an engrossing but quick read., and I’ll certainly be reading the second book in this series, based on Emily’s best friend.

  • Andrea
    2019-05-03 05:47

    A story that's not particularly lengthy, but full of a wealth of emotion, Surviving High School is proof that size sometimes doesn't matter.Surviving High School tricked me. When I saw that it was based on a game, and contains a mere two hundred, eleven pages, I thought it would be sort of a "fluff" book. A book that skims the surface, nice, but never digging too deep. Boy, was I wrong. Surviving High School centers around Emily, a girl who is beginning high school in the shadow of her newly deceased sister. Since her sister, Sara's death, Emily has been pushed into her role: model student, perfect athlete, quiet daughter. She even eats and trains exactly like her sister did. The other girls on the team? They're not Emily's competition. She's competing against her sister's swim times. It doesn't help that her grieving father is also her swim coach. He pushes and punishes Emily to the very edge, not realizing what a loose grip she has. When Emily becomes involved with a boy from school, and realizes she wants a life outside of the pool and the constraints, she begins to unravel. How long will it takes her perfect life to fall completely apart? And does she even want to save it? Surviving High School was very nicely written. The third person narrative, and the manner in which the story is told gave me the sense of watching the story unfold from above. Sometimes that doesn't work for me, but in this case it was nice. Emily's emotions were conveyed so simply, yet strong enough that I didn't feel disengaged. I find it very interesting that the story, and subsequent series is based on a game. I'm curious as to how it plays out, and I may even buy it for myself. I would love to talk to someone who has actually played it. The next book in the series, How to Be a Star, is based on Emily's best friend Kimi, who is an absolute riot. I'm definitely interested in reading that book as well. Surprisingly thoughtful and full of depth, yet fun, Surviving High School is a book that I can recommend to adults and teens.

  • JeanBookNerd
    2019-05-18 22:31

    High School has always been the land of the unknown, but for Emily Kessler, she has a plan that will help her get through it with ease. In M. Doty’s Surviving High School, it follows Emily through these trying times in her life as she tries to keep her focus on competitive swimming and keeping up her grades. However, the pressure of high school life is too much as she goes face-to-face with the stuck-up Dominique on campus and also on the swim team. To add more weight, the handsome and popular Ben Kale catches Emily’s attention that has her losing her focus. Perhaps the plan she has laid out is not the best fit as she slowly learns that high school is more than just swimming and studying.The message that M. Doty has applied to this remarkable story is one that many young people should follow. Although it is very important to always follow your dreams, one must realize that it is also important to have fun while chasing it. Readers will find this book to be addictive and enjoy following Emily’s high school experience. The depiction of Emily’s relationships with friends and family felt realistic where many readers can relate to. This aspect of the story made the book very special as readers will place themselves into the shoes of Emily and experience each of her problems first-hand. Surviving High School is a fun-filled book with many teenage life lessons. It is highly engaging and will grip readers’ attention from beginning to end.

  • Oliver Miao
    2019-04-23 04:19

    It's amazing! M. Doty did a masterful job of combining the realities and tensions of high school with a fast paced, adventure filled story. As you'd expect with a high school novel, he throws in a healthy dose of romance, too. I love how Emily starts out as a freshman with her swimming and you get to see her mature and evolve, not just as an athlete or student, but as a person.I lent my copy of the book to a friend (I'd never just give it away because this one is staying with me forever!) and she couldn't put it down. In fact she was cranky the next day because she had to stay up late finishing the book. I don't want to spoil the book for others, so I'll just list some of my favorite books, movies, games, and TV Shows and say that this one ranks up there right next to all of them: Hunger Games, Twilight, Harry Potter, Glee, the Olympics (especially swimming), Cause of Death (the iPhone game), and Surviving High School (the iPhone game)! Yes, that's right, if you haven't played the game yet on iPhone check it out. It's addicting!My final recommendation:5/5. The best of high school with a strong, emotional core. Must read!

  • 7706laurel
    2019-05-04 01:48

    I really liked this book. It is based on a game I like by the same name, and I didn't think this book was going to be particularly good, but I was wrong. Emily Kessler, a freshman in high school, has to deal with her domineering dad, a cute boy, the rest of the swim team, and the death of her older sister Sara. This book is realistic fiction. People who like the game Surviving High School will love this book.

