When high-school senior Noah Gallagher and his adopted teenage sister, Lo, go to live with their grandmother in her island cottage for the summer, they don’t expect much in the way of adventure. Noah has landed a marine biology internship, and Lo wants to draw and paint, perhaps even to vanquish her struggles with bulimia. But then things take a dramatic turn for them both when Noah mistakenly tries to save a mysterious girl from drowning. This dreamlike, suspenseful story—deftly told from multiple points of view—dives deeply into selkie folklore while examining the fluid nature of love and family.
I’ve always had such a problem with books about mermaids and selkies. I have found a few that were enjoyable, but I still have not found one that blew me out of the park. I really wanted to give Tides by Betsy Cornwell a shot because not only was the cover gorgeous, but the synopsis captivated me as well. Unfortunately, my hopes came crashing down with this one, as I was not as fascinated as I had hoped to be.
The first 40 or so pages of this book were absolutely brilliant. I loved the contemporary and fantasy genres mixed together. It gave the book a light and airy feel to it that was really attractive. However, I didn’t like the selky aspect of the story, which is obviously a major part of it. I found that part of the storyline to be very slow and a little weird for my personal tastes.
I enjoy books with a single narrator, but I can occasionally handle books with two narrators. I counted at least 5 narrators in this book, and I found that to be a bit sloppy and excessive. I ended up skimming a big chunk of this book, so for all I know there could be even more than 5 narrators presented in the book. I would have preferred one narrator so that everything went more smoothly and stayed on track.
Because so many narrators were presented in this book, there wasn’t a lot of time dedicated to a relationship between Noah and Mara. As I said before, I skimmed the last half of this book, so that may have progressed. But there was really no foundation laid down for Noah and Mara, and I wish that more groundwork would have been set between the two from the very getgo.
I also found it very confusing that the main characters were Noah and Mara. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer series by Michelle Hodkin is a very popular series right now, and the two main characters are Noah and Mara. I found it to be a bit difficult to separate the two characters from the individual books. This may be something that many readers will have no complaint with, but it really bothered me.
For a big chunk of this book, I honestly thought that it was set in Ireland. I know that I preprogrammed myself to think this because Betsy Cornwell actually lives in Ireland, but it took me a long time to realize that her characters were not stationed there. It made it a bit confusing for the overline storyline.
I find it difficult to tell people whether or not to go out and buy this book, because it really comes down to this book just not being a book for me. I can see Tides being really popular with fans of water/mermaid/selky stories and contemporary fans. Tides is a really mellow, soft and soothing read that will captivate readers and make them feel as if they are truly in the story. However, the book was just not for me, and I ended up wanting to see a lot more progression in the story itself.
Publication Date: June 4th, 2013
Publisher:Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Teaser Quote: “Noah saw a shadow move behind a jutting boulder. He pulled off his headphones. He heard a sharp splah, out of rhythm with the waves, and a crack like breaking bones. A deep cough followed, and a gurgling gasp.
He yanked off his shirt and scrambled down the rocks, scanning the water for the drowning person. He saw a whitish shape under a wave and lunged toward it. There – his arms closed on a soft, struggling form.
A girl slipped in Noah’s grasp. She had cropped black hair and silvery pale skin, and – he realized with horror – she was completely naked. He pulled back instinctively and help up his hands to show his innocence.
She stood there glaring at him, fire in her eyes and seawater streaming over her body.
Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.
He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.
Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.
With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…
This review took me about a week to write for several different reasons. First, I’m upset that I probably have to wait like a year for the next one. Brigid Kemmerer is one of my all time favorite authors, and I’m always chomping at the bit to get my hands on her books. Second, it took a few days for me to be able to cool my jets, cause there were some parts of this book that made me see red. Spirit was definitely a bitter sweet read for me. Read on and you’ll see why.
Above all else, the writing in this book was fantastic. Brigid Kemmerer is an amazing author. If you haven’t read her work yet, you’re seriously missing out. Make sure you go buy/borrow/whatever you have to do to get your hands on this series. You won’t regret it!
