today’s book: The Deep End by Tim Shoemaker
Last week we kicked off the summer-long Road Trip Reads Giveaway where we will be visiting all 50 states on the pages of recently released books. Because road trips are always better with friends – and books – right? So grab your fave snacks, a cold soda or bottled water, an upbeat playlist and let’s head up the coast!
today’s stop: Massachusetts
THE DEEP END by Tim Shoemaker
SERIES: High Water #3
GENRE: Inspirational Teen/YA Adventure Suspense
PUBLISHER: Focus on the Family
RELEASE DATE: June 6, 2023
“It starts today. Your world is about to change.”
Harley ignores the cryptic warning but soon learns the chilling message is absolutely true. When his motorcycle is stolen, he feels he’s lost the one thing that connects him to his dad—and keeps his dad’s memory alive. Harley believes he knows exactly who is responsible—and takes dangerously reckless steps to get his bike back.
Parker will do almost anything to help his friend—which is exactly what has Jelly and Ella worried. Their efforts to change Harley’s self-destructive course simply haven’t worked. Now they have to find a way to stop him before he goes off the deep end . . . and takes Parker with him.
Sometimes lies and deception are so believable that only God can reveal the truth.
And every person has a push-point. Something that—if given enough pressure—has the power to send them someplace they never want to go. Off the deep end.
The Deep End is the third book in the High Water series. It blends contemporary mystery and suspense, dramatic situations, and high adventure that 12- to 15-year-old boys and girls will love.
Other Books in This Series
One of the things I love about the High Water series by Tim Shoemaker is the way it takes high-stakes adventure and hold-your-breath suspense and combines them with solid friendship fiction that has a heartfelt (and not preachy) faith thread and faces head-on the kind of issues that today’s teens are facing.
In The Deep End, Shoemaker delivers all of this and more. Not only are the lives of Parker and his friends in danger once again, but this time their friendships are more at risk than ever before, too! It is definitely just as much – if not more so – about a fight for those relationships, as it is about the physical dangers the close-knit band of teenagers face in this book. It’s as difficult for readers to watch one of the group be pushed to his limits as it is for the friends who are left confused and worried in the story. The author did a great job of conveying that emotional tension; in fact, the plot practically crackles with it. I wasn’t completely sure how it would resolve itself, but I loved the reminder that stories – our stories – aren’t defined by what happens in the ‘bad chapters’ but in how the entire book turns out.
I also appreciate that not every teenager in the book comes from the same socioeconomic, cultural, or family background. Parker has a secure home life with two parents that love him and point him to living for Jesus in every aspect of life. But Jelly lives only with her dad after her mom walked out on them. Ella lives with her grandmother, her parents not in the picture. And Harley… ugh. Poor Harley. Tragically orphaned and still grieving, he’s forced to live with his uncle who – needless to say – does not have Harley’s best interests in heart. Honestly, I wanted to purse whomp Uncle Ray something fierce. As well as Harley’s former friend (and bully), Bryce. These two are certainly cut from the same cloth, and my heart went out to Harley as he struggled with their continued venom throughout this story.
Bottom Line: Teenagers, whether male or female, will enjoy diving into the adventures – and misadventures – of Parker, Jelly, Ella, and Harley in The Deep End and the whole High Water series by Tim Shoemaker. ‘Deep trouble’ may be the name of a boat at the center of this plot, but it’s also a pretty good descriptor of what our intrepid four will get into before all is said and done. I thought this was a clever metaphor that the author employed, one which made the life lessons on these pages all the more profound. Edge-of-your-seat suspense keeps readers glued to this book, and it’s not always clear what the ending will look like. The Deep End is an entertaining read that not only charms readers with winsome characters and daring adventure, but also a focus on how Jesus is worth trusting with our whole lives. Parents, you won’t regret adding this series to your family library.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / loved it!
Tyndale House is offering a print copy of The Deep End by Tim Shoemaker to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read The Deep End by Tim Shoemaker (or buy it for a teenager in your life)? Have you ever visited Massachusetts?