  • Melissa
    2019-05-01 02:42

    Emily is an aspiring swimmer. Her sister, also a talented swimmer, died in a car accident the previous spring, which makes Emily's drive to succeed even stronger. Her father is the coach of her high school swim team and pushes Emily very hard. Emily's okay with having no life... until she meets a boy.

  • Sophie
    2019-04-30 06:29

    (seriously i do not know what to say)Power of awesome (LOL)it's a total page turner Emily is super awesome for what she went forit inspire me to step out of my comfort zone and be out there have fun (but not to much fun)A really nice book YA

  • Larkin
    2019-05-16 00:24

    LOVE IT!!!

  • Sophia
    2019-05-05 00:28

    BEST BOOK IVE READ THIS MONTH!! i didnt want it to end!!! i was so sad when i finally finished the book!!! its a must read!!!

  • Arlee4eva
    2019-04-29 04:29


  • Caitlin
    2019-05-12 02:36

    So I read this book in grade 8, a year before I went into high school and like Emily I did swimming but knew there was more then just swimming. After already having a crazy schedule I gave up swimming but I had other dreams in mind which I can relate to her with even if it's not swimming. This book was defiantly a good read and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone who needs a little reassuring.

  • Kaylha G
    2019-05-17 02:20

    Emily was just starting high school, she was very shy but a very competative swimmer. She had lost her sister to a tragic car accident. Ever since her father was very strict and only wanted her at school or at home. The most popular boy at school started to notice her and the started talking her life became miserable because of some boys. I liked this book very much. It was very relatable.

  • Yousef
    2019-05-17 04:28

    High School…the academics are intimidating, the size is intimidating, and even the people can be intimidating. It seems more like war than a center of distributing and obtaining knowledge. The cliché hierarchies, the bullies, and the challenging teachers are all here…in one novel: “Surviving High School” by M. Doty. Emily Kessler…a star swimmer with devotion beyond levels comprehendible by most human beings. One may say it is just relaxing in a pool, but this aquatic sport is far beyond that. Emily lives for competitive swimming. She has a strict diet of thousands of calories, a strict bedtime, a strict multi-mile run schedule, a strict weight lifting plan, and a strict bedtime. This has not become routine for her any longer…this has become her life. In fact, her father is the swimming coach at her new High School. However, high school and its new atmosphere tempt her to deviate from this. Before, she hadn’t even come across the thought that she has become bored of the predictable life. When her enemy Dominique, fellow swimmer, challenges her collective attitude with constant bullying and teasing, she dies a little inside. On top of that, she fears as if her developing body restricts her from swimming at her best potential. As if this hasn’t been enough for her, she fears of seeing Nick, the quiet yearbook committee student. What would he have to do with Emily you say? May of last year, he was driving with Sara Kessler, Emily’s older sister (also very talented in swimming). It was rainy and dark making driving conditions very poor. He made one over-shot turn causing the whole car to flip. He came out alive…only him. Emily fears to see his face because it would be confronting the killer. However, Nick seemed to have no relationship with Sara because Sara was under the identical regime that her father placed upon Emily. Emily finds this relief along the way. Ben Kale…she’s attracted to Ben Kale. With her luck, Dominique is too. Will Emily choose between swimming or just a normal high school life? What in the world was Sara doing with Nick Brown? Well, what can I say? It was definitely an addictive read and such a well written story. The minute changes in the developments of the characters are so well written that you see the true traits of the characters. I can tell that this book was well written. The topic is a little bit overdone (Diary of a Wimpy Kid 1, 2,3…, Loser List, etc.),but it has shown a more realistic approach. The main character, Emily, wasn’t debating on methods to become the most popular student in school, but deciding on leading a normal life or a life of Olympic standard swimming. She has to choose to live the legacy that Sara left her with or just abandon it overall. It’s definitely a 5-star book. A great read overall. It had a different way of approaching high school related problems. It wasn’t the typical objective of becoming popular, but it shows a more relatable subject. It shows the different forms of peer pressure: from school and from the household (i.e. siblings and other relatives). Overall, this is a well done book. Would I give this to just anybody? No…I would give it to a student within Junior High or High School because they have the cognitive abilities of deciphering reality and media. Grading System1 Star- The book was torturous! It wasn’t worth the time that you spent reading it.2-Stars-The book had a 2 chapter’s worth of enjoyable context. I don’t really recommend it.3-Stars-It was a great book, but lacked one special element that would enhance the read. It would depend on the book if I were to grade it or not.4-Stars-It was an excellent book. The majority of this book had great context. However, it is not the book for everyone.5-Stars-The book was almost perfect! I cannot say anything negative about this book. It was worth every nanosecond that you had spent on reading this book. It would be worth reading again.

