Shark Bait (The Grab Your Pole Series) by Jenn Cooksey

Publisher: Self-Published (2012)

Format: Kindle

Plot:  Camie and her sister had always been home-schooled until their mother’s cancer led to a move and the girls’ first-ever enrollment in public school. On her first day Camie meets hottie hot hot Tristan and it’s a complete case of insta-love. The main problem is that Tristan – while seemingly a great, intelligent guy – is also basically the school man-ho who has never bothered with a real girlfriend. Armed with masses of information from Tristan’s friend Kate, Camie sets out to do the near-impossible and make Tristan realize that they’re meant to be together…for more than just one night.

Review: While I have some issues with this book in the end I really enjoyed it and had a huge smile on my face (especially after reading the “sneak preview” for the next book). Both Camie and Tristan can be moody, overly-defensive, accusing, and even jerks at times. But what I liked best is that Camie never backed down or thought that just because she was the new girl she should give Tristan slack for his behavior. I didn’t always love or agree with how these two got to where they were going but I did enjoy the journey.

That being said my number one complaint is how little action there actually was. In my family we have an expression for movies where almost nothing happens and people just standing around talking (ie: any Merchant and Ivory movie) – “talking head” movies. Well, this was a total talking head book. There were literally pages of nothing but dialogue and often what little action there was revolved around drinking/getting stoned. Even when there was drama it typically wasn’t action but two characters talking at each other. I mean, I’m a girl and I understand that we tend to obsess over guys but I was exhausted just reading all of Kate’s theories on the minutia of Tristan’s every action. Do people really do that?

Oh! But one thing I’m definitely going to take from this book and actually apply in real life (how often can you say that?) is the whole idea that people have different “love languages” – some people demonstrate caring physically, some through words, some are through actions, etc. Maybe you guys know about this but it was totally new to me. Just because I demonstrate affection for another person in a specific way doesn’t mean they “speak” the same language and I need to understand that. Life lesson learned!! (Not quite Mischief Managed, but whatever.)

In the end I’m going to give this one an 8 out of 10.   

Based on the following criteria:

How much did I like the heroine: 8. Sometimes I loved Camie and sometimes I just wanted to strangle her. She could be so confident in herself and her beliefs one second and then a complete mess a moment later (so: a typical teenager). What I really loved about her was how she didn’t back down when Tristan got mad but stood up for herself and made sure he realized how narrow-minded he was being by not listening to her side of the story. But then he did this totally unacceptable thing and rather than confront him she got all passive-aggressive and then lied about how she actually felt. It also totally freaked me out that her entire life for like 6 months was nothing but obsessing over one guy. Girl – get a hobby (and I don’t mean getting up at 5am to watch him swim laps after you get together, cause that’s just creepy.).

How much did I like the love interest: 9. Part of me really wants to give him a lower vote because Tristan can be a total ass but I’m shallow and let me share these two direct quotes from the book: “he looks just like Taylor Kitsch with light brown hair and blue eyes.”   [Tristan]: “[I’m] just over six-four and shy of two-thirty”. HOLY HELL BATMAN. I can’t argue with stuff like this. Plus he’s smart enough to be in AP classes and loves Buffy! While I hate the whole “woe is me, I’m so hot that everyone treats me like a piece of meat but I’m really wicked deep” plotline I’m giving him serious leeway because as was recently detailed, I love me some Tim Riggins and we are meant to be together. However – Tristan seriously needs to learn that relationships involve communication and you can’t blow up every time someone does something you don’t expect. Hopefully there will be progress in book #2.

How believable is the plot:  10. So much angst, unnecessary drama, and craziness? Beyond realistic. I’m also adding their English teacher to my “teaching styles not to employ” binder. Giant pillows and gameday Fridays? Wtf??

How much did I like the writing style/editing/etc: 8. Overall very good but there was a serious overuse of italics. I feel that most people who read recreationally are intelligent enough to decipher what is important. Also – Camie is supposed to have a large vocabulary but several times words were used incorrectly which made me think of Amy March and that is NOT a good thing.

How much did I want to keep reading: 10. No doubt, I was seriously involved. At times because I really wanted Camie to smack Tristan but whatever, it counts!

Glasses of wine I drank while reading: 4. Woe is my liver! Why do characters have to vex me but then make me like them so much? All of the drama around what I’m terming the “big scandal” was way too much and sometimes booze is the only answer.

Final Score: 8/10. This is another one of those magical books where I was mad, I was happy, I yelled, I was giddy…I was basically schizophrenic. But my lasting impression is a positive one and the spoiler for the next book was so cute!!!

****Disclaimer: I got this book for free from the author. I swear I didn’t bribe her in any way, or get paid for my review. And we might not be legit enough to need this disclaimer but after working at a law firm for many years it’s better safe than sorry!****

Now on to the good stuff!!! We’re part of the Back to School Jenn Cooksey Shark Bait Blog Hop (seriously, try saying that without staring at the pic below; difficult!)

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway for your shot at an e-copy of Shark Bait, but for a chance at the grand prize, the Ultimate Shark Bait Swag Bag, make sure you travel to every blog on the hop and jot down the highlighted letters and what blog you found them at in order to answer the scavenger hunt question! All blogs are listed on her site. The grand prize giveaway will be at the final stop of the hop over on Jenn Cooksey’s Blog on September 21st!!

To enter our contest is so easy. See the Rafflecopter box below, do whatever it tells you to, count those entries toward winning, and…that’s it! You could be our winner. Good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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2 thoughts on “Shark Bait by Jenn Cooksey (Plus a Scavenger Hunt and Giveaway!)

  1. I must say, I was a little surprised by some of the things that I read in your review, and I find myself (respectfully) disagreeing with some of your points.

    The very first thing that I feel is necessary to point out is that your space time continuum is somehow messed up. The book begins in October (taking the prologue out of the equation) and also ends in October, so that is no more than four weeks of obsessing over a drool-worthy Tristan! (swoon!) Even if you made a mistake in the POV of the prologue, that’s still only four months (which is explained later in the story)…not six. (Sorry, not to correct you on your own blog, but the difference between “her entire life for like 6 months was nothing but obsessing over one guy” and 4 WEEKS, is a BIG difference.) Just sayin’.

    Secondly, I wholeheartedly disagree with your “teaching styles not to employ” statement. Giant pillows and game day Fridays should be used in EVERY classroom. Some of the classes that I did the best in when I was in high school (quite a while ago, I’ll admit) were the ones that had unconventional teaching methods. 🙂

    As for the use of italics, again, I have to disagree. I’m the person who is constantly looking and hoping for that “Sarcasm” font, that never appears in writing, and so I think that while most recreational readers will certainly pick out what is important, sometimes in writing, it can be missed, even if you’re really paying attention…

    Overall, your review was definitely positive, and I think that it is truly a great read, and I also can’t wait to see what is in store for Camie and her crew! And I look forward to reading more reviews on your site, I’ve only just begun checking this place out!

    Oh, and on a final note, the “love languages”? You should check out the book, “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, or their website (and no, I’m not affiliated with either, but it is a really great read, and will teach you a lot about you and the ones you love most in your life!)

    Thanks! 🙂

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