Saturday, April 4, 2009

Review: Swim the Fly by Don Calame

Publication Date: April 14, 2009

Tags: YA, humor, boys, swimming, summer

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5


Every summer since they were little, Matt Gratton and his two best friends, Coop and Sean, have set goals for themselves. This year, it’s to see a real live naked girl. Pictures don’t count. Porn doesn’t count. A real girl, alive and warm and luscious, counts.

Meanwhile, Matt is busying trying to figure out how he can win the attention of Kelly West, a beautiful fellow swimmer. He decides to volunteer to swim the 100 fly—the hardest race ever—in order to impress her, but quickly realizes that he is NOT equipped to swim the fly at all.

In between trying to accomplish their goal and trying to make sure he doesn’t end up making a fool of himself, Matt doesn’t realize that he also has time to open his eyes to some bigger and better things that are out there for him.


What can I say about SWIM THE FLY that will do it justice? This book absolutely blew me away. I found myself rolling on the ground in laughter and devouring the pages as I couldn’t stop flipping through them, eager to see what sort of scrapes Matt and his adorable friends get themselves into. Think There’s Something About Mary starring teenagers, and you can get a slight sense of the appeal that this book will have for both males and females.

Besides for being just an all-around terrific writer, Don’s strength seems to lie in drawing realistic yet unique characters. Matt, Cooper, and Sean had distinct personalities and ways of talking, which is a feat that is rarely accomplished in writing about a tight group of friends. If you ask me to pick a favorite character from SWIM THE FLY, I don’t think I can even give you a straight answer; all of the male characters are HILARIOUS. (See: Matt’s grandfather.)

This book feels like something that would be adapted into a "bromance" movie, but written in Don's voice, the predicaments that Matt and his friends get themselves in do not seem over the top, as they would on the silver screen. I was amazed at how much I was enjoying failed guy antics in a way that I never for a movie. My only complaint would be the the too speedy and tidy, albeit funny, ending, but perhaps that was because I never wanted the book to end!

SWIM THE FLY is just the right combination of gut-splitting humor, teen romance, and failed “missions” to win the hearts of any reader. I await Don’s future novels with great impatience now!

Similar Authors
John Green (An Abundance of Katherines)

Writing: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Plot: 4/5

Thank you to KC Dyer and Don for providing me with a copy of this fantastic ARC!

Cover: 4 out of 5 - I love the simplicity of the goggles on the greenish background, and the cool title font hints of the fun that's awaiting inside. Also didn't realize that there's a bikini-clad girl within the goggles until I actually received the ARC! Hehe, very subtle.

There will be more Don Calame- and Swim the Fly-related stuff very soon... So you'll want to stick around... =P


  1. This sounds like a really funny book. :)

  2. This book sounds really interesting, especially because I'm a swimmer. I'll have to check it out. Good review.

  3. this book sounds really funny and my new goal is to read more books with a male narrator so I really want to read this!

  4. I don't really like the cover but damn, after reading your review I want to read it right away. I want some fun stories.

  5. I haven't heard anything about this yet, but now I'm definitely going to check it out.

  6. This sounds funny, but I'm not a big fan of the cover.

  7. I like the cover okay, but I might not give it much thought if I just saw it out. I really want to read it now though. Yay for funny books!


  8. Oh this sounds amazing and hilarious! I'm like Lauren - I probably would not have glanced at this book too hard, but now I have to definitely read this, thanks to your review!!!

    P.S. I gave you an award here

  9. OMG... Isn't Mt. TBR high enough?! or my wishlist long enough? *sigh* I'll have to add Swim the fly to it, too. It sounds great.

    BTW, I've given you a fun award: Bring on the Zombie Chickens!!!

  10. I just recently read this one and I agree with you completely about picking a favorite character. I also loved matts grandfather. :D

  11. Good morning,

    I came across your blog today and was wondering if you might possibly be interested in having me as a guest blogger or possibly interviewing me as one of your featured authors? I am the author of the new vampire series ETERNAL VIGILANCE and am currently in the midst of my 2009 Book Tour. More information about myself and my work can be found here:

    I would be honored to complete an guest blog post or interview for your site, if you are interested.

    Best Wishes,

  12. Do you swim the fly? My best stroke is the sidestroke ;)

  13. This book sounds great, I think reluctant male readers would enjoy as well!!


  14. It sounds like a really fun read.

  15. This one has been on my To Read list for a while. I can't wait to check it out. Thanks for the review!


  16. If that's John Green-esque Im totally reading it!

  17. Great review. I'd never heard of this book before today, but it's on my TBR list now.

  18. This sounds so good! I love the humor and if he writes like he answered your interview questions than it must be funny. Thanks for your review. It was the first time I heard of it and I've added it to my list!

  19. I like the cover of this one. :)

  20. Ahahaha! This sounds so fun(ny). I must find a copy!


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