Title: How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel
Author: Jess Keating
Release Date: January 6, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Ana Wright's summer just got terrifying. She's finally getting used to living in a zoo (no, seriously—she lives with her family in an actual zoo), when she's assigned to work in the new shark tank. With her worst enemy. Forget about sharks! Ashley is the ultimate predator. And after Ana's favorite croc peed on Ashley's shoes, she's probably out for revenge. This can't be good.
How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel is entertaining and exciting, another adventure into the life of a girl living in a zoo. And it's not just a zoo full of animals she has to deal with. There's also the zoo of navigating middle school and potentially sneaky girls with pink-painted toenails.
Ana is intelligent, passionate about animals. She's quiet, anxious when it comes to big presentations and crowds. Things have finally calmed down after the whole crocodile fiasco and now she has the summer to look forward to. Except when her plans take a bit of a detour and she's suddenly weighed down by pressure and anxiety. Slow, measured changes are fine with Ana, not sudden ones where almost everything is involved.
Through Ana's eyes, the reader sees glimpses of the people around her. Her impossible to explain (because how can you explain boys) twin brother, her scientist parents, and her maybe a little crazy famous adventurer grandfather. The stuck-up Ashley. Ana is more low-key. She sees them as dramatic, but she's the same way. Perhaps even more so when it comes to certain people.
What was interesting was that as Ana sees the people around her, I saw Ana, and it wasn't in a favourable light. At times she sounded stuck-up, accusing. Mean. I was torn between understanding her difficulties with all the change happening around her and shaking my head at her for acting so childish. She is learning, she's still trying to figure out the world and why it's so impossible to understand. But not everything is as black and white as she thought.
Ana is growing up and her world is changing. It's part of life, even though she doesn't want anything to change. But it has to. Things change. Friends move. People change. She has to understand that or else she'll get left behind. In the first book, she leans that she can adapt just fine when she puts her mind to it. Here it's all about everyone around her changing and if she'll be able to go at her own pace or be forced to catch up. Fans of the first book will definitely enjoy this new installment.
(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Sourcebooks through NetGalley.)