Sarah's Stars

Don Calame. Swim the Fly
Candlewick $19.00  ISBN 978-0-7636-4157-3  368 pg.
Reviewed by Lindsey, Age 15

I am completely numb. It's like a switch has been thrown and I'm watching everything unfold but I can't really feel it. I read somewhere that if you get shot, you don't feel it because your body goes into shock mode and it protects you from the pain. I wish I could help Sean out right now, but I can't because I'm not here. In this room. Dressed in Cathy's frilly pink blouse and denim skirt. My face made up like a cheap stripper. Listening to Cyndi Lauper.

It's summertime for Matt, and for him and his two friends, Sean and Coop, that means another crazy goal. One summer it was skinny-dipping in the lake. Another, it was collecting one thousand golf balls from the local golf course. This summer the task is to see a real-live naked girl, which should prove to be quite difficult, seeing as all three guys are too chicken to even talk to a girl. But then a new girl arrives at Matt's below-average swim team, Kelly West, she of the brown hair and green eyes. In a desperate attempt to impress her, he volunteers to swim the butterfly, one of the hardest swimming strokes known to man. Or boy for that matter. Add in a crazy grandfather, a French girl named Valerie and an evil swim trainer named Ulf, and Matt's summer goal just got a whole lot more difficult.

Oh my goodness. This has got to be the funniest book I have ever read! Seriously. So okay, the premise of the book was kind of cringe-worthy at first but the book itself was actually a whole lot more innocent than I thought it would be. Instead of a hormone-crazed romp through the bedrooms of girls all across town, it turned out to be a goofy story about three guys who are just that...guys! Immature, silly and full of heart. Now, I don't mean that this book is suitable for younger readers. I think readers aged 12 and under might be a little bit traumatized, but surprisingly, it was a lot more wholesome than a lot of books for teenagers sitting on the shelves at Chapters. The characters themselves were wonderful. Matt and his friends are all laugh-out-loud funny and they all do some growing up over the summer. Kelly and cute, French girl Valerie were refreshing breaks from the all-male insanity and Matt's family members were alternately unexpectedly touching and completely stark raving mad. Swim the Fly is an easy-breezy summer comedy that will entertain anyone, boys and girls 13 and up.

I give Don Calame's Swim the Fly five out of five stars.


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