Review Detail

Kids Fiction 2335
Just in time for the summer Olympics
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Susan Carol and Stevie are back, and this time Susan Carol is very close to making the Olympic team. She is approached by all sorts of agents and sponsors because she is not only a fantastic swimmer; she is also pretty. Her father is bowing to the pressure for her to wear logos at every interview, which confuses and angers her. Stevie, writing for the Washington newspaper, manages to go to the Olympic trials to be with her (their long distance romance seems to be working better than most), and when she makes the Olympic team, he goes to London as well. While in London, the politics and agent anxiety increase-- Stevie is yelled at for talking to Susan Carol and not getting proper permission to speak to other swimmers. He has to struggle with balancing his reporting with wanting to be with his girlfriend all the time. Susan Carol has to struggle with an increasingly overbearing father who wants her to fire her long time coach because he isn't "big time" enough, and with the pressure to win a gold--so that she can earn the big bucks in sponsorships. When it is clear that another girl, Elizabeth, is a better swimmer but not as pretty and personable as Susan Carol, Susan Carol becomes angry that looks count for so much. Is someone sabotaging Elizabeth because she isn't as attractive? Stevie and Susan Carol are able to use their well-honed investigative skills to figure this out.
Good Points
Even though this book is about a girl, the guys will still pick it up. I was oddly intrigued by all the swimming descriptions as well as the machinations of the agents. Feinstein's background as a sports news writer is always apparent, and that's a good thing when trying to hook reluctant readers. I also liked Susan Carol's ambivalence about her newfound fame.
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