Praise for Dive Smack
"A tense psychological drama with a voice that pulls you in and a twist you won't see coming, Dive Smack is an instant Hitchcockian classic!"Gretchen McNeil, author of Ten
"A twisty, witty thriller readers will love puzzling through to the very end. A visceral, delightful debut." -- Carrie Mesrobian, author of William C. Morris award finalist Sex & Violence
"This riveting debut will plunge readers into an accelerating coil of twists and turns as if in free fall, plummeting them from a precipice as they cling to the dwindling hope of safe entry into the mysterious darkness below." --S.A. Bodeen, author of The Compound
"Brodsky’s debut combines an engaging school story, filled with best friend shenanigans, first love, and a fascinating look at competitive diving, with a tense psychological mystery." -- Booklist
"In an impressive debut, Brodsky injects her teen drama with ambiguity, and a subtle hint of paranormal phenomena, leaving readers to guess at what’s really going on. Strong characters and a compelling mystery make this a real page-turner." -- Publishers Weekly
“The story combines intriguing elements, so that just when readers may think it is headed in one direction, it shifts or pulls from a new genre…Readers looking for an adolescent psychological thriller will not be disappointed.” Voya, Meghann Meeusen.
"A taut thriller with a twist ending that will blow your mind." -- Kim Liggett, Bram Stoker Award-Winning Author of The Last Harvest
"Complex, thrilling, and with a pitch-perfect narrative voice, Dive Smack will leave you on the edge of your seat and unable to put this one down." --C. Desir, author of Bleed Like Me
"Heartbreaking, human and heroic, Dive Smack is a Perfect 10!" Karen LaFace, 1992 USA Olympic Springboard Diver
“A taut roller coaster of a thriller chock full of dark family secrets, twisty lies, and finally, the redeeming power of truth.”-- Michelle Zink, author of This Wicked Game
Gr 9 Up—Honey Juniper is always big "R" Ready. She's continuously conducting threat assessments of her classmates and teachers. Her EDC (Every Day Carry) is by her side and packed with a multi-tool and bulletproof vest. She's prepared for everything, including TEOTWAWKI (The End of the World As We Know It). For Honey and her sisters, Birdie and Blue, this is their normal. They live on a secret compound deep in the woods of the small town of Elkwood, WA, with other doomsday preppers. Meanwhile, Toby, a street artist in San Diego, leaves messages around town. He's trying to solve a mystery that has been haunting him. On a stormy evening years ago, his sisters went missing and he hasn't stopped blaming himself for their disappearance. Brodsky weaves a suspenseful tale reflective of the current political landscape, interwoven with Shakespearean subtext. Some scenarios feel too extreme and over the top, and are still not enough to pull readers in. Ultimately, this is a story of survival and figuring out who to trust in a world where the characters have been taught to trust no one. VERDICT Reminiscent of reality shows like American Preppers. Purchase where realistic thrillers circulate well.—Alicia Kalan, The Northwest School, Seattle
Three sisters living in a doomsday prepper compound discover there is more to their lives than they thought.
Honey Juniper and her sisters, Birdie and Blue—high school senior, junior, and sophomore respectively—live with their mother in Washington state in The Nest, a compound peopled by a group who are convinced that the end of the world is coming and for which the group is preparing by stockpiling food and weapons. It is the sisters’ fifth move in a decade, a fact relayed by Honey in one of her letters (whose sole purpose seems to be to sum up previously relayed events) to her imaginary friend, Bucky. Honey’s first-person present-tense narrative relays details of life in the compound—always be prepared, don’t trust Outsiders—and about high school, where she and her sisters are considered “weirds.” A concurrent storyline told in separate chapters is narrated by Toby, an 18-year-old street artist who lives with his mother, also an artist, in San Diego. The connection between the two storylines becomes apparent early on, and it’s not clear if this is intentional. The rest of the story unfolds with much of the plot being easily anticipated. The narrative lacks nuance and is blocky with implausibly convenient coincidences and conveniently dense characters. The characters, mostly white but with a black love interest, are solidly one-dimensional, never moving beyond their initially described character traits.
A clumsy offering. (Fiction. 15-18)