By Tracy Deebs
Kindle book description:
”Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home; continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark; and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kai, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water’s temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her-and that the entire ocean’s future hangs in the balance.”
This book starts off great – I love the main character, Tempest. She’s this laid-back surfer girl, more comfortable with guy friends, which was a type of character I haven’t read much about. Her main focus is taking care of her two little brothers, who are not dealing well after being abandoned by their mother six years before. Her relationship with the littlest guy, who is dyslexic I think, is really sweet. Once Kona (Kai in the book description, for some reason – maybe they changed it later?) shows up, the book just gets lame for me. Granted, I’m not much for romance, unless the author avoids all romance boilerplate, but he is generally annoying to me; I like her old boyfriend better.
Which is when the problem in the book occurs for me: Her character changes when Kona shows up, becomes more hysterical-girl than laid-back surfer chick. And honestly, I’m just tired of girls being inexplicably and supernaturally drawn to someone they don’t know anything about and don’t even like other than the whole sexual tension thing. He knows what’s going on in her life, but he won’t tell her. Yet she is inexplicably drawn to him instead of punching him in the face. The middle of the book can basically be boiled down to:
This boy is really hot. “Tell me!”
So she goes off to the ocean and then doesn’t go home right away. And time is passing faster on shore, so her brothers and Dad are panicking, wondering where she is — has she abandoned them like her mother? I kept worrying about the little dyslexic guy failing his spelling tests. It kept me from enjoying the whole middle of the book, which had some pretty ocean descriptions. Not much happens in the middle, frankly, and Kona still won’t tell her anything! Finally he spills the beans about her destiny, and the book picks up its pace from there to the end.
SPOILER PART – BEWARE! SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU HAVEN’T READ!
I wanted the book to end there, with her reintegrating into her life, Kona coming ashore to stay in her life until she’s ready to go to the sea forever (and her brother is done with spelling tests), or even an ambiguous ending, where you’re not sure what she ultimately decides. I didn’t like the very end, when she runs off into the waves with Kona. It felt like Tempest said, “Aw, the Hell with my brothers. I’m sick of this crap.”
OKAY, SPOILER DONE
I took awhile to read this book. Just didn’t have the fire to race through the middle. But I didn’t quit on it, so it wasn’t a bad book. It had some nice characters, some beautiful under-water descriptions, and a nice setting in the surfer world, which I enjoyed learning about. I liked her dad a lot. I couldn’t understand her mom’s choice, and I never got satisfaction on that. Would I recommend it? Yeah, with reservations. I might read the next one if the plot intrigues me. I’m hoping it explores the under-the-sea part more – that would be interesting. But I hope it has both under-the-sea and normal earth-girl parts — I hate books where a girl abandons her life and family to be with some guy.