From School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-Elise just wants her mother to notice how well she is playing soccer and to stop making little digs that she thinks will motivate her. In order to live up to the expectations laid before her from her coach, her mother, and herself, she decides to look for some help. Elise knows that she shouldn't take steroids, so instead she finds some pills on the Internet that promise to enhance her performance and steals her mother's credit card to pay for them. At first the drugs work wonders, but then, combined with her lack of eating, they cause Elise to crash while a college recruiter is visiting her high school. Ultimately, drugs don't make her game any stronger; in fact, they only cause her more problems. This high-interest, slim book is an accessible read for reluctant readers and soccer fanatics.-Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MIα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Elise’s unhealthy desire to become a star soccer player kicks off the Counterattack series, which features members of a female high school soccer team in North Carolina and tackles the pressures of being an athlete. Even after playing soccer most of her life and coming from a long line of University of North Carolina athletes, Elise never feels as talented as the rest of her team. When a UNC scout plans to watch a practice, Elise knows she needs some extra help—and quick. After seeing several online ads for athletic supplements, she “borrows” her mother’s credit card number to purchase a supply. They aren’t steroids and no one would sell them if they weren’t safe, right? Reminiscent of Orca’s novels for teens, the book’s short sentences and swift pacing keep reluctant readers engaged as Elise becomes obsessed with her new regimen. Her added weight-loss plan only intensifies the effects of the supplements. Though obvious from the start, the story serves as a useful warning to athletes and nonathletes alike. Grades 6-9. --Angela Leeper
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