Brynn is horrible and Grier is horrible and Gavin is horrible and they behave horribly toward one another. Brynn and Grier have reasons for their bad behavior (but it’s still inexcusable). Gavin may, but McVoy doesn’t let us get to know him beyond the fact that he’s a manipulative asshole (pardon my languages). Since Brynn is our main character, we only get to see the glimmers of her slight personal growth. She is a single-minded teen who is focused on swimming and nothing else. Her mother, despite being re-married, is completely out to lunch when it comes to Brynn’s well being. How could she have missed that Brynn no longer has friends beyond the destructive Grier, or that she is getting the minimum passing grade in every class? It’s not that she is pushing Brynn to be an elite swimmer; that comes from Brynn herself.
I think McVoy is pretty brave, writing compelling books with so few characters you can actually like. I’m interested to know what teens think. (These books have a lot of ‘bad’ behavior – drinking, drugs, cheating, etc. – They’re definitely for older teens.) Teens pretty often don’t like themselves and go through intense hate/love times with their friends, and they DO behave so badly — It’s part of the growing time.
It may sound weird, but I did really ‘enjoy’ this book.