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Dive Smack

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  332 ratings  ·  106 reviews
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 Tea
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 19th 2018 by Tor Teen
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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  332 ratings  ·  106 reviews

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Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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Review DIVE SMACK here

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So, it’s a week after I finished Dive Smack and trying to put together coherent words is still a challenge. WHAT the heck when do I get my heart back?

Here’s what I loved about #DIVESMACK (basically everything):
1. Characters you can
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.

My rating is 2.5 stars.

Dive Smack by Demetra Brodsky is a solid debut novel, one which tells an easy to follow story filled with enough mystery, suspense, and supernatural elements to keep readers turning the pages.

Theo is a high school kid dealing with a lot of stress. His normal teen issues like school projects and a burning desire to gain a scholarship to Stanford University complicated by the fact he is an orphan. (His mother having died years ago in a hous
Vicky Again
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 stars

I really enjoyed reading this one! It was a very solid debut, and only got better as I read on.

I'm going to treat this review like ripping off the bandaid, taking care of the few meh things first, before jumping on all the positives (and there's a lot of them--positives that is).

There were a total of two things that I wasn't too fond of, in the scope of the billion other things I loved.

1. The first half was slower than I wanted it to be. Maybe I have a short attention span. Maybe I wasn't
Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
This was a great debut that was hard to put down!

Theo lives with his grandpa (GP).  His mom was killed in a fire when he was younger.  A fire that he started.  His father had a heart attack and died a year ago, too.  GP has been coping with the death by being drunk all the time.  Theo's "Uncle Phil" is a doctor that has been treating him.  He's not really his uncle, but his dad's best friend.  Phil has been giving Theo medicine to help him focus.  Theo is a diver and is trying to get a scholarsh
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: physical-2018, 2018
4.5 stars!

This was one heck of a wild ride. I enjoyed every single moment of this thriller.

Thank you to the publisher for sending me a finished copy to review! ❤️


Full review can be found here:

This thriller had me on the edge of my seat just flipping pages as fast as I could. Masterfully written and so well executed. This is one book you want on your TBR if it isn’t already.

Short recap: Theo Mackey knows two things – he started the fire that
L.D. Crichton
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dive Smack by Demetra Brodsky was phenomenal. I received an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. I’ll try to leave a spoiler free one here because you should buy it and see for yourself. :)

I’ll start this by saying I’m a picky reader. If a book doesn’t capture my interest from the beginning, I usually just put it aside and forget about it, along with the 100 other books I’ll eventually “get around to.”

Theo’s voice is loud and clear, jumping off the page in an authentic and believable man
Ashleigh (edwardanddamon)
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
DIVESMACK is out today!! Happy Book Birthday!!! Go forth and buy your copy. :)

I was fortunate to receive an ARC of this amazing book and that it was I base my review upon

Theo Mackey knows only one thing about the fire that killed his mother, and that's that he lit the match. He can't remember anything else about that night. New memories begin t0 surface and he begins to question all he knows about that night.

I haven't read a thriller in quite awhile and I really enjoyed this one! I absolutely l
Henry Herz
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm not normally a reader of Young Adult magical realism. But having read Maggie Stiefvater's work opened me to that subgenre. I'm glad it did, because Dive Smack was a literary smack to the head in the best possible way. It offers interesting characters you love (or hate), and a clever page-turning plot. You don't have to be a fan of competitive diving to find this story compelling. Do yourself a favor and get a copy! ...more
Katherine Moore
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
*Full blog tour post can be found here:

So it was quite easy to give this twisty and exciting psychological YA thriller a 5-star review. It has been harder to put into words every single thing as to why, because I was so taken by surprise by Demetra’s brilliant debut novel. It seems as though from the moment I laid eyes on the beautiful cover for ‘Dive Smack’ (the flames above a young man plunging into the water), I needed to read it. And then I was immediately l
Rose Quinn
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
OH MY GOSH. I don't even know where to start. I was so excited to read an advanced copy of this novel and WAS NOT disappointed. The mystery of what happened the night that Theo's mom died was woven through the book in a skillful way from the beginning. But it wasn't all tension and drama because he is still a teenager. He's in school and on the diving team, trying to perfect that 5337D. It was the perfect mix of normal teenage shenanigans (and that lovely teenage love) and the craziness that is ...more
Jordan Eaton
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Where do I begin with this book? I have just finished reading it and cannot find the words to describe how I feel. First, I will say that this book is absolutely phenomenal. The story is fast-paced and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The plot twists that happen throughout the book keep you guessing until the very end. The writing is wonderful. All around this book is fantastic. Who knew a book about a teenage diver could make you feel so many things? Definitely a must-read!
Jeff Giles
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Holy s--t, what a thrilling debut. Late in the game, when most psychological thrillers start to fall apart, this one picks up speed. Apart from engineering sly twists and turns, the author draws truly compelling, complex, true-to-life characters. You will NOT forget Theo or his quest to understand what happened one fateful night.
Gillian French
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dive Smack was so much fun: all the sports lingo and boy-friendship drama of a Chris Crutcher classic paired with the mind-bending intrigue and paranormal suspense of Donnie Darko and Twin Peaks. Teens readers will absolutely love this page-turner. Demetra Brodsky nails it!
kelly {BookCrushin}
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-release
Check out 5 Reasons why you should read Dive Smack! Dive Smack is now available!

This is a great thriller with all the twists and turns you are craving!
Theo feels responsible for his mothers death, after all he did light the match, and he sorta feels responsible for his fathers one too, he had a heart attack while driving and Theo thinks it was from the stress of losing his mother in the fire. But he can't remember exactly what happened that night!