  • Book Sp(l)ot
    2019-05-07 04:35

    Emily Kessler feels more than the usual pressures upon starting high school. Not only does she heave a new school to navigate, all honors classes to manage, a new social world to maneuver through, and cute boys to crush on, she also has her swimming.Emily is all about swimming and has been for as long as she can remember. It's going to take everything she has - all her focus, a deeply regimented sleep schedule and diet - to be her best, the best and live up to the standards left behind by her older sister Sara.But will even all of that be enough to make it against everything high school has to throw at her? Against Dominique, not only Emily's toughest competition in the pool but also her all-around mean girl and toughest competition for the boy who just might distract Emily from swimming?That boy, adorable and popular Ben Kale, is everything Emily's been told to steer clear of. With Ben in the picture, Emily thinks being not all about swimming might not be such a bad thing.Can Emily find out what it is she really wants, what makes her happy - and survive high school?M. Doty's Surviving High School is a fun and cute contemporary that adds in just enough drama and seriousness to keep the characters real and the action compelling. Emily Kessler is starting high school as the novel opens. She's not, though, that worried about the new school year - at least not for the obvious reason.With only one real friend, Emily isn't worried about who she has classes with or even which classes she does have. She's more concerned with avoiding the boy who was involved with her sister's recent death and keeping her swimming above par.The added elements of Emily's swimming - and the need for it to be top notch - and her need to live up to her sister (whilst also missing her), gave the book some depth. As did Emily's relationship with her father who was also her swimming coach. Their relationship was contentious and trying, but the author kept it from being flat - you could see there was more there.In the beginning of the novel, Emily did almost feel like a different character from one section to the next - or at least in alternating parts she felt like two different characters. When she was with her friend, Kimi, she felt like a freshman but when she was swimming or with her family, she felt like and older, almost upperclassman character.Once I got into things - or connected with Emily more, she didn't seem as divergent. More like a young girl who wanted to have fun but also took her swimming incredibly seriously. I'm not sure if it takes time to connect with Emily and her personality or if she becomes more settled as the book progresses.The progression of both Emily's character and her different relationships did feel very real. They sometimes left me wanting her to make different decisions, be more responsible or think things through a little more-slash-better-slash-differently, but that's what made it feel real in the end. If she'd made perfect choices, done everything right and come through unscathed, she wouldn't have felt like a ninth grader.Surviving High School is a fun, contemporary read that is light but not too light.egalley received from LBYR through NetGalley

  • Stephanny Gheen-Regouski
    2019-04-28 22:48

    This book was so sweet in the end and I was hooked throughout. I loved watching Emily grow as a character.

  • Keely
    2019-05-01 03:21

    Emily has just started her freshman year and all she wants to do is survive it. After her sister dies tragically in a car accident all of her father's pressures about making it to nationals for swimming double onto Emily. While her father wants her to do nothing but swim, study and swim, Emily wants to have normality in her life. She wants to have a boyfriend, go to parties, dances and do everything that normal teenagers do in High School.Emily's way to figuring out what she really wanted was what a lot of high school students go through. Even without sport everyone wants to do well, go to university or what ever else they want to that needs good marks from school. Emily and her best friend Kimi going to a high school party is a big thing for them, they want a boyfriend, to be popular like most high school students. While hiding from the one person who was with her sister when she died, Nick, she runs into the school's very popular guys Ben Kale who can't seem to not look for Emily. Nick and Emily were great influences on each, Emily getting Nick to actually attend class and do well and Nick who helps Emily decide what she really wants to do and that she doesn't always have to follow her fathers plan.I could really connect with Emily and her story since I went through something similar to Emily. High School in Australia starts at year 7 and I was 11 when I started, from year 5 to year 8 I was competitor in Surf Life Saving and I went to state a few times to represent my club while I did it for fun and wanted to do well, I had a lot of pressure put on me to do so. With this I trained twice a week in the pool straight after school for an hour and a half to two hours. Also at this time I was in high grades for soccer competing in the second highest grade when I played with the boys and the highest when I played girls. It is a lot of pressure to do great, to train hard twice a week, play once a week and stay on top of school work. Since I also had pressure put on me academically I started to burn out when everything starting piling up on me. Like Emily when I started to do them all for fun and not competitively I became better, less stressed and more focused on school.A great YA novel about coming of age, making the tough decisions and that sometimes high school can be fun. Rating: 4.5/5Keely xx

