Friday 21 July 2023

Double Negative

Finished July 17
Double Negative by Susan Marshall

This teen novel has a lot going on, with some romance and betrayal, friendship issues, school extracurricular activities, and athletic commitments. 
The main character, Reece, has an injury that pauses her competitive swimming activity. She's been swimming at this level for years, and has hopes of a swimming scholarship to help with her university goals. She, along with other swim team members, and high level athletes, go to a school that prioritizes these activities and structures academics around training and competition commitments. Because she's injured, she gets moved to the public high school, where her older brother Jaime also attends. 
Jaime is working on his extracurriculars in hopes of getting a university scholarship as well, and is running for president of the student council. When his vice-presidential running partner is disqualified, he convinces Reece to take their spot. 
Reece is slowly adjusting to life at the high school, which involves more activities that she is used to, and begins to find she enjoys some of them, while still missing her previous environment. But her former friends seem to have quickly moved on without her, and although she does the physiotherapy and other work to bring her body back to prime condition, she feels set apart from them. 
As Reece faces new challenges, from mentoring a younger swimmer, to writing a constitution for the student council, she also finds herself attracted to Zain, one of her brother's strongest critics, and an athlete himself. 
Zain has had his own setbacks, and has some baggage from that that causes complications in how they relate to each other.
This book really immerses you in Reece's situation, so you can feel her frustrations (with her brother, her body, her father, Zain, and others) as well as her determination (to get well, to create a good constitution, to get justice for those she feels deserve it). Good characterization and real teenage decisions bring this book to life. 

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