Book Review: "Making Waves" by Nicole O'Dell

Kate Walker joins the swim team and becomes obsessed with practice and making it through the championships with flying colors. What will Kate do when she s faced with pressure from her teammates to take an illegal substance that will help her swim multiple events in their championship meet?

This book was another major improvement in the series that targets an older audience. And it's a move I really appreciated. Kate is a regular teen girl who's looking to find something to fill her spare time and that thing happens to be swimming. She's a natural at it and even at her best is better than the top swimmers already on the team. However in this day and age of competitive pressure, your natural best is not good enough.

How Kate gets sucked into a downward spiral happened naturally. For the record, I don't drink energy drinks but that's purely because I can't stand the taste. I'll drink lots of coffee but I pass on the Red Bull. I liked how it was shown that while it's probably not smart or healthy for Kate or the other teens to drink the energy drinks constantly, they are not really condemned for drinking them. I say this because drinking the energy drinks are not illegal, anyone can get that and they were used for what they were intended for. However, it is good to show that drinking too much of them can be dangerous and it is not healthy to skip meals just to get the best jolt of energy buzz. I also liked how Kate points out to her mom that drinking coffee is just the same as drinking energy drinks and her mother reluctantly agrees.

Again the choice that Kate (and the reader) has to make to determine the outcome is realistic. First, I was actually really pleased/surprised that Kate knew what was being offered to her. I say this because I get so tired of people being clueless when offered things like that. I luckily never had to go through what Kate did but O'Dell makes it easy to see why Kate would be tempted with that decision. We place a lot of pressure on student athletes to do well even more so with scholarship hopes on their shoulders. Luckily the swim coach is not a monster who expects perfection, she just wants the team to do well and work hard. Overall this was another one I enjoyed out of this series. It targets an older audience and gives an example of something that they might face in their life. The book does insert a faith based message near the end, but it shouldn't feel like a sermon. Kudos again to O'Dell for a great addition to the series.

Making Waves by Nicole O'Dell is published by Barbour (2010)

This review copy was provided by the publisher


  1. Anonymous7:53 PM

    I know a few teens who are always drinking All Stars, Monsters, or Red Bull. They like to say they are getting a high on it. They will also do the same thing with Starburst,Grean Tea, and other products with sugar or cafine in it. So this sounds an interesting book to read.

  2. Thanks so much! What an awesome review! :)


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