Date(s) read: January 1, 2013
Genre: YA Romance
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?
A few of the bloggers I follow had been reading this book last year and were completely RAVING about it — I love a super sweet, YA romance and knew I had to read it eventually! After seeing this book on a few bloggers’ year end list as being awesome (see below for some review links), I picked it up immediately — it was on sale, too! A win-win!
Well, let me just say that I was quite surprised by this one! At first I wasn’t totally into it — I was wondering what I had gotten myself into with my first read of 2013 — but once I got into the story and Jenn Cooksey’s humour, I was absolutely HOOKED! There were times I laughed and laughed, whether it be the snarkiness of the characters, or some of the dialogue — it was just fantastic.
My favourite character in the story (aside from the romance between Camie and Tristan), has to be Camie’s sister, Jillian. Towards the end of last year, I read the first book in Lisa Lutz’s The Spellmans series, a book about a family of spys, and Jillian reminded me of the younger sister in that book. She was crafty and vindictive. For a 12-year-old, she was so smart! I know I wouldn’t want to cross her path — the antics she got up to in Shark Bait were just so funny!
The romance in this book was pretty awesome, too. It was real, which was nice. I was happy that Camie and Tristan both were able to act like themselves, rather than change their personalities for each other. I loved the romance, though I was a little hesitant about it being deemed as a New Adult read, seeing as the main character was only 15 years old. There were some situations where I really wished the characters were older. BUT, I still laughed and smiled like a crazy person whenever they were being lovey together.
It was also great that while there were plenty of things going on that were just wrong — misunderstandings, the wrong things said, etc. — there really wasn’t a crazy love triangle thrown in. It’s always great to read a book where there’s not a love triangle! There’s lots of friendship woes going on (namely the bitchy people at school, or the jocky guy who’s an ass), but all of these characters added great colour to the story. I especially loved Kate, Camie’s best friend — she was a great character, and I loved her relationship with Jeff.
I also really liked all of the references in the book. While I normally don’t like a lot of pop culture references, the music, movies, and books mentioned in the story were older and didn’t seem to date the novel. And I must admit that the characters had great taste in the things that they liked!
And the chapter titles! I love a good book with awesome chapter titles. The funny thing was that the titles were taken from sentences in the chapters, so they didn’t give a ton away, but it was fun finding where the titles came from.
I did have just a few issues with the book, aside from the age of the main character. It felt a little long — maybe there could have been more conflicts towards the end. I also felt like the parents in the story were just a little too lax, but that must be a personal thing. Surely not all parents are this laid back?
In the end, though, I laughed and swooned and thought this was a great story to read. It really was a good pick for my first read of the year! I’m happy that I was convinced to read this one — I look forward to the next one in the series.