Customer Reviews for

Sink or Swim

Average Rating 4.5
( 15 )
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  • Posted June 29, 2014

    An intriguing suspenseful novel  When fitness trainer comes in s

    An intriguing suspenseful novel  When fitness trainer comes in second in the reality TV show, Sink or Swim, all her plans to build a chain of personal fitness salons are pushed to the background.  It doesn't feel as that things can get any worse until she realizes that she has a celebrity stalker.  An investigation into past celebrity stalkings makes terrifies her and things only get worse when a member of the SOS cast is murdered.

    I won the book in a multiple author drawing.

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  • Posted October 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Cassidy Novak came in second place on a reality television show,

    Cassidy Novak came in second place on a reality television show, called Sink or Swim. Her dreams of being able to open up a chain of specialized gyms will have to be delayed, since she didn’t win the money. But when she returns back home, everyone treats her as though she was the star of the show. The gym where she works is booming with new clients all desperate to see and meet Cassidy. Plus, the local newspaper has a reporter and an out-of-towner photographer following her around, everywhere she goes. As if this wasn’t enough, the overwhelming fan mail has taken a scary turn when a stalker starts sending her items from her past. As the postmarks get closer and closer, Cassidy’s anxiety gets higher and higher. Did she survive reality television only to meet her end in real life?

    Stacy Juba explores the good and bad sides of reality television fame. The story is a fast read, but does have a tendency to remain in the dramatic zone, even after Cassidy has returned back to her normal like. Readers will either like Cassidy or like to dislike her, since her personality seems to shift throughout the book. However the mystery aspect will leave the readers guessing, right up until the end. Juba demonstrates an exquisite talent for leading her readers through a maze only for them to discover a completely different outcome.

    The author provided a copy of this book for me to review.
    This review was originally posted on Ariesgrl Book Reviews.

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  • Posted October 2, 2013

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    I¿m not a huge reality television watcher, but the premise of a

    I’m not a huge reality television watcher, but the premise of a daredevil-styled show as the introduction and backdrop for the murder victims is intriguing.   Cassidy is the runner-up, second place for the prize that would have allowed her to pay off some debts and start her own new business.  

    An interesting character, Stacy Juba gives us the initial sense that Cassidy is rather calculated and forward thinking: dying the hair, practicing a smile in the mirror, working on ‘comeback lines’ in the hopes they will be quoted around the water cooler.  In itself, this isn’t a bad thing, but setting her up as calculated, then having her react in near complete contradiction to that early character: hot-headed, impulsive and often unreasonable, while I could understand her determination to be independent and self-reliant in lieu of the threat, there was something missing that made her likeable in any way more than any other cast member of a reality show.    

    But what saves the story is the mystery and the tension created as her cast mates start disappearing, the difficulties encountered with being a ‘celebrity’, the questions about the real intentions of her love interest, Zach and all of the daily stressors of life that don’t include a crazed stalker with murderous intent.   Full of tension, twists and some really clever perspective on the reality television and celebrity culture as a whole, the story swiftly moves through potential suspects with a pace that keeps readers on the edge. 

    Narration is provided by Funda Duval, initially I wasn’t a fan of the pairing as early on narration felt tentative and there is an accent that came through quite strongly early in the story that didn’t fit with my vision of Cassidy.  However, as the ‘newness’ of the story and voice became more familiar, Duval’s narration managed to perfectly capture both tension and assumed voices for characters, that didn’t feel over-worked or false.  There were also some early ‘echoes’ in the initial 45 minutes of the audiobook version that may have contributed to the issues, whether a microphone was not shielded or not operating properly, those issues did also resolve.  ( I did listen with 3 different headphones from in ear to free-standing speakers to a set of high def headphones, none made any significant different to the echo issue I noted.) 
    This is only one of a handful of mystery/suspense audiobooks that I have listened to, and I will most certainly be accepting opportunities for more.  Juba made a story that was interesting, intriguing and surprising for a wholly entertaining listen. 

    I received an AudioBook copy from the author for purpose of honest review for the Heard Word. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. 

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  • Posted June 14, 2013

    OK for a summer afternoon

    This was an OK read. A bit predictable with a twist or two.

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  • Posted January 2, 2012

    sink or swim

    i got thiscas a member givaway on librarything. a thrilling read. i myself am not a huge fan of reality television,but i did enjoy this book. Cassidy lost the show 'sink or swim' slowly her previous competetors are dying and shes being staalked by a mysterious person who will stop at nothing to get her. i dont want to give too much else away so you'll have to read this one for yourself. a thriling book full mysteries and suspense

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  • Posted December 13, 2011

    Very engaging!

