What do you do when your whole world falls apart? Lou Brown’s life has been totally focused on her swimming for as long as she can remember and she has finally reached a level where she can try out for Olympic training. However something has gone wrong and at the trials she came in last, with her best friend Hannah winning and getting the chance to go off to training camp. Life suddenly becomes very difficult with the school bullies lining up to make fun of Lou, but then three of the coolest boys in school ask her to help them train for a talent contest; as synchronized swimmers. Added to this, Hannah is having problems at training camp and life at home is not as simple as Lou would like.
This is a funny and sad tale of family, friendship and finding out what is really important in life. Lou tries so hard to get things right and yet they seem to fall apart at the important moment, like the swimming pool collapsing at the talent show trials and soaking the judges and audience. The main themes of the story seem to be around family, school, best friend and whether she will ever get a boyfriend. The author manages to tread a fine line between these various elements, providing just the right amount of pathos and humour. The scene where the family realize they have just attended the wrong funeral had me in fits of laughter (not a common occurrence when reading) and the many water related disasters are all hugely amusing. Perhaps the main lesson that comes across is about not just fixating on one area of your life. If you find that this door closes then you need other things in your life that can take its place and perhaps even more importantly you need friends who like you as a person, not because you are good at a sport or music. A great book for the younger teen.