By: Pip Harry
Genre: Primary Fiction - YFB - General fiction (Children's/Teenage)
Published by: University of Queensland Press
Published: 28 May 2014
ISBN: 9780702253263


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?


Prestigious schools rowing for victory in the annual Head of the River. The children of two Olympic rowing stars. A pressure cooker environment.

Leni and Cristian Popescu are on rowing scholarships to the prestigious Harley Grammar. And when your parents are Olympic rowing stars and you are only at the school because of your rowing talent, you have to perform.

When Cristian and his best mate Adam get dropped from the first rowing team, and Cristian’s twin sister Leni is made rowing captain of the girls squad, the pressure is on.

So when Adam’s mega rich father gives Cristian and Adam access to drugs that promise to help them lose weight, muscle up and get their spots on the team back the temptation is too great. And then the drug testers show up…
But what is the cost of their decision? Will one of them pay the ultimate price? Can it ever be made right?

This story looks at elite sports and all that goes with it – pressure, teamwork, sacrifice and performance enhancing drugs. It shows how people deal with this situation, with both winners and losers.

Tackling family, relationships, parties, binge drinking and first love, this is wonderfully written. I really enjoyed this book and am sure that your readers 15+ will also.

Reviewed by Rob