  • Alice
    2019-05-19 00:38

    Emily is training to be an Olympic swimmer. Her older sister Sara was on her way to breaking tons of records before she died in a terrible car crash. Emily worships Sara, and she feels like she needs to live up to her sister’s legacy by sticking with an 8,000-calorie daily diet, a strict sleep schedule and a daily three-hour training with her dad, who is also her coach. Emily’s schedule leaves no room for a social life except a monthly sleepover with her best friend Kimi. When Emily tries to discover what really happened the night her sister died, she finds out a secret about her sister.Kimi and Dominique are the two supporting characters in the book. Kimi cares about popularity, and she loves making pro/con spreadsheets of how popular the guys are. Other than that, however, there is not much to distinguish her. Dominique is Emily's number one competitor both in the pool and as competition for Ben Kale. She is always looking for ways to insult and humiliate Emily. She's the mean girl you don't want to mess with.Ben Kale is hot and popular. He is a party animal and prankster who is not afraid of breaking the rules. With Ben coming into the picture, Emily begins questioning her commitment to swimming, if it's worth the effort she puts into it. Emily starts to cheat on her sleep schedule to spend time with Ben and happy for the first time. Ben makes her see that there is more to life and that it's okay for her to be who she wants to be.Emily’s dad is a former Olympian and the one who pushes her a lot. He even acts like her coach at home. Emily’s relationship with her father is the main focus of the book. Emily wants to satisfy her father’s Olympic dream, but on the other hand, she desires the normal teenager life. When Emily gets caught by breaking the rules and sneaking out with Ben, she confronts with her Coach Dad about Sara’s secret and her own desire.Surviving High School is a fun, contemporary book with lots of little life lessons of teenagers. I can’t wait to read the next book, which about Kimi. We didn't really get to know about her in this book, so I'm excited to get to know her more!--For more of my reviews, visit my blog Imaginary Reads.

  • Aisha Oaktree
    2019-04-26 06:28

    Rating: 4.5 StarsReview Posted on Bewitching BibliophileThis starts a little slow, picks up and gets better, it has a few surprised in store for the character, a few lessons to be learnt and of course a cute little romance. It's a good heart warming tale of freshman year in high school, where gaining friends and knowing your place becomes a little more important than in middle school, it's also where you learn to tell who you are outside the pack of middle school friends.Raised by her parents to take swimming extremely seriously Emily focuses on very little else, especially because her father is the swim coach Emily is happy in the water but she's also trapped there attempting to live in the shadow of her sister, who her father won't even mention in their home. Emily struggles with being the perfect daughter and attempting to be herself although she doesn't really know who that is. While going to school she's confronted by a young man who brings life into her little corner of the world and makes her confront the things she's been avoiding. I liked the way she changed and became a young woman when she was with Ben. I loved her little rebellions, and there were moments I just wanted to shake her. I however know this will go over well with it's intended audience simply because she sounds just like one of them. LOL which is good.I didn't particularly like her father and the way he kept attempting to shove her into the tiny box all the while lying about the most important things. I could understand his motivation but I didn't like him.I wonder if there are anymore stories from her (ok so I wrote this then discovered that the author was a guy, I gotta say he did a pretty good job writing a book for teenagers from a girl's perspective)I liked it and t wraps up well, allowing her to find her place, her voice and learn the truth about her sister; while also embracing life.Happy Reading

