Dive Smack by Demetra Brodsky (Review & #Giveaway)

Welcome to my tour stop! Follow the tour here. Below you'll find my review and a giveaway...

Dive Smack
By Demetra Brodsky
YA Suspense, Thriller
Hardcover & ebook, 336 Pages
June 19th 2018 by Tor Teen


Theo Mackey only remembers one thing for certain about the fire that destroyed his home: he lit the match.

Sure, it was an accident. But the blaze killed his mom and set his dad on a path to self-destruction. Everything else about that fateful night is full of gaping holes in Theo’s mind, for good reason. Maybe it’s better that way. As captain of the Ellis Hollow Diving Team, with straight A's and solid friends, he's only one semester away from securing a scholarship, and leaving his past behind.

But when a family history project gets assigned at school, new memories come rushing to the surface, memories that make him question what he really knows about his family, the night of the fire, and if he can trust anyone—including himself.


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

"A taut thriller with a twist ending that will blow your mind." —Kim LiggettBram 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

(Affiliate links included - I receive a small kickback if you make a purchase using my links.)

My Review

DIVE SMACK is a trippy, complex, intense psychological suspense. It's somewhat of a thriller towards the end, but it slowly works up to that, reading more of like a contemporary YA with hints at the paranormal and some unresolved mysteries. The characters lend plenty of humor and easy-to-connect-with realism with Theo's voice and the friends he hangs with. YA readers will dive in to this story and then hold on as it gets deeper until the twisted end.

After finishing this story, my mind is seriously working through what happened. It's hard to reconcile how it could happen and everyone who was involved and all the twists and turns. There's some anger (I seriously could have landed some punches myself), but some happiness too. It's always appreciated when a story is good enough to pull on the reader's emotions, which this one definitely does.

Let's talk a little about these characters... Leo. I felt so much empathy for him. He's got so much on his shoulders and so much pressure for everything that is going on in his life, but also in his head. He's been dealt a pretty hard life situation. There are people he should be able to trust and he can't or doesn't know who he can trust, which makes things so much harder. There are friends from school who may or may not be enemies. Thank goodness for Chip and Iris! Those two are exactly who he needed and they go down with him to the end. The author did a great job in portraying the characters. The dialogue feels genuine, especially between Chip and Leo with all their teasing and bro lingo.

Like I mentioned above, this one starts like a contemporary YA with a male protagonist. Then there's this whole backstory and how Leo lost his mother and then father slowly unfolded. There are mysteries and suspicions. The story starts to ramp things up when information goes missing or is taken and Leo finds that someone is definitely trying to prevent him from finding out more. The story just gets more intense from there and has quite a climatic ending. And through all of this, Leo is trying to find himself and work out his own demons, get with this girl he's crushing on, trying to be the perfect swim/dive team captain and pull off perfect dives. Which is pretty much what life is like (minus the suspense, normally). A great book for fans of these type of complex, psychological stories with plenty of twists.

In the end, was it what I wished for? I didn't quite know what I was getting myself into with this read... it's complex, heartfelt (loved Theo and his friends!), scary, and one thriller of a ride in the end.

Content: Lots of swearing (including the f-word), references to teens sleeping together and other innuendo, drugs, drinking, and some violence. I could have done without the swearing, innuendo, crude comments and sexual references.
Source: I received a complimentary copy through Jean BookNerd Tours, which did not require a positive review nor affect it in any way.

About the Author


Demetra Brodsky is an award-winning graphic designer & art director turned writer. She has a B.F.A. from The Massachusetts College of Art and Design and lives in Southern California with her family of four and two lovable rescue dogs where she is always trying to make more time for the beach. Dive Smack is dedicated to Pumpkin, the monarch butterfly she once saved from the brink of death. Once you read the book, you'll understand why.

Tour-Wide Giveaway

5 Winners will receive a Copy of DIVE SMACK by Demetra Brodsky.
- Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter | Ends: July12, 2018

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