Series: Junior Lifeguards
Author: Elizabeth Doyle Carey
Age group: 8 - 10 years
Page count: 254 pages
Publisher: Dunemere Books
Publication date: April 20th, 2017
Summary from Barnes & Noble:
The new JUNIOR LIFEGUARDS series is wholesome summer fun for young YA readers!
Join the girls of the Junior Lifeguards as they continue their summery adventures in Cape Cod, where ice cream, lip gloss, and sand-between-your-toes combine with crushes and life skills for fun beachfront escapades!
Spend a beachy summer vacation 'down the Cape' with Jenna, Piper, Selena, and Ziggy-- four girls entering their first season as lifeguards-in-training on Cape Cod's famously fun and gorgeous beaches!
In this first book of the Junior Lifeguards series, the girls are vying for spots on the summer squad, with ocean legend Bud Slater hand-picking a team of winners to participate. Will they or won't they make the team? Dive right into Junior Lifeguards to find out what happens on the beach and off!
Jenna used to be the star of her swim team, but recently, she hasn't been doing well. She feels pressure from her coach to improve, and decides to try out to be a junior lifeguard. Her idol, Molly, was a lifeguard, but now her parents avoid talking about her. She has to convince her parents and her coach that being a lifeguard like Molly, would help her swimming. After much wheedling, her friends agree to try out with her for junior lifeguards. At tryouts, she worries that her friends are doing better than her and that the outcome will separate them. Jenna struggles to deal with jealousy and crushes, and learns secrets about her community that affect the way she sees the world.
I didn't like the character of Jenna very much. She seemed to have a pessimistic view of her life, and it was reflected in the writing. The narration felt overly simplistic, which disappointed me. I understood Jenna's frustration over being second-best, but I was bothered that she didn't do anything about it. Most of the book she complained about how others didn't realize how great she was. Jenna could've improved with hard work and effort. I felt that so many amazing messages could have been conveyed but unfortunately, they were omitted due to the character's lack of growth.
I felt that the romance was an adult's interpretation of what they thought teenage girls thought about most of the time. The protagonists obsess over the boys in almost every chapter. There was nothing that made me want to root for Jenna and her crush. It felt so convenient that Jenna and her friends each had a boy to flirt with and blush around. Whenever there was a male around, the characters were guaranteed to gush about them. I felt that the romance was not realistically portrayed, especially in the characters' reactions to it.
The Test is a drama-filled book about friendship and perseverance. It is meant for a younger audience, and since I wasn't the intended audience, I didn't enjoy it very much. It wouldn't be my first recommendation to either elementary school or MG readers. The narration and over-simplified storyline would not convince me to reread it.
Liz and her partners just launched Dunemere Books (www.dunemerebooks.com), which publishes destination fiction: stories with a strong sense of place. Please visit Liz at www.elizabethdoylecarey.com and www.thecallahancousins.com. She lives in New York City with her husband and three sons, a tabby cat named Yankee and a chunky Pug named Noolah.
Taken from Amazon. Click here to view her website.