Geese Are Never Swans
Gus's life is about one thing-- swimming. He is determined to make it to the Olympics and he knows that the only coach in town who can get him there is Coach Marks. So it seems like a simple plan: convince Coach Marks to train him. Everything from there on in is just hard work and Gus has never been afraid of hard work.But there are a few complications. For one thing, Coach Marks was Danny's coach. Danny, Gus's older brother, committed suicide after failing to make the national swimming team, a big step on the way to the Olympics. And for another thing, Gus and Danny didn't exactly get along when Danny was alive. Gus never liked living in Danny's shadow, and that shadow has grown even longer since Danny's death.In this powerful novel about the punishing and the healing nature of sports, Gus's rage threatens to swallow him at every turn. He's angry at his brother, his mother, his coach . . . even himself. But as he works through his feelings and toward his goal, Gus does everything he can to channel his anger into excelling at the sport that he and Danny both loved, finding solace in the same place he must face his demons: the water.

Geese Are Never Swans Details

TitleGeese Are Never Swans
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 21st, 2020
PublisherGranity Studios
ISBN-139781949520057
Rating
GenreFiction, Young Adult, Sports, Contemporary, Mental Health, Mental Illness

Geese Are Never Swans Review

  • PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
    January 1, 1970
    ***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of GEESE ARE NEVER SWANS by Eva Clark in exchange for my honest review.***After Gus’s brother commits suicide, he puts his energy into making the Olympic trials in swimming, a goal Danny pursued. Filled with anger, Gus pushes away his coach and those who try to help him as he spirals into depression.GEESE ARE NEVER SWANS takes readers in places books rarely do. Rather than making Danny a benevolent victim of depression, Eva Clark wrote ***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of GEESE ARE NEVER SWANS by Eva Clark in exchange for my honest review.***After Gus’s brother commits suicide, he puts his energy into making the Olympic trials in swimming, a goal Danny pursued. Filled with anger, Gus pushes away his coach and those who try to help him as he spirals into depression.GEESE ARE NEVER SWANS takes readers in places books rarely do. Rather than making Danny a benevolent victim of depression, Eva Clark wrote Gus’s brother as a bully. Though traumatized by finding the body, Gus is filled with hate for his brother, who took all their mother’s love an attention. The mom is a piece of work, doting on Danny, emotionally absent and abusive to Gus. Clark didn’t answer many of my questions about Danny’s suicide letters, his childhood issues, the sister’s drug use or the mom’s problems. One short conversation didn’t do it for me.GEESE ARE NEVER SWANS is an important book on the strength in seeking support and asking for help, particularly for male athletes and how therapy and medication can improve life.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Okay, so I’m a mess at finishing this book and truly at the halfway point I would not have expected that at all. I went into this book blind, knowing nothing about it other than it involved swimming, but this book is about so much more than that. Whilst reading this book I ironically appreciated the mess, the anger, the sadness and the outrage of the characters, particularly Gus, and recognising that you cannot exist in a vortex. That you can be all those things and still have hope, have dreams Okay, so I’m a mess at finishing this book and truly at the halfway point I would not have expected that at all. I went into this book blind, knowing nothing about it other than it involved swimming, but this book is about so much more than that. Whilst reading this book I ironically appreciated the mess, the anger, the sadness and the outrage of the characters, particularly Gus, and recognising that you cannot exist in a vortex. That you can be all those things and still have hope, have dreams and want to be your own self. There is much to take away from this book, but the thing that stands out most right now, is that healing and grief is a process. And perhaps this review is a bit more philosophical that I would normally write, but underneath the wonderful writing and plot that keeps you entranced from cover to cover, what will truly stay with me is the very real depiction of mental illness. As someone who spent most of their teenage years battling suicidal depression, I also really appreciated that it was not a topic explored with stigma attached, but through the lens of what it’s actually like to deal with both the illness yourself and the ramifications of others experiences with it as well. Like many books this one does end with a happy ending, but it also foretells that Gus and those around him are on a journey that doesn’t just end on the final page. It encapsulates in words so much more about depression and suicide than this review does it justice, but simply put, I did not expect for it to affect me this much or to be so glad to have found and read this one.
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  • Samantha (WLABB)
    January 1, 1970
    Gus was pain personified. Not only was he reeling from his brother's death by suicide, he was also carrying around a lifetime of guilt related to his father's death. Struggling with all these emotions, he chose to be angry and to lash out at anyone who tried to get too close. Getting back into swimming was something that was both good and bad for him. He was spiraling out, eventually hit bottom, and it was surprising who was there to pick him back up and encourage his recovery. This book was ver Gus was pain personified. Not only was he reeling from his brother's death by suicide, he was also carrying around a lifetime of guilt related to his father's death. Struggling with all these emotions, he chose to be angry and to lash out at anyone who tried to get too close. Getting back into swimming was something that was both good and bad for him. He was spiraling out, eventually hit bottom, and it was surprising who was there to pick him back up and encourage his recovery. This book was very pro-therapy and pro-medication, which I appreciated, and shined a spotlight on some of the attitudes people have regarding mental health issues and how damaging those ideas are. This was a tough read at times, but ultimately, it was hopeful. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS
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  • Maria
    January 1, 1970
    Just, WOW. Highly recommend.
  • Mary Murphy
    January 1, 1970