I’ve been dying for the chance to read Hunter’s story since book one. He’s such an edgy, fresh, interesting character…it’s hard not to fall head over heels in love with him. I appreciated the sensitive, broken down side of him that is revealed in Spirit. At times, I thought it was taken a little too far. I wanted to see more of a masculine, harsh side of Hunter. Some could argue that that did happen, but I wanted a little less vulnerability. I loved Hunter regardless, though.
As with all Brigid Kemmerer books, I loved the contemporary aspect. All of her books surround paranormal, fantasy, and supernatural things, but they also have heartbreaking issues (such as bullying and rape), as well as beautiful romances. Kate Sullivan wasn’t quite what I expected when it came to Hunter’s love life. She was fierce, edgy, and totally out of control. In my head, I saw Hunter with someone a little more mellow. In the beginning of the book, they worked really well together. They were a bit hesitant with each other, but I expected to see their relationship grow. And I did see that….but not completely.
A couple more highlights of the book were the other Merrick brothers and the almost new adult theme of this book. There is not one Merrick brother that I dislike. I have a huge character crush on every single one of them. I wish that I would have got to see a little more romance from Gabriel and Layne, since their book just ended not that long ago. As for the new adult theme, I want to stress that this book is not categorized as a new adult book. The romantic scenes in this book are a little more intense that you would see in the average YA book. I personally loved it!
I will warn you guys that the ending of this book will make you want to throw it across the room. The only reason I didn’t is because it’s a Brigid Kemmerer book, and I would never do that to this series. But I did sort of have a screaming match with it when I was done. What happened was unexpected, unappreciated…did I mention unexpected?! I don’t want to give anything away, but I’ll just tell you guys that you will NOT be prepared for what’s going to happen at the end of the book.
When it comes down to it, I will read every single book that Brigid Kemmerer writes. Was this my favorite book in the Elemental series? No, but I did enjoy it. I was actually a big fan of the book until the ending. I will say that if Hunter doesn’t get a second book, I am going to be VERY unhappy! But still….all of you need to read this series. It’s amazing!
Publication Date: May 28th, 2013
Teaser Quote: “The first day you meet, you are friends. The next day, you are brothers.”
Skye wants to meet the boy who will change her life forever. Seth feels their instant connection the second he sees her. When Seth starts talking to Skye at the last beach party of the summer, it’s obvious to both of them that this is something real. But when Seth leaves for college before they exchange contact info, Skye wonders if he felt the same way she did—and if she will ever see him again. Even if they find their way back to each other, can they make a long-distance relationship work despite trust issues, ex drama, and some serious background differences?
Teen favorite Susane Colasanti returns to the alternating-voice style of her beloved debut When It Happens in this Serendipity-inspired story about summer, soul mates, and the moments that change our lives forever.
All I Need is a book that I have been dying to read. Not only are the cover and synopsis gorgeous, but it totally radiates a Spring/Summer feel. Unfortunately, I didn’t like the book. I’m not going to even rate the book, because I found it a little painful to read, and it’s not fair of me to judge it when I only got about 50 pages into it. But I am going to share my thoughts on it with all of you.
My first major complaint with All I Need was the relationship between Seth and Skye. They meet in the first chapter and decide they’re soul mates by the second. They knew each other for a whole two days, and then Seth goes off to college without saying goodbye. Any normal girl..or guy for that matter…would get. over. it. But, no. Skye is moping around 2 months later about a guy she knew for about 48 hours. Obviously Seth will come into her life probably a little later on in the book…but I honestly didn’t even make it that far. I didn’t find Skye..or Seth..to be very good role models. I wouldn’t want my kid reading this book and thinking that’s how they should act.
Another thing that bothered me is that I was really confused by how all of the teenagers acted and spoke to one another. I’ll be the first to admit that a lot of teenagers are freakin annoying. Not all of them! But some. It hasn’t been that long since I was a teenager…and trust me…I annoy myself thinking about it. But most teenagers don’t act the way that they are portrayed in this book. I thought that it was very exaggerated from an adults perspective.
I didn’t get very far in this book, so I cannot critique the middle or the ending. Things might have picked up later on, but I could not bring myself to finish. I think that younger teenagers may appreciate this book, but I would not recommend it to adults at all.
Publication Date: May 21st, 2013
Publisher: Viking Juvenile