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I Belong

Review: Fathom by Merrie Destefano

Title: Fathom

Author: Merrie Destefano

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: Fathom Series (Book 1)

Publication Date: September 24, 2012

Format: eBook, 310 Pages

ISBN-10: 0545310288 (Merrie Destefano)

ISBN-13: 294-0015542882 (Merrie Destefano)

Reviewed by: Kayla


Turning sixteen can be hell, especially if everyone in town thinks your mother killed herself and your sister. All Kira Callahan wants to do is swim, hang out with her best friend, Sean, and ignore the kids who torment her at school. That is, until one day when she gets invited to a party. For three minutes her life is wonderful—she even kisses Sean. Then somebody spikes her drink and some girls from out of town lure her into the ocean and hold her underwater.

Kira soon discovers that the group of wild teenagers who have come to visit Crescent Moon Bay are not as innocent as they seem. In fact, nothing is as it seems—not the mysterious deaths of her sister and mother, not her heritage, not even her best friend. And everything seems to hinge on the ancient Celtic legends that her mother used to tell her as a child.

Quick & Dirty: A small town girl falls in love with her best friend and finds out Celtic mythology is alive and well in Crescent Moon Bay.

Opening Sentence: I never believed in ghosts.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

At first I was a little leary — what with the first sentence being on ghosts. But as I read more, I realized it’s not about ghosts; it’s about Celtic myths, specifically Selkies. Kira Callahan is just a normal girl. With a mother who murdered her sister then committed suicide. So life hadn’t been easy, but with her best friend Sean next to her, it was bearable. Then a group of teenagers visits Crescent Moon Bay. There’s nothing special about them. Besides the cute guy with sea blue eyes like her. And his friend Riley that seems to hate her guts without even knowing her. Kira’s whole life has been a legend in the making–stories have been told around campfires about her life, but the ending has yet to come. Nothing is as it seems in this dramatic story of mythology, family and love.

Phew. Give me a few seconds to cool down after this steamy story. And not steamy as in romance. Steamy as in emotional roller coaster. From the very beginning Destefano grips the reader in a firm hold and doesn’t let go. One minute you’re happy saying “aw that’s sweet!” In the next, you’re in tears and can’t stop yelling at the book. Not to say that’s what I did…

There were several twists in Fathom that made me reread the chapter because I was so surprised. True, I was reading this at midnight, but still, it’s worth the suspense that Destefano builds. Honestly, the tense atmosphere she creates is like a hundred pound boulder strung above your head. But Sean and Caleb will save you before it falls!

Romance is the central subject in this story (if you exclude the mythology). It’s like a love triangle with one side invisible to the other two sides. If you can’t follow that, then I’ll go a little deeper. Sean and Kira like each other, but Kira is attracted to Caleb. While Caleb falls in love with Kira, Sean and Kira become closer, and its a huge mess but not really because Caleb hides his feelings. I wish Destefano would have gone into more detail with Caleb. His relationship with Kira is backgroundish and has no build up whatsoever. He just all of a sudden likes her. Although he is so sweet and protective of Kira without her knowing (which makes it even more romantic). Sean is the typical boy-next-door. Nothing’s wrong with that, but he barely has any flaws. Sure he didn’t trust Kira once, but they get over that in a cinch. I’m not sure who’s team I’m on yet because they are both good matches for Kira, but I’m not overly thrilled about both.

Destefano’s writing is a beautiful, fast-paced account of a Celtic myth in the making. Kira’s story is still unfolding and I cannot wait until the next installment! The ending isn’t a major cliffhanger. More like a satisfying ending with loose ends still to be tied up. Destefano could have given more detail while Caleb narrated the story (it flips between Kira and Caleb), but it was Kira’s narration that brought the suspense and drama. I absolutely loved this novel and its twists and turns and heart wrenching moments.

Notable Scene:

I nodded, slowly, my lips trembling. Well, I had wanted to talk to him about this and, now, here he was, watching me turn into a monster, right before his eyes. I forced myself to remember my conversation with Gram earlier, went over all the steps she had read to me from one of her books. I couldn’t look at Sean. Not now. I couldn’t bear to see the repulsion in his eyes.

Focus. One slow breath at a time.

Dad’s going to be okay.

And so am I. Just slow down and focus and change back.

Skin, human skin.

Sean was there, his arm around me.

Everything is going to be all right.

I took one long breath, clean and pure and filled with the stench of antiseptic. Then I glanced down at my hands.

Normal skin. Finally.

I hugged my knees to my chest and wept, a long soul-shattering cry that shook the universe and rearranged constellations and made stars fall from the sky.

Fathom Series:

1. Fathom

FTC Advisory: Merrie Destefano provided me with a copy of Fathom. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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