Thursday, July 5, 2012

Surfacing by Shana Norris

Sixteen-year-old Mara Westray has just lost her mother, and now, being shipped off to live with the father she doesn’t know is not how she imagined grieving. She’s already counting down the days until she turns eighteen and can leave the tiny island of Swans Landing. But from the moment she steps off the ferry, nothing is as ordinary as it looks. Whispers of a haunting song on the wind make her see impossible things, and she isn’t sure she can trust her judgment about what is real and what isn’t anymore. Maybe she can’t even trust her judgment about quiet Josh Canavan, whose way of speaking in riddles and half-truths only confuses her more, luring her deeper into the secrets hidden beneath the ocean’s surface. As she tries to unravel the events that led to her mom fleeing the island sixteen years ago, Mara finds that the biggest secret of all is only the beginning.

I’m not sure what to make of this one. I guess overall I did like it and enjoyed the story, but by the end it felt a little uneventful and a bit slow. The first half of the book is about how Mara has lost her mom and has had to move in with her dad on a mysterious island where half the people are keeping secrets from her and the other half hate her. I got a bit frustrated waiting for Mara to just find out all ready. I mean the cover of the book pretty much gives the secret away. The second half of the book was interesting. Mara now knows most of what’s going on, but makes some bad decisions. One big one was with her friend Dylan. I didn’t like that whole situation and how she handled things. Her relationship with Josh was also a bit frustrating. He was kind of a coward in public and had done a few questionable things, but when they were together she never called him on anything. At least not for a long time. I would have liked a bit more confrontation, she didn’t seem like the type to hold things in, so I didn’t get why she put up with some of his shenanigans. Despite the very short time they know each other; I did actually like their relationship and thought they had good chemistry. I don’t think this is too much of a spoiler, but I have to get it out there. I was frustrated with how Mara wanted to leave and runaway with Josh. First, you barely know him despite the “connection” you may feel. Two, it was so selfish of her to ask him to leave his mom. She of all people should know what it is like to take care of an ailing mother and it was just so dumb for her to ask him to abandon his mother for her. It made me like her a lot less. 

Anyway, I did like Mara. I liked Josh. I liked the side characters Dylan, Sailor, Miss Gale and Lake. I thought it was maybe a standalone novel, but there are some cliffhangers at the end so I’m sure there will be at least one more book. I enjoyed this one and will probably read the next. It was an interesting take on mermaids and if you like mermaid stories you’ll probably enjoy it.   

Content: Pretty clean. Some passionate kissing and making out. Mild language, maybe a dozen (or less) swear words.

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