  • Ally
    2019-05-07 03:28

    Remember the movie The Ice Princess? Well, it turns out Surviving High School is just like it. A boy, a swimming competition, and grades. It sounds really similar to The Ice Princess, eh? Anyway, Surviving High School is a really good and short book (and this will be a short review too. Probably one of my worst because of my late owl habits). It's only two hundred to three hundred pages long, starring the Ice Princess plot without the ice. For those of you who don't know the movie The Ice Princess, let me explain. Or if you don't want me to explain, then you should read the wikipedia article for that movie. Last time I read it, it was kind of weird. ...Maybe you should read my quick summary of the plot. The Ice Princess: The girl wanted to do something awesome for her physics project. Girl studies ice skating and falls in love with it. Girl competes in competition and nearly loses. Girl struggles with parents and enemies. Girl wins. She competes and makes it to a new stage. She's on her way to success. Hip, hip, hooray. Yeah, that's pretty much it. However, I didn't include the plot with the boy. The boy is pretty much a distraction from the true plot, like what's happening in this book. (But the boy, Ben Kale, is actually pretty awesome even though Emily seems to be the cheating type). Of course, there's some notable differences. Like Emily being a swimmer from early in her life while the girl recently started ice skating. And Emily has a dead sister unlike the girl. But it's easily said that the plot is virtually the same if you break it down. I can this: If you like the Ice Princess, then you will like Surviving High School.Emily doesn't seem so sad to lose Sara. It's kind of as if she's suppressing those emotions. It's there, but it's subtle. The ending is very sweet and touching. I love how...oh wait, that's spoilers again. Let's just say that there was a little touch of the supernatural.Rating: Four out of

  • L
    2019-05-03 06:40

    I found this book through the game (I play the Free version on my iPhone). At first I wasn’t sure about diving into the world through a new character (Emily), but I was able to really relate to her. She’s a sweet girl starting out at a new school as a high school freshman. She holds herself to really high expectations in everything that she does, from academics to her really aggressive training schedule—she’s training to be an Olympic swimmer. The pressures on her are really deeply drawn: Her dad is her coach, her sister was on her way to breaking tons of records before she died in a terrible car crash. Emily feels like she needs to live up to her sister’s reputation and in a sense, live for her sister now that she’s gone.You might expect a story like that to feel kind of bleak, but it was actually filled with excitement. I think this in large part thanks to the fun characters. Ben Kale, Emily’s crush, is a party guy and prankster who isn’t afraid of breaking the rules. Emily’s best friend, Kimi, is super aware of popularity and has very unique ways of looking at high school, some of which include spreadsheets of how popular or dateable the guys are. I really loved this book, particularly the ending. I cried when I played the episodes leading up to the novel (for anyone who hasn’t played the game, the last few episodes chronologically before the start of the novel show Sara’s life and the real story behind how she died) and I teared up at the end of this novel too.I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens next for Emily in the game! It was fun to see everyone from the game in the novel, and now I’m looking forward to seeing the characters from the novel back in the game to see what happens next in their story. I don’t want to say any spoilers about the end of the book, so that’s all I’ll say.

  • Savannah (Books With Bite)
    2019-05-21 00:22

    Awww, to be back in high school again. This story definitely puts me back to when I was freshmen in school. So scared out of my whits with an unknown future. Surviving High School places the reader in the shoes of Emily. Who's future is uncertain....What really hooked me about this book is plot. The reader gets a chance to step into the world of high school! Cliques, cute boys, best friends and of course drama. I really like the build of Emily's life. She lost so much the past year and is barely regaining back her footing. She faced with hard decisions to whether or not follow in her sisters shoes or go her own way.The love interest in the book really went somewhere where I thought it wouldn't go. I was for sure it go the other way but surprisingly I like the way it went. The author did a great job in not taking the traditional route in YA books, but going her own way. The way it would have happen in real life. A lot of what happen with the love interest I could relate too. I like that their love grew slow and wasn't all so serious. They like each other and form a great friendship.Surviving High School has more heart than other YA books. It's realistic and prevails till the end. The author is creative in seeking such a story with passion and heartache. Surviving High School is solid in what being a freshmen in high school is like. Haunted by the past, your future laid out for you...what do you choose do to? Surviving High School is well done!