Tempest Maguire is 16, she's an amazing surfer, with a boyfriend, two little brothers, and a great dad.
It seems like she has it all.
But her 17th birthday is fast approaching and with it a choice.
She can choose to stay on land and be human, for the rest of her life.
Or, she can give herself over to the sea and stop resisting the siren call that lures her into the ocean,
just like her mother.
As she tests the waters, she discovers a fantastic world below the surface of the sea, but as the weight of the underwater world settles on her shoulders there might not be a decision to make, because Tempest might not have a choice after all.
I'm worried about giving spoilers, because there are a lot of twists and turns in this book that were gasp-inducing. Things I did not expect at all. So, in an effort to let this book be as mysterious as it needs to be, I'll give you the official:
Violet doesn’t understand why she feels drawn to the Winterhaven School, she just knows it’s the right place for her. When she discovers the school’s secret, it all makes sense: everyone at Winterhaven has psychic gifts. For the first time in her life Violet doesn’t have to hide her visions. She’s always seen them as a curse, but now she can hone her ability and try to control it.
Violet’s never been able to prevent her visions from coming true. But this time she’ll do whatever it takes... even if it means sacrificing herself for the boy she loves.
The 'boy' she loves? Let's just say it's a liberal use of the word 'boy'.
Had I known what the book was really about I would have been much less inclined to read it.
I am SO very glad that I did.
It was a fresh take on a tired subject and this book had a dark and gloomy side that I adored.
As a young man, Jacob Jankowski was tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. It was the early part of the Great Depression, and for Jacob, now ninety, the circus world he remembers was both his salvation and a living hell. A veterinary student just shy of a degree, he was put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It was there that he met Marlena, the beautiful equestrian star married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. And he met Rosie, an untrainable elephant who was the great gray hope for this third-rate traveling show. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and, ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.
I know many of you have already seen the movie with Reese Witherspoon and Rob Pattinson (swoon). I've yet to see the movie, but the book was incredible. Never have I read a more believable character. Jacob Jankowski captured my heart as a young man alone in the world, unsure of his future. And he captured my heart even more as partial narrator of the story at ninety years old.
He's believable, and lovable, and so utterly sad.
I was angry for him, I hurt for him, and I literally laughed out loud at his triumphs.
I recommend this book to anyone (over the age of 15...) and know you'll love it as much as I do.
I looked at this book 3 times before I ended up getting it.
I was annoyed that one of the characters names was Xander.
It seemed typical, and I SO hate typical.
I am VERY glad I read this book.
Here's the official:
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.
This is a fascinating storyline. The main character, Cassia, has this uncertainty that is SO believable, but she does something that is EXACTLY what I love about a main character.
She practices rebellion.
You see the bubble on the cover? In every aspect of this book she is trapped and she has always accepted it. Not because it's futile, but because she doesn't realize she is even trapped.
But then she realizes.... and she starts to fight back.
What fascinated me even more, was when I reached the end of the book, I realized that there really weren't that many things that had HAPPENED in the book.
You take a book like the Hunger Games, and there's a battle and struggle on every page - people dying, deception, EVENTS taking place.
In this book though, the author managed to reel me in JUST AS MUCH, with way less action.
I've not seen the movie, and am still not sure if I ever plan to. But the book.... oh the book.... it was riveting. Not many authors can capture teenage angst in a way that is real, but Mr. Sparks did that. You felt the frustration of Ronnie, her struggle to fit in, not conform, to distance herself and bring herself closer to her family. The Last Song captures a single summer on the beaches of North Carolina - where you read of Ronnie and her summer romance, her struggle of finding herself, and the devastation she suffers when everything seems to be finally looking up.
This book deserves 5 out of 5 brightly shining stars.
Wow. This book was like nothing else I've ever read.
It's the story of Holden Caulfield - he narrates two days of his life in the most expressive voice.
It's witty, bitter, painful.
Holden is kicked out of his most recent prep school, and he recounts the two days following his expulsion. Throughout he rails at his childhood, the death of his brother, the phoniness of his friends and the people around him, how unglorified being an adult really is -- wishing he were an adult, yet still wistful about his youth. Stuck in this middle ground and entirely disenchanted with his life.
What I wish I had known before reading it (spoiler alert!) is that he is narrating the two days from a psychiatric ward --