Swimming Against The Tide by Helen Bailey

Swimming Against The Tide

Written by Helen Bailey
Part of the Electra Brown Series

11+ readers   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

In the authentic voice of a teenager, Electra charts the ups and all too often downs of her life. All her friends have hooked hunks who they love to discuss and show off. Why can’t she get one too? Electra’s self pity is humorous and very, very realistic.

Lovereading comment:

Electra Brown, the heroine of this novel is a brilliantly created character that girls will really relate to - witty, self-deprecating and fun! If you've enjoyed Louise Rennison's creation of Georgia Nicholson or Joanna Nadin's Rachel Riley then think of Electra's novels as like those but with an edge. While all her mates seem to have found lurve-action, Electra is swimming against the tide and she hates it; she'd much rather go with the flow. But how to do it is quite another matter. This is the third Electra Brown novel; the first was Life at the Shallow End and the second was Out of My Depth. Just click here to view these titles. It is not essential to read them in order however or indeed to read the first two in order to enjoy the third one.

A message from the author:

Life doesn't get any easier for our heroine, but it does get crazier as her father's girlfriend gets nasty, Electra's super glam Wundacousin Maddy comes on to the scene and Electra fires off an email which starts a calamitous chain of events. Although Electra's world is changing, one things remains constant. As a way of coping with the sometimes grim realities of life, Electra's min pops up with gloriously shallow thoughts in the midst of deeply serious situations!

I'm often asked whether these books are based on real people and real life. Althought the characters are fictitious, they are based on people I've met, and all the mad, bad and sad happenings are taken from real-life situations. Whilst at school I used to sit and stare out of the window dreaming of anything but lessons, then go home and write pages and pages in my diary of who did what to whom, and (usually) why wasn't I part of it? Years later, the dreaming and those diaries are brought to life through Electra and her friends.

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Swimming Against The Tide by Helen Bailey

Everyone's got major lurve-action except Electra. She hates swimming against the tide: she'd rather go with the flow. She should be planning how to hook a hunk, but all she can think is, What's for lunch? She can be VERY shallow.


A light hearted read and a real treat for those lazy summer days in the sun. MKP readers are guaranteed to be laughing out loud when indulging in the crazy world of Electra Brown - zits-and-all! Mykindaplace website We love her! Mizz magazine

About the Author

Helen Bailey

Helen Bailey, (1964 - 2016) was best known for her teen fiction about a girl called Electra Brown, a cheerful, mouthy 14-year old schoolgirl obsessed with make-up, snogging, spots and whether she should dye her hair.

Helen was born and brought up in Northumberland. Barely into her teens, she invested her pocket money in buying a copy of The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook and spent the next few years sending short stories and poems to anyone she could think of. Much to her surprise, she sometimes found herself in print. After a degree in science, Helen worked in the media and ran a successful London-based character licensing agency handling internationally reknowned properties such as Snoopy, Felicity Wishes, Dilbert and Zorro.

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Book Info


320 pages


Helen Bailey
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Author's Website



Hachette Children's Books

Publication date

5th February 2009




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