At fifteen, Casey Legler is already one of the fastest swimmers in the world. She is also an alcoholic, isolated from her family, and incapable of forming lasting connections with those around her. Casey gives language to loneliness in this story of survival.
This is a heart-wrenching, coming-of-age memoir by a talented athlete who is street-smart, lonely, and painfully broken ... A poetically written account by a resilient rebel who skillfully captures what it is like to feel the world through her skin.
...an audacious attempt to stylistically venture off the beaten path of the traditional sports/addiction memoir. While not always successful in its aesthetic flourishes, the book does offer a bold and innovative glimpse into a fascinating mind and the surreal life of a prodigy athlete ... The ingredients of the story are not unique to Legler ... What is different, however, is the way these experiences are described ... Sometimes, however, her stream-of-consciousness lyricism distracts the reader’s attention from the overall narrative ... Legler’s fascinating descriptions of her detachment from her own body lend an intriguing dimension ... Legler is a writer of obvious talent. There are images and turns of phrase that are truly lovely, and that remind us of her keen observational powers. At its best, Legler’s story and poetics can be powerful.
In her debut, Legler passionately relives her years in Europe and stateside ... Legler’s lyrically descriptive prose glides across childhood anecdotes ... She intricately describes every nuance of the competitive experience alongside her personal self-discovery ... Legler decorates each of her adventures with urgency and lively, only occasionally strained poetic expression ... A coming-of-age drama captured through poetic prose and convincing honesty.