    Being a fan of "Survivor," I was really interested in reading this book so that I could get a sense of what life is really like when a reality star returns home. The main character is Cassidy Novak who came in 2nd place on the reality tv show, "Sink or Swim." Cassidy doesn't have much peace and quiet when she gets home because she is now recognized when she goes out in public. Cassidy soon finds out that she has a stalker. That is where the story takes us.... on the trail of the stalker and finding out who it is. I thought this book was very well written and very engaging. Once I picked it up, I didn't want to put it down. The main character, Cassidy, is flawed and human and that is what makes her interesting. How she handles her stalker and her new fame kept me interested. I would definitely recommend this book!

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  • Posted September 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Sink or Swim

    Sudden riches and newfound fame are both a notorious way to attract people trying to befriend you for all the wrong reasons. Cassidy Novak returns home to her old job after narrowly missing the big prize on a reality show. She hopes to find a way to leverage her 15 minutes of fame into enough money to start her own business. Then she discovers the downside, with people making claims on her time she doesn't want to give, and a stalker, who could be one of many different people.

    With the rise of reality shows over the last several years, I'm surprised no one has used the premise of "Sink or Swim" before now. It has all the ingredients for a good story. Someone experiencing the changes that come with sudden fame is a magnet for crazies and those who hope to ride their coattails. Those who are smart, as Cassidy is, are aware of this, which increases their natural suspicions about other people's motives. Juba takes full advantage of the potential in this premise to maintain the tension throughout.

    **Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **

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  • Posted August 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A must read!

    Stacy Juba is skilled at the art of writing a scene and making the reader feel the tension and suspense. When I began reading the book about a young girl, Cassidy Novak, who was a star of a reality show and then becomes concerned about a stalker, I was slightly concerned that 'Sink or Swim' would be just another forgettable run-of-the-mill story. But Juba is a professional. She has the reader right where she wants them, one minute Cassidy is concerned about her stalker, the next we are caught up in a multi-layered mystery where Cassidy is at the centre and I could feel the danger she was in. It's a gripping and enthralling read. At times, I was so engrossed in the book that I wanted to jump inside and save Cassidy... that is how adept Juba is at creating real characters and suspenseful storylines. I highly recommend this read from a rising star in the murder mystery genre.
    The story deals with family relationships, the impact of reality shows on people's lives, obsession, love, trust, and of course murder!

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  • Posted March 14, 2011

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    Fun Mystery

    Sink or Swim is a fun murder mystery. Stacy has a light touch with the murder part of the story, focusing mostly on Cassidy's personal struggles and unexpected romance. Let me back up just a bit and give you an intro to the story.

    Cassidy is a contestant on a reality show, Sink or Swim. She comes in second, losing out to a big jerk. She has to return home with nothing when she was hoping to win the million dollars and use it to open her own fitness gym. But instead, she goes back to work for the local gym as a trainer. Her celebrity status does seem to be opening a few doors, but not enough. Cassidy is frustrated and depressed. And then the jerk turns up murdered. Is someone stalking the contestants on the show? Cassidy gets some creepy fan mail that scares her into going to the police. Her life spirals out of control as the stalker closes in. Who is he, really? And how big of a threat?

    How's that for a teaser? I enjoyed the book. I empathized with Cassidy's problems and found myself rooting for her. With a cast of well-drawn characters, Stacy leaves you guessing until the end. Who is the stalker? Cassidy begins to suspect everyone. I followed along, believing and questioning with Cassidy as she tried to build a normal life after her fling with fame on reality tv. If you're looking for a fast and fun read, pick up Sink or Swim. You won't be disappointed.

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  • Posted March 5, 2011

    A Great Read

    You always hear how great reality TV is, turning ordinary people into celebrities practically overnight. I'm sure we have all watched one reality TV show or another. But what happens when those 'stars' return back to their normal lives? In Sink or Swim by Stacy Juba, Cassidy Novak fought her way to the finals on the reality TV show Sink or Swim. She is disappointed when she realizes that she has lost the show, including the million dollar prize money that would help pay off her debt and open a chain of fitness centers. Being the character that everyone loves, she bravely walks the plank and plunges into the cold water below, all while staying strong for the sake of appearances. Once back to her small hometown, she realizes that her days in the lime light are far from over. Not only does everyone recognize her, but Cassidy must also deal with a crazed stalker who will do anything to win her love, even if that means murder. When things can't seem to get any more confusing for Cassidy, she must also struggle with feelings for the handsome photographer who is doing a story on her and a previous contestant on the show who happens to be engaged. Can Cassidy trust her instincts to save not only herself but those closest to her, or will she end up a loser in reality? Sink or Swim is a quick read and is one of those books that sucks you in and won't let you stop reading until the very end. Will you guess right as to who the stalker really is? Read Sink or Swim to find out!

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  • Posted February 11, 2011

    A must read!

    Once again Stacy succeeded in not only hooking me by the end of the first page but also in surprising me with "who dunnit"! The only reason it took me three days to read this book is because I had to go to work and take care of my family in between reading sessions! She made Cassidy so real that I even worried about her when I wasn't reading the book. An absolute must read!

