Genre: Mature Young Adult Contemporary
Source: Received from author for review
With the Amazon Bestseller Shark Bait, the first novel in the Grab Your Pole series, debut author Jenn Cooksey delivered a fun, snarky, and realistic beginning to a larger story that has found its way into the hearts of readers everywhere. Thus, many were unprepared for what was coming in the second installment of the GYP series, The Other Fish in the Sea, when Cooksey took us on a runaway roller coaster ride of emotion and solidly landed hit after hit, including a brutal sucker punch that left readers around the globe reeling.
In Shark Out of Water, the highly anticipated third installment in this humorous yet honest and real coming of age story, we delve even further into the lives of the GYP gang and many questions are sure to be answered, however, are you really ready for what lies ahead in the continuation of their adventure? Well, grab your pole and let’s find out.
Well, damn. I just don't even know where to begin with Shark Out of Water. I can sincerely say that it is one of the funniest, saddest, most enlightening, and intense stories I've ever had the pleasure of reading. When I started the Grab Your Pole series, I was thinking I was going to dive into a fun, witty coming-of-age story about a girl, a guy, and their circle of friends. But what I got was simply stunning. Jenn Cooksey hooked me with her witty, completely unique way of storytelling; she's been reeling me in ever since.
When book two, The Other Fish in the Sea, ended, things were really, really bleak for Camie and Tristan. His actions were shocking, and more than a little infuriating and heartbreaking. Like Camie, Jeff, and most of the others, I just could not begin to wrap my head around why things went down like they did. Shark Out of Water picks up immediately, and the intensity only cranks up. I know that I will use the word intense waaay too many times in my review, but that is the best way to describe this story. And really, that's only the tip of the iceberg. (Titanic joke, y'all!)
Where book two was the girls' story, now it's the guys' turn to speak. And boy do they know how to tell a tale. These boys, they have so much depth and Cooksey made them shine. She has a true gift for an authentic teen male voice. And what makes it great is that not only do the guys tell their own story, but through insightful observation, they tell each other's story.
Tristan Daniels, gorgeous and cocky, there's more to this massively intense guy than I ever thought. His depth of emotions, what he feels for Camie, how much he truly punishes himself, was utterly heartbreaking. And Cooksey does not hold back with Tristan. He goes to some very deep dark place in his psyche and the amount of self-loathing he feels is staggering. I was scared for him. Jeff is still pretty freaking great. I love his devotion to his friends and Kate. He is still trying to deal with the tragedy in book two. He's trying to hold his friends together, and goes to extraordinary lengths to bring Tristan back, psychologically. There is a deeply intense scene between these two boys that had me literally sobbing and holding my chest. I have rarely ever felt that sort of pain from any story.
Now the other guys, Pete and Brandon, their stories aren't as dark and intense, but, oh how I love them. In Shark Bait, Pete was sort of a periphery character. Brandon, too. I loved the small parts they played, and am immensely happy that they are now huge parts of the story. Sneaky, sneaky Pete, he is the best, the glue. And Brandon! That sexy, sexy bad boy who stole my heart in The Other Fish in the Sea. He plays it cool, but the boy has a lot going on in that beautiful head of his. Insightful and sexy? Brandon is a WINNER.
To be honest, I can't even make myself really lay out what happens in Shark Out of Water. I'm so close to this story and the characters that it hurts. Cooksey has managed to take these people (because I refuse to believe they're not real) and makes you see them, hear them, and most definitely feel them. There were Aha! moments, one in particular that made my jaw drop and burst out in tears because I was so shocked and so happy at the same time. There were enlightening moments that spoke of trust, loyalty, learning to control emotions and communicate healthy ways.
I know that I've talked about Intensity Intensity Intesity (and boy is it ever!), but the story is truly heartwarming, insightful and hysterical. I love that Cooksey interspersed laughter among the tears and lessons. And that, that there is why the Grab Your Pole series is so special to me.
The Grab Your Pole Series
(click on cover for GoodReads page)
My Reviews of
Shark Bait | The Other Fish in the Sea
Shark Bait | The Other Fish in the Sea
Purchase the Grab Your Pole series
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