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Published on September 4th, 2012, Surviving High School: The Novel is the first book in the Surviving High School novel series. A companion to the game of the same name distributed through EA Games, the novel follows Emily Kessler through the start of her freshman year at Twin Branches following the death of her sister, Sara Kessler, where she battles mean girls and struggles to find a balance between swimming and her budding relationship with Ben Kale. The novel was written by M. Doty and was released through Poppy Publishing.

Disclaimer,not for read under 14.Mature readEdit

Emily Kessler thinks she has it all figured out. She eats, sleeps and trains for competitive swimming. All she has to do is keep her grades high and swim times short -- short enough to live up to her sister Sara's. But walking the crowded maze of unfamiliar high school hallways is like diving headfirst into shark-infested waters. Shark #1: Dominique, her biggest competition on the swim team and all-around mean girl. Shark #2: The adorable and popular Ben Kale... Emily can't resist his smile no matter how hard she tries. When the pressure builds to the point where Emily isnt sure she can stay afloat, she begins to question the strict path her life has always followed.  Maybe there is more to life than studying and swimming. Maybe the secret to surviving high school is just to have a little fun.

The hit mobile game Surviving High School comes to life in an original novel about perfection, failure, and following your dreams.


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  • EA Games contacted author M. Doty to pen the novel after noticing the success of the game. They chose M. Doty to write the books since he was one of the first writers of the game.
  • The tagline, which appears on the cover of the book, is When you're a Freshman, it's sink or swim. "Sink or swim" may be a reference to Sara Kessler's debut appearance in the game, which was in the episode of the same name.
  • The novel was written two years before the episode of Sara's death aired so the authors knew of Sara's fate while writing the episodes leading up to it.
  • M. Doty was surprised most by how much of a risk-taker Emily became while falling in love with Ben while writing her. Her quality of always trying to be perfect reminded him a lot of himself in high school.
  • The first four chapters of the novel were converted to game format and was released for free as part of the books promotion.
  • An epilogue called "The San Francisco Date Debacle" is available as free special bonus chapter to the novel as of the update made in 2012.
  • Nick shows Emily a collection of photos of Sara, entitled "Summer/Fall/Winter Sara". However, this does not make sense, as Sara started dating Nick near the end of the school year and died around three months following the start of their relationship.