Starting with Floyd's tennis skills, competition, and training is a brilliant hook. After that, the mysterious Mike, and his influence on Floyd, is just mesmerizing. I kept turning the pages and being astounded at the ways that Floyd's life took him. Marine biology is an oddly popular career choice among my middle school students (although not many of them actually major in this in college), so that tie-in is nice as well. I can't really explain why I liked this one so much, but my 8th grade readers who want more mature books like Key's Four Mile, Rupp's After Eli, Hautman's Slider and Currinder's Running Full Tilt will enjoy this quirky title.
It was a bit much when Mike led Floyd to a discovery that netted him a LOT of money, but this is perfect teenage wish fulfillment!