Friday, May 3, 2013

Review: Shark Bait by Jenn Cooksey

I think the new cover fits the book so much better than the first one! What do you think?
Goodreads Summary:

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?

Genre: YA romance

My rating for Shark Bait (Grab Your Pole #1):

Oh, this one is a funny read. Definitely serious at points, but it has a bucket load of humor that had me laughing throughout the entire book! Smiling and giggling to the point where the people around me kept asking me what was so funny, haha.

I'll start off with Camie. 

Camie, being previously home schooled, is actually more well-versed intelligently than most teens. She's academically smart, has an impressive vocabulary (which I largely admire) and she has a good head on her shoulders! I wasn't sure if I liked her right off the bat, but I do know that Camie was a refreshing character. Her up-front approach  about matters, which were introduced from the start, were not disrespectful or overly opinionated like most teens but they were more thoughtful and keen observations. 

And of course to accompany this is Camie's sense of humor which was a source for my LOLing while reading the book. Her perception, extensive vocabulary, and sense of humor combine make for some quirky and comical  thoughts and statements.

"I've got to pick my jaw up off the floor. I think while I'm down here, I'll pray and thank God for His glorious creation, because seriously, He does some damned fine work. "

Shark Bait, in a rushed summary, tells the story of Camie's first time dealing with public school, gossip, parties, and boys. In one light, one might say the focus of this book is kind of shallow because Camie and her brand-new BFF, Kate, spend their time scoping out and plotting ways to sink the drool-enducing Tristan Daniels. In certain parts of this book I was struck with that light, but for a good portion of it, I was thoroughly entertained!

As crazy as it sounds, I was kind of thrilled by the whole thing because throughout the book, Camie is trying to learn how Tristan works. He's a very private guy you see, despite his popularity, but nothing ever missed his eye so the smallest of gestures from girls turned him cold. 

I liked Tristan because he had issues that were realistic, teenage boy problems. He had a quality to him that was realistic and although he's a private person, this quality drew me to him, made me want to learn more, just as Camie was trying to do. The thought of understanding Tristan only intrigued the nosy stalker in the corner of my soul. ;) And like I said, although at some points I thought the situation was kind of absurd, I think Jenn Cooksey's writing made the whole thing fun. Getting Tristan to fall for Camie became like a challenge for myself and I was engrossed.

What I didn't like about their relationship though was how fast it progressed. It built slowly in the beginning as Camie tried to understand Tristan, but after the break through, they couldn't seem to not touch each other and I was overwhelmed by it. I wanted Camie to say that they needed to slow down, but so many times they came close to hitting a home run (like on their first date!) and for how intelligent and well thought-out Camie was, I didn't expect her to act like that. Especially since Tristan was her first boyfriend, I would have thought she'd want to take things a tad slower...

Something that kind of made up for the rushed relationship was the serious context that webbed its way into the story. I really appreciated the topics that were touched on in this book.

And now for some misfit thoughts:

There are a lot of great references to shows, movies, music, characters, celebrities, and pop culture in this book! I'll admit, some of the references went right over my head, but that's probably due to the fact that I haven't been very exposed to older movies and songs. The ones that I could I identify with though brought along a strong whiff of nostalgia to mind. Sometimes the references were so dead-on it was like, "Woah!" Like the Say Anything reference. Yeah, I wanted to cry at that I loved it so much!

The white board in Tristan's room? Holy exalted naked chest batman!!! That was SOOOOO funny!!!! I think I reread those conversations a few times before continuing on with the story! Bahahaha! I still chuckle when I think about that.

Two additional characters I loved were Jillian, Camie's younger sister, and Jeff, Kate's on-and-off-again boyfriend.They both made me laugh. Jillian is brilliantly cunning. Jeff is a total goof, but he says exactly what is heart is telling him and I found that SO special. I grew really fond of them :) I don't know how someone could not like them!

All in all, a fun, humorous read. I'm glad I read it :)

Find out more about Jenn Cooksey and her 6-book novel series, Grab Your Pole, on her website  Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter.

**Although Shark Bait is labeled as YA for the age of the characters and because there never was any sex in Shark Bait, I would say this isn't the most juvenile YA novel. There was description of actions and thoughts that went farther than first base and in more than just a few scenes. I'd personally say this book straddles (no pun intended) the line between YA and NA romance. It's probably more of a judgement call for the reader to make.

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