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How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel: 08/16/16

How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel by Jess Keating

How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel by Jess Keating is the sequel to How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes are Untied. As of posting this review, I haven't read the first book, but I plan to.

Ana, her brother, and their parents live at a zoo, started by their grandfather. Ana had plans for her last year of middle school but her best friend has moved to New Zealand, where she's already starting high school. So now her friend has upped the ante, suggesting that they kiss a boy before the close of Ana's summer vacation.

Along with worrying about boys, Ana also has to contend with her grandfather's new exhibit, one devoted to sharks. While she gets over her initial repulsion, she also has to work with a girl she considers her enemy from school, a popular girl named Ashley.

If this were a typical good girl being kept down by a popular girl story (aka Babymouse), Ashley would be every bad thing Ana believes about her. When things start going wrong for both girls, Ana assumes it's always Ashley. She has a hard lesson ahead.

I really enjoyed seeing Ana grow as a character. She goes from blindly believing that the popular girl is a bully who will stop at nothing to stay on top, to seeing her as a flawed but decent person.

Five stars

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