When he is assigned a family history project and starts to delve deeper into his past, things start coming back to him in pieces and he realises that some things are better left locked away.

I have zer
Joshua Flores
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Badass. This book is fantastic. The characters are perfectly and accurately written and this story had me guessing the entire time. And chip may be the best YA best friend out there! I think his humor was what won me over early on, and the twists at the end helped make this one of my favorite YA books of the year. This is an author to look out for. She knows how to write effin good thrillers, people. 📚🙌🏻
Stephanie Ward
'Dive Smack' is a fantastic new young adult thriller than will leave readers guessing until the very end. This is one of my favorite genres and it takes quite a bit to impress me anymore, but this book had some great twists I didn't see coming and the mystery really kept me guessing. The plot was well written and had a quick pace, so I ended up flying through the entire book in one sitting. Every aspect of the novel was well done and I was incredibly surprised when I found out this is the author ...more
Jessica Bayliss
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love the author's use of dive terms to highlight themes in each chapter of this original YA thriller that adds a touch of the paranormal. It's not common to have a book with one POV character that's also male, and I enjoyed this element a lot. This book hits all the right notes: tension, a great who-done-it, that bit of metaphysical paranormal, and characters I was able to root for. An all around fun read. ...more
Amy Rose Thomas
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Suspense is a difficult feat to accomplish, and surprise is perhaps the most difficult. Somehow, Demetra Brodsky manages to accomplish both, and does so while introducing us to characters that are not only hella cool, but also crazy smart and people I wish I could hang out with in real life... even if I’m not sure I could hang.
This one kind of took me on a ride and I really enjoyed it - but I didn't know that I enjoyed it until it ended. That's how wrapped up in the mystery I was.

Dive Smack is the story of Theo Mackey, star diver, but haunted by the deaths of both his parents. His only living relative is his grandfather who likes to spend most of his days drunk and because of this Theo spends most of his time at his best friends house, or hanging out with his "Uncle" Phil. When a school project has Theo starting to l
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Theo Mackey is a driven athlete, as the captain of his high school diving team. Outwardly, he also appears to be just your average hard-working student, pulling straight A’s and earning the respect of the faculty and his friends. But what most people don’t know is that Theo is in fact dealing with a lot of issues at home and in his personal life. Suffering from amnesia, he can’t recall the events of the night his mother
Elena Love
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
*I received this book for free, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own!*

Dive Smack was one of my most anticipated releases and literally jumped at the opportunity to read and review it, because it sounded like something I'd never read about before. The premise is extremely fascinating and even though it start off a bit slower than I would've liked, it picked up after the first couple of chapters and kept me on the edge throughout it! It was a truly enjoyable read,
Oct 31, 2022 rated it it was ok
*Overdrive app *
Narration: 4 stars 🌟
Story: 5 stars 🌟

Really enjoyed this one 👌 😀
Twisty, turny, a touch of sci fi..happy reader:)

Eagerly awaiting her next 📖 book!

(view spoiler)

Head hurts so may add more thoughts later.

Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. All the thoughts below are my own*
Described as Teen Wolf meets Barry Lyga and E. Lockhart, Dive Smack tells the story of Theo Mackey, a competitive diver who only remembers one thing for certain about the fire that destroyed his home: he lit the match. Though he knows it was an accident, the fire still killed his mother and set his father on the path to his own death. Yet, Theo still can’t quite remember the specifics of that n
Oct 01, 2018 rated it liked it
I had heard nothing but good things about this book and I know several people who have it on the top ten of 2018 list. Needless to say, I was excited to read it.

I liked Theo well enough. I liked his passion for diving and his tenacity in trying to figure things out. Sadly, I never quite settled into his inner monologue or the rhythm of the story. Chip and Iris were decent secondary characters, but they both felt like they weren’t fleshed out enough.

Plot wise, it was okay. I never had a sense o
Candyce Kirk
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Theo hasn't had an easy time. Losing both his mom and dad in a short amount of time is difficult. Add a grandfather who drinks and hides away in a room and your life gets harder. He's always had an uncle that looks out for him though, even though he's not actually family. Theo also thinks he actually lit the match that started the fire his mother was killed in. This situation is hard though, because he doesn't remember much. He's had help, medication and hypnotizing, but his brain is st
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’m really behind on my reviews so don’t mind me. This book was released in June and I finished it a few weeks ago. It was one my June Anticipated Releases post and it didn’t disappoint. The only reason it didn’t get a five star rating was because I didn’t end up on the ground rolling around sobbing or fighting off the angst. So it got the 4 star rating which coming from me isn’t a bad rating at all.

I had a lot of good impressions from the books because I ended up chatting with Demetra Brodsky o
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mon avis en Français

My English review

This cover is sublime and the synopsis made me want to discover the story!

This is the first novel I read in the swim context and especially about diving but I think it was something very interesting. This is how we discover the captain, Theo Mackey, upset by his past. His mother died in a fire and his father also died shortly after. So yes, diving is everything for him, especially when you know that he lives with an alcoholic grandfather, but with the suppo
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, blog-tour
This one was a doozy!

Although the beginning was slow it really picked up from the middle on, there was a whole bunch of lies and secrets and plots which kept me turning the pages so I could get to the bottom of the mystery. The profanity was a bit too much for me and I can’t say I liked the romance (I’m more plot driven) but the story made up for it.

Theo’s abilities were interesting and added a cool paranormal twist to the story. I ended up liking Theo’s character, and the supporting characters
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DEMETRA BRODSKY is a first generation Greek-American author and former award-winning graphic designer & art director. A native of Massachusetts with a B.F.A from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, she now makes her home is Southern California. LAST GIRLS is an International Thriller Writers (ITW) 2021 Finalist for Best Yo

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