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I Belong


Review: Wrecked by Anna Davies

Title: Wrecked

Author: Anna Davies

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Series: N/A

Publication Date: May 1, 2012

Format: Hardcover, 336 Pages

ISBN-10: 1442432780 (Simon & Schuster)

ISBN-13: 978-1442432789 (Simon & Schuster)

Reviewed by: Emmy

Synopsis:

Secrets of the sea have never been sexier than this. 

Ever since the death of her parents, Miranda has lived on Whym Island, taking comfort in the local folklore, which claims a mysterious sea witch controls the fate of all on the island and in its surrounding waters. Sometimes it’s just easier to believe things are out of your control.

But then a terrible boating accident takes the lives of several of her friends, and Miranda is rescued by a mysterious boy who haunts her dreams. Consumed by guilt from the accident, she finds refuge in late-night swims—and meets Christian, a boy who seems eerily familiar, but who is full of mystery: He won’t tell her where he is from, or why they can only meet at the beach. But Miranda falls for him anyway…and discovers that Christian’s secrets, though meant to protect her, may bring her nothing but harm.

Seductive and compelling, Wrecked brings a contemporary, paranormal twist to a classic enchanting tale.

Quick & Dirty: This book has an interesting premise but fails to deliver it in a satisfying manner, relying heavily on exposition to get the mood across while slowing down the story.

Opening Sentence: In many ways Whym Island is like any of the hundreds of tiny islands dotting the South Carolina coast.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

I’m going to start out by saying that this book has one of the worst synopses ever. I read it and was totally uninterested in this book, mainly because it doesn’t sell itself. When I started reading there was so much more they could’ve worked with and chose not to. Maybe it’s because the book’s so short or it could be because the story seems so simple they thought putting hints in the synopsis was a bad idea. Whatever the reason, I have a feeling a lot of readers are going to pass this story up because of everything the back copy doesn’t say.

Soul-stealing sea witch, Atlantis-like sunken world, hidden secrets of Whym Island. All those things are interesting and exciting, while the back copy emphasizes the fact that some of Miranda’s friends died and Christian is a dreamboat. While all the death Miranda’s experienced in her life, her grief definitely dominates her character, but that’s not the entire story.

When Miranda’s boat loses its navigation system just as a storm rolls in, they can’t get around the island to dock. Lightening strikes the boat and jumping becomes their only plan. When her boyfriend Fletch forces her overboard, Miranda and her friends are drowning. Until an arm wraps around her and drags her to the surface, and a body shushes her as he pulls her towards shore. Miranda survives with a massive cut, but four of her friends die and Fletch is in a coma. A coma Miranda knows in her heart he won’t be coming out of. She can’t remember the boy who saved her life, but she can remember his shimmering skin and the way his arms made her feel safe.

Christian, the boy who saves Miranda, has some pretty massive problems of his own. A betwixtman, neither merman or human, saved Miranda on the day of his Surfacing — the night he turned eighteen, a right of passage where he finally became a man — and now has to deal with the consequences. The sea witch Sephie, who the inhabitants of Up Above think of as a local legend, is all too real Down Below. The sea witch is furious Christian lost one of her souls and makes a deal. He can live as long as Miranda’s soul is where it belongs within the week — meaning, as long as Christian kills her. Otherwise she’ll take his soul in her place.

We’re torn between Miranda who’s living with survivor’s guilt, wondering why she’s the one who got to live while Fletch is stuck living on a tube, and Christian who doesn’t want to take back the life he saved. The worlds of Up Above, In Between and Down Below begin clashing as Miranda and Christian find themselves together again.

As I said, the back copy put this book is a disadvantage from the get go because I started the book uninterested. When I start a book with the predisposition it’ll be bleh, I have to wonder how it affects my impression of the overall book. Wrecked didn’t blow me out of the water by any means, I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing style, which relied heavily on info-dumping to develop the backstory and character relationships. What I was a fan of was the mixture of mythological creatures and an underwater world — Atlantis has always been a favorite myth of mine. The writing and style of this book is really what knocked it down to a two rating, but the story was much more interesting than I originally expected it to be. If you like the current mermaid trend that’s been replacing vampires in YA novels these days, you might like Wrecked. It’s not the best example of a mermaid romance I’ve read this summer, but it’s short and easy to read.

Notable Scene:

“There was a storm. And she was trapped, and I knew it was wrong, but I thought…I thought it would be all right if I saved her,” Christian said in a small voice. The truth was, he hadn’t been thinking at all in the moment that he’d set the girl free, all he knew was that if he hadn’t done something, he wouldn’t have been able to live with himself.

Sephie laughed, the noise sounding like a hiss and a bark. “Well, that’s where our miscommunication lies. Because it wasn’t all right that you saved her. I wanted her soul. I wanted all their souls. But I’m letting you off easy,” she said, not letting go of her grip on his arm.

“Thank you,” Christian said.

“I need her soul. I’ll collect the rest in my own time, but he soul is on you. You have one week.”

FTC Advisory: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers provided me with a copy of Wrecked.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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