'Head of the River' by Pip Harry
Synopsis: ‘It's the most elite school sporting event in the country. Nine rowers, 2000 gruelling metres and one chance for glory in the ultimate team sport. Sit forward ... ROW.
Tall, gifted and the offspring of Olympians, superstar siblings Leni and Cristian Popescu are set to row Harley Grammar to victory in the Head of the River.
With six months until the big race, the twins can't lose. Or can they?
When Cristian is seduced by the easy route of performance-enhancing drugs, and Leni is suffocated with self-doubt, their bright futures start to fade. Juggling family, high expectations, study, break-ups, new relationships and wild parties, the pressure starts to build.
As the final moments tick down to the big race, who’ll make it to the start line? And who'll plummet from grace?’
Pip Harry gives us a glimpse into the world of elite sports with this novel. Rowing is not a sport that features heavily, if at all, in North Queensland schools. That doesn’t mean you will not be able to follow the story. Rowing is the centre of the two main characters lives, and as outsiders we can appreciate the effort and the stress involved in maintaining top positions in the team.
While competitive sports is the main theme of the story, that is not all this novel has to offer. The relationship between the twin brother and sister is forefront too. The dynamics between the two is compelling and heartening. The relationships Leni and Cris have with their school friends, boyfriends and girlfriends and parents also make an appearance. It is here the author is able to explore many issues troubling everyday teenagers.
Head of the River veers away from the normal gender stereotypes as well. Cris is struggling with his weight and Leni is the determined, focused and serious one. Both are struggling with the pressure to perform at a top level.
This is a moving, engrossing story. It is a well written novel, which will drag you in and make you forget about life all around you.
Reserve your copy today.