A Tough Choice: SINK OR SWIM–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a contemporary LGBTQ YA adventure from Tash McAdam.  SINK OR SWIM is a novella featuring a 16 year-old trans teen and the girl he really likes enjoying a joyride in the sea before it takes a dark turn.

SInk or swim coverAbout the book:

Sixteen-year-old shy, socially awkward trans teen Bass reluctantly skips school and goes on a boat trip with his adventure-seeking girlfriend, Rosie. When a sudden storm smashes their boat on a rocky shore off a deserted island, Bass and Rosie struggle to make it to safety.

 

Bruised and battling hypothermia, the pair have to seek shelter and work together to survive until they can be rescued. After a horrible night, Rosie, an experienced climber, decides to scale a steep cliff to find help. She falls and injures herself badly. Now Bass has to find the strength and courage to swim around a dangerous headland and make his way back to civilization before it’s too late.

 

My Review:

Sixteen year old, Bass has a distinct thing for his friend Rosie, but he’s not sure if she reciprocates, exactly. It’s a little difficult, maybe, because Bass is trans, and he’s afraid that dating Rosie will bring her trouble at school, or at home. Also, he doesn’t want to mess up their firendship, and Rosie’s an adventurous and lovely girl. She’s all sport, while Bass, well, he reads a lot.

One sunny school day Rosie gets the daring idea to steal a rowboat from school grounds and have a sweet little picnic lunch at a nearby secluded cove, Bass is pretty eager–despite not being a strong swimmer. He really just wants some alone time with Rosie, and it seems that this is going to be a fun afternoon. Except for those thunderheads approaching swiftly on the horizon. And, the huge thunderstorm that arrives brings huge waves that capsize the boat, leaving Bass and Rosie stranded in a tiny cove for damp and miserable shelter overnight. Rosie daring cliff climb for  help leaves them in worse straits than before. It’s up to Bass to swim for safety and help–if possible.

This is a quick, suspenseful read that evokes all the tenderness and exhilaration of new and young love–combined with the heart-twisting struggle of a life-or-death experience. Bass is a great kid, and he’s so hopeful, in the beginning. Putting all his worries into Rosie’s capable hands. Their connection seems strong, but the continued misadventures have Bass fearing that he’s lost all chance of friendship, even, by the end–if they even do make it back home. I really loved being in Bass’s head. He’s a reliable narrator, and his fears are all well-founded. The resolution brings a satisfying end, with Bass and Rosie getting help and happiness. 

Highly recommend for readers looking for a short adventure, and those who enjoy LGBTQ YA romance.

Interested? You can find SINK OR SWIM on Goodreads and Amazon. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

About the Author:

Tash is a Welsh-Canadian author and teacher. Their publications include The Psionics (Nine Star Press), and the Gold Standard Select Blood Sport (Orca Books) as well as multiple anthology contributions.

When they’re not writing, they’re usually found teaching either Computer Science or English in Vancouver. Tash identifies as trans and queer and uses the neutral pronoun ‘they’. As an English teacher they are fully equipped to defend that grammar! They have a degree in computer science so their nerd chat makes sense, and a couple of black belts in karate which are very helpful when it comes to writing fight scenes.

Their novel writing endeavours began at the age of eight although they will admit that their first attempt was derivative, at best. Since then, Tash has spent time falling in streams, out of trees, juggling, dreaming about zombies, dancing, painting, learning and then teaching Karate, running away with the circus, and of course, writing.

They write fast-paced, plot-centric stories with diverse casts. They write the books that they wanted to read as a queer kid and young adult (and still do!)

Catch up with Tash on their website, Facebook and twitter.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

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