Author: Lisa Papademetriou
Publication Date: July 12, 2011
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Copy provided by: Teen Book Scene/Publisher
Summary (via Goodreads):
Nothing has been the same for Will ever since what happened last summer. One day, on an ordinary sailing trip with his brother, there is a strange accident. When Will wakes up, he learns his brother has disappeared, presumed drowned. Worst of all, Will can't remember what happened—his family finds him unconscious, with no memory of the accident.
Now Will and his best friend and neighbor, Gretchen, are starting a new summer. Gretchen seems troubled—her sleepwalking habit is getting worse, and she keeps waking up closer and closer to the water. Will is drawn to Asia, the exotic new girl in town. Nobody knows where she's from—all Will knows is that her beauty and her mesmerizing voice have a powerful effect on people.
Then there is another mysterious drowning, and Will and Gretchen begin to wonder: Is Asia just another beautiful, wealthy summer resident? Or is she something entirely more sinister . . . and inhuman?
Why I read this: I love mermaid/siren tales, especially those that are a bit darker in nature and this one looked to be so.
Plot: The author does a fantastic job of melding mythology into a modern day setting. The story had a nice balance of intrigue, relationships, and fantasy elements. This story is darker and less focused on romance, which was a great relief as romance in paranormal YA can sometimes be stifling and ruin a good underlying plot. Instead it focused on friendship, on loss, on the darkness that can consume a person. And I of course loved all the mythology that played into the story and created a truly unique novel.
Characters: The characters in this book are blended well into the story. They have stand out features, but the plot takes precedence and there's this urgency that pushed them into action. I really loved the characters because of their flaws. There's Gretchen, who is the girl next door to Will who is self-conscious, doesn't always make the best decisions, but tries her best. Then there is Will, who is still suffering the loss of his brother and is marked with a scar that reminds him daily of that night.
I enjoyed the supporting characters as well, Asia, the strange girl who Will cannot get out of his mind, Kirk - a supposedly crazy teenage boy who acts like he is on drugs and spouts nonsense about angels and voices. And Angus, the town gossip, who is always there trying to get the scoop.
Relatability: I think those who enjoy stories based in mythology but set in modern times will enjoy this one. And anyone who needs a break from YA Para-romance but still wants a good paranormal novel.
Cover Commentary: Haunting. Not quite the way I picture Asia though.
Rating: 5/5 Roses
Find it on Goodreads