    Geese Are Never Swans created by Kobe Bryant and written by Eva Clark is an interesting novel. Gus Bennett is training to be an olympic swimmer. HIs father died before he was born, his sister handed her baby, Winter to his mother and walked out the door, and his brother Danny committed suicide not even a month before. Danny had always been their mother's favorite, he always got what he wanted and a professional swim coach. Gus and Danny both are incredible swimmers, but their mother would never Geese Are Never Swans created by Kobe Bryant and written by Eva Clark is an interesting novel. Gus Bennett is training to be an olympic swimmer. HIs father died before he was born, his sister handed her baby, Winter to his mother and walked out the door, and his brother Danny committed suicide not even a month before. Danny had always been their mother's favorite, he always got what he wanted and a professional swim coach. Gus and Danny both are incredible swimmers, but their mother would never let Gus near the pool forcing Gus to find other ways to get into the pool. This story takes place in Lafayette County, Indiana all throughout the county. The main theme that had stood out to me throughout the book was always follow your dreams no matter what obstacles you face. What initially hooked me as a reader was wondering what happened to Gus' brother and what Gus wanted to do to make himself better. The main conflict of this story is of Gus trying to get out of his brother's shadow. I absolutely loved this book and every challenge Gus faced was described in such detail that it felt like I was facing the challenges with him, because of this I would rate this book a 5 out of 5.
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  • Amanda Cresse
    January 1, 1970
    Geese Are Never Swans is a sports YA novel told in a strong male voice. An angry, younger brother is living in the shadow of his older brother's suicide; trying to come to terms with his life purpose while pursuing his dream of making the Olympic swim team --the exact dream that his brother just threw away. This is a tale of sibling rivalry and the different ways of love within a family; of loss and victory; mental health and perseverance.The story is mostly made up of inner dialogue the main ch Geese Are Never Swans is a sports YA novel told in a strong male voice. An angry, younger brother is living in the shadow of his older brother's suicide; trying to come to terms with his life purpose while pursuing his dream of making the Olympic swim team --the exact dream that his brother just threw away. This is a tale of sibling rivalry and the different ways of love within a family; of loss and victory; mental health and perseverance.The story is mostly made up of inner dialogue the main character struggles through, making the story a bit slow. If teen readers hang on, by the half-way mark the story picks up speed and readers will be rewarded for sticking it out.Extra Note: I read the e-book, but when I saw the "Artist Biographies" listed at the end describing why they selected their work to go along with the story, I felt shortchanged since I had no images on my Kindle...
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted to like this more than I did. I am intrigued by Kobe Bryant's multimedia company and was happy to get the opportunity to read one of the books for older teens. The problem with this book is the story is told from the point of view of a rage-filled teen, Gus. And even though we see why Gus acts the way he does (trauma, anxiety, depression), it's hard to sympathize with a main character who refuses to listen to anyone and is a total jerk for most of the book. I had to force myself to keep I wanted to like this more than I did. I am intrigued by Kobe Bryant's multimedia company and was happy to get the opportunity to read one of the books for older teens. The problem with this book is the story is told from the point of view of a rage-filled teen, Gus. And even though we see why Gus acts the way he does (trauma, anxiety, depression), it's hard to sympathize with a main character who refuses to listen to anyone and is a total jerk for most of the book. I had to force myself to keep reading sometimes. There are good messages around what suicide does to loved ones and questioning the line between intense drive to succeed and compulsion. Read my full review at Common Sense Media:https://www.commonsensemedia.org/book...
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  • Irishheather
    January 1, 1970
    Got this book for my son who has read the other books by Kobe and loved them (Wizenard and Legacy of the Queen). There should have been a disclaimer on this book about explicit language - my son was so put off that the first sentence contained curse words and it continued in every paragraph. After 20 pages that was too much. We returned the book as he didn't want to read it anymore. Parents beware! This is not like Kobe's other books. I saw other reviews stating that this talked about sex an oth Got this book for my son who has read the other books by Kobe and loved them (Wizenard and Legacy of the Queen). There should have been a disclaimer on this book about explicit language - my son was so put off that the first sentence contained curse words and it continued in every paragraph. After 20 pages that was too much. We returned the book as he didn't want to read it anymore. Parents beware! This is not like Kobe's other books. I saw other reviews stating that this talked about sex an other series themes which are not appropriate for younger readers.
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  • Paul Kraus
    January 1, 1970
    Geese Are Never Swans is an extremely powerful and well-written book. The tragedies that Gus and his family face throughout the book are such real experiences for so many, yet avoided extensively, especially in highly competitive sports. This story is fantastic and showing how being healthy, or working towards balance, in all aspects of a person's life can have a significant impact on their performance. A must read for athletes, coaches and mental health professionals working with athletes.
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  • Mike
    January 1, 1970
    Well written book about both the sport of swimming and mental health. Mental health, an often overlooked aspect in not only sports but life in general. This book does a good job of explaining the struggle from the perspective of a teen. Found the story very interesting and very relatable.
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  • Kathleen Ryan
    January 1, 1970
    What an important novel about mental health and athletes. This book was incredibly hard to read at times as it explores and reveals some dark and difficult places. It was also incredibly hopeful and the ending was just how it should be.
  • Partman
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book. Couldn't put it down. I live in the area of where the story takes place. Having kids and knowing the pressure they live everyday with school, sports and social media. Be Nice....
  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    This book was very moving. Sometimes hard to read. A 16 year old shouldn’t have to carry around that much anger and guilt. The writing is very raw and you can feel his pain, emotional and physical. Would definitely recommend for readers 16 and up.
  • Natalie White
    January 1, 1970
    As a high school teacher, this book provided such great insight into the external and internal pressures students face daily.
  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars
  • J. Tracey
    January 1, 1970
    Not what I thought this book would be at all... disappointed...lots of swearing and not uplifting
  • Alexina
    January 1, 1970
    Review forthcoming.
  • Beverly
    January 1, 1970
    It’s a amazing book
  • Elizabeth Kopacek
    January 1, 1970
    The artwork was amazing. I've never seen anything like it. The story is heartbreaking and uplifting and so important.
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