Author: Jessi Kirby
Published: May 2011 by Simon & Schuster
My Rating: 4 stars
Tags: YA | Romance | Realistic
Includes: Sensuality, Profanity
First Lines: Rain and wind pelted the ocean's surface so hard it looked like it was boiling. In the passenger seat of our VW bus, I shivered despite the warm, muggy air.
Anna has always lived at the beach...the place where her mother died. When her dad accepts a new job at a different beach, Anna isn't too thrilled at first about moving. Besides, it is the exact same place where her mother and father met and fell in love. However, after meeting some interesting people, in particular a cute lifeguard, Anna begins to appreciate her new home. Over time, Anna learns the truth behind her mother's death and unearths family history and memories that were never dealt with.
It took me awhile to really dive into this book, but once I did it was such an enjoyable story. It seemed like the first half of the book the author was setting up the scene and getting familiar with the characters. The plot dragged a little, but then picked up once new friends and a love interest entered Anna's life. I thought that Anna and Tyler's summer romance was very believable! Tyler was your average lifeguard stereotype: cute, flirty, and confident. But there was also more to that, a deeper side to him. Their flirting and sarcastic comments were interesting to watch blossom into something more, and I would have loved if the author went a little more in depth with their romance. I know the main focus of the story was between Anna, her father, and the deceased mother, but it would have been nice to read about a little more passion between Anna and Tyler, too.
I think Anna made a wonderful main character. She wasn't over the top mature like in some YA books, but wasn't a child either. She did what all of us girls do at the beach, whether we'll admit it or not...try to get the cute lifeguard's attention by walking in the direction their eyes are or lying out on your towel a certain way. I really liked how realistic her character was and how down-to-earth she was. Anna's relationship with her father was pretty interesting, too. It took awhile to get into it, but the tension between them and unsaid words were very clear.
For one thing, this book has absolutely made me crave summer! I'm so glad that my family is going to the beach tomorrow for my spring break, because it will make you thirst for the ocean. The author did a great job at creating a visual picture and I could almost hear the crash of waves the way she described them so vividly. It was a pretty emotional book but had a nice, calm tone also. The ending was beautifully bittersweet but heartwarming. I'm glad I took the time to read this novel...definitely a keeper to bring along on your next beach trip.
Cover Thoughts: It's gorgeous! The colors, cute couple, beach scene...what's not to love?