Monday, January 24, 2011

Sea Change by Aimee Friedman

Genre: YA paranormal romance
Pages: 292 (hardcover)
Published: June 2009 by Point
Recommended for: paranormal fans, someone looking for a light beach read

Sixteen-year-old Miranda Merchant is great at science. . .and not so great with boys. After major drama with her boyfriend and (now ex) best friend, she's happy to spend the summer on small, mysterious Selkie Island, helping her mother sort out her late grandmother's estate.There, Miranda finds new friends and an island with a mysterious, mystical history, presenting her with facts her logical, scientific mind can't make sense of. She also meets Leo, who challenges everything she thought she knew about boys, friendship. . .and reality.
Is Leo hiding something? Or is he something that she never could have imagined?

My Take: 

Sea Change is pretty much the poster child for a beach read.  I mean, even the cover and the synopsis have me thinking blue sea and white sand.  I read it in a hotel room in Mexico, listening to the waves lap on the shores of the lagoon below my window.  I haven't read a lot of paranormal books about mer-people, selkies, etc, and honestly finished this only a little the wiser towards them.

Our protagonist Miranda is a no-nonsense, brainy kind of gal, fairly likable.  She and her mom head to tiny Selkie Island after her grandmother dies and leaves them her beautiful and mysterious old seaside house.  The local teens are modern Southern aristocrats who spend their summers chasing boyfriends/girlfriends and drinking out by the docks as they gossip beneath the simmering Southern sun.  I read a lot of books with romanticized views of the South (Beautiful Creatures comes to mind, though don't get me wrong, I love that series), and honestly, I far from have a problem with it.  I'd much rather people write about this area as charmingly quaint and beautiful than full of loudmouth rednecks, lol.  Still, I had to kind of chuckle occasionally, especially when one of the older Southern ladies in the story corrected Miranda for saying 'Thank you' in everyday conversation, telling her instead to say 'Amen!'  Soma us down here do talk purty funny, gosh darn it, but ya'll ain't never met Southern the likes a my grandma. (I do apologize for that last most sincerely.) 

Anyway, Miranda finds an old book in her grandmother's house which describes the myths and legends of Selkie Island-- namely (duh) the selkies who have made it their home since ancient times.  Miranda's skeptical, but oddly intrigued by the stories, especially after she meets Leo-- a local boy who immediately captures her suspicion (as well as her heart) due to his habit of appearing very suddenly whenever she's alone by the ocean.  Leo works at the local marine center and comes across as pretty much perfect, except that he evasively dodges every question Miranda asks about his family or life on the island.  It soon becomes pretty obvious that Leo and the other inhabitants of the local Fishermen's Village are probably, in fact, merpeople who spend part of their lives on land, the other half in the ocean.  I say 'probably', because unfortunately this is never really confirmed beyond a doubt in the book.  I would almost categorize this novel as just plain romance or chic lit rather than paranormal, just because there's so little of the paranormal going down.

The author has previously written a few bestselling chic-lits and personally I think she kind of wanted to package a summer romance story as a paranormal to go along with the current market trends. I mean, maybe I'm totally wrong, and there's a sequel and more about Leo and his mysterious people to come, but that's just the vibe I get.  The pace of this book is just a little slow, but there are a few good plot twists involving Miranda's grandmother and family skeletons in the closet which kept things just interesting enough.  Of the ending, I'll just say that it was neither great nor terrible.  Haven't heard anything about a sequel to Sea Change, but I wouldn't be at all surprised.  Altogether, this is a fun, light, and romantic read-- just don't expect any paranormal action or great depth.

Cover: 5/5 (I like it, very shiny...and blue)
Premise: 4/5 
Characters: 3/5 
Plot: 3/5 
Overall Rating: 3/5


Melissa (i swim for oceans) said...

I really enjoyed this book for what it was - sweet and simple. I felt the end was FAR too abrupt though! Great review, Kat :)

Oh, and I adore that cover, too!

Carissa said...

I was just looking at this one last night on Book Depository and wondering if it was going to be any good.

I find the premise interesting, but I don't really like that it keeps you hanging as far as any revelations as to what Leo truly is. I might wait and see if there is a sequel before checking this one out.

Great review!

Kat said...

@Carissa- Hmm, no sequel listed on Goodreads, so maybe it's a one-shot after all. I agree with Melissa though, the ending was far too abrupt. :)

Maria Behar said...

I found this post listed at the bottom of your review for "Linger", so decided to come take a look. As usual, I was treated to a great review!

This is another of those books I own but have yet to read. The cover, of course, just blew me away! So I had to buy it! Not only are the faces beautifully done, but the color is predominantly blue, a very beautiful shade, too! You see, blue is my favorite color!!

Your assesment of the book is definitely right on the money. Although I haven't read it from cover to cover, I HAVE skimmed it, and got pretty much the same impression you did. I'll still read it, though.

Thanks for the review! :

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...