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  • Posted December 17, 2010

    Reality Shows Can Be Deadly

    Sink or Swim
    Author Stacy Juba

    Reality shows can be hazardous to your health and welfare. Some require that you perform dangerous tasks that can cause bodily harm. Others require that you make a fool of yourself in front of millions of people. Many people are willing to risk life, limb and dignity just to win huge monetary prizes at the end. But, what would happen if you were told that losing meant walking the plank, getting soaking wet and being embarrassed in front of the viewer that are watching the show. Even worse, being interviewed on camera by reporters after you get dried off? How far would you go to win one million dollars? Join Cassidy Novak, personal trainer as she takes the reader on a terrifying journey into the water and find out if she sinks or swims.

    Cassidy Novak was a contestant on a hit reality show called Sink or Swim. Losing and coming in second was nothing compared to what happens when she returns home? Fans go overboard with their demonstration of admiration for her. Returning to work she is swamped with new clients and her boss can't wait to give her a raise and hope that she will bring in the profits for his gym. But, these over zealous fans will shake the very foundation that she trains on.

    As little things begin to happen she senses that someone might be following her. Neighbors telling her of cars or vans that are parked near her apartment she begins to sense that she might be followed. Notes of affection follow, hang-ups, gifts sent to her home are definite causes for alarm. Going to police and enlisting their cannot seem to stop whoever is after her. But, the stalker steps up his game when two former contestants of Sink or Swim are killed and things start to heat up and take a different turn. More mementos from her childhood are sent to her, letters, cookies in order to taunt her sending chill down her spine, Cassidy fears for her life. Who is this stalker who calls himself Miles? What are his real motives? Just who else is involved? This reviewer will not reveal.

    Followed by a reporter named Zach, whose reasons for pursuing her are not what they seem, although assigned to capture all of her personal time and movements for the local newspaper keeps her centered for a while? Encouraged by her agent to take bookings and leave herself wide open for the killer, Cassidy is torn between a rock and a hard place hoping to learn the killer's identity and yet not hiding from her life. When her mother's house is ransacked and the only things taken were photos of her Cassidy decides to enlist more help.

    Feeling she has nowhere to turn Cassidy moves in with her stepfather but even that does not keep her safe from harm. Deciding to leave town all together and go to somewhere isolated she stays with her stepfather's aunt and uncle in order to remain safe. But, is she? Telling no one where she has gone how does one old friend find her? How does this stalker know her every move and remain two steps ahead of everyone involved? Step one is learning to shoot a gun and getting a license to do so. Leaving her home was just a temporary fix and Cassidy realizes she cannot remain a recluse forever and needs to move ahead with her life and end this nightmare once and for all. But, can a weapon really solve the problem? Pursing the killer on her own, asking questions of the family's of the victims solidifies her suspicions that the killer is getting close and will strike again. Thinking Zach is the one pers

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  • Posted December 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Loved It!

    What motivates a stalker? And what do you do once you have one? Cassidy Novak finds out when she goes on a reality TV show. Cassidy hopes to win the million dollar prize so that she can start her own chain of businesses. After the show, she is shocked to find that she has gained a few obsessed fans, as well as a stalker.

    With Sink or Swim, Stacy Juba takes a look at our reality TV craze. Whether you enjoy reality shows or not, it's hard to miss the famous and the infamous that these shows create. Sink or Swim takes us behind the scenes and shows us what happens after the cameras have stopped filming.

    Stacy Juba has a knack for showing us, rather than telling us, a story. In find myself easily getting lost in her fictional world. This is a fun read, with mystery, suspense and a little romance. And it would make a great movie!

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  • Posted December 13, 2010

    Highly Recommend - you wont want to put it down.

    Sink or Swim, I was honored enough to get an advanced copy of this book and have been dying to write this review.
    I started reading it and thought, wow an inside view of the life of a reality "star". I enjoy reality TV, let's see how "tough" their life really is after appearing on TV.
    Cassidy has the misfortune of being the "runner-up" and must walk the plank in the season finale. Not only is she disappointed but her #1 fan is very unhappy about these results and decides it's not fair.
    Cassidy is the contestant everyone loves, personable, friendly, all around nice person, which makes her the perfect target.
    Cassidy has a stalker who not only thinks she should have won, but also that they should be together, what stalker doesn't think that!
    Upon arriving home to her job as a personal trainer, and her loving family, she is asked by the local paper to do a follow-up story on the life of Cassidy Novak, local girl makes it on reality show. Now she has a photographer following her around, he's mysterious, handsome, and she knows very little about him! While on the show she has a connection with one of the other competitors, who happens to be engaged! The winner of SOS is the obnoxious Reggie, the guy everyone loves to HATE!
    So we have at least 3 potential stalkers or might they be victims of the stalker.
    You will enjoy the connection she has with her family, her clients, and her NEW number 1 fan.
    There are little twists and turns and ups and downs, and this is really a great book. Great storyline, and written by a fabulous writer!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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