Sixteen-year-old Mara Westray has just lost her mother, and now, being shipped off to live with the father she doesn’t know is not how she imagined grieving. She’s already counting down the days until she turns eighteen and can leave the tiny island of Swans Landing.
But from the moment she steps off the ferry, nothing is as ordinary as it looks. Whispers of a haunting song on the wind make her see impossible things, and she isn’t sure she can trust her judgment about what is real and what isn’t anymore. Maybe she can’t even trust her judgment about quiet Josh Canavan, whose way of speaking in riddles and half-truths only confuses her more, luring her deeper into the secrets hidden beneath the ocean’s surface.
As she tries to unravel the events that led to her mom fleeing the island sixteen years ago, Mara finds that the biggest secret of all is only the beginning.
Surfacing was one of those books that I thoroughly enjoyed and I can't really find any big problems with, but at the same time there just seemed to be something lacking that's holding it back from being absolutely amazing.
Now I am a massive fan of paranormal young adult books and this particular paranormal creature is a favorite of mine. Norris manages to put an original spin on the mermaid legends that I found grabbed me and made me want to carry on reading and the other half of the story - the non-mermaid half was also pretty awesome. I liked reading about Mara, she was a strong character and it was also lovely to slowly watch Mara's life settle and her relationship with her father grow.
As I said above, Mara was a very strong character, from page one she was a strong, level-headed character, I did find that she just let people bully her and didn't really massively try too hard to find out why she was getting all the stick, but as a character I supported her, and her voice was well written. I liked the other characters as well, Dylan was a nice friend, and there was a slow camaraderie developed between Sailor and Mara which I liked. Josh was a really good love interest and I liked the rate at which the relationship developed.
What really grabbed me was the writing. Shana Norris has a talent in getting into a surly teenagers head and also manages to grip a reader with great plotting and story and character development. the pacing wasn't bad though I was a lot more gripped by the second half and the first half was a bit slower, not that I struggled with it but there was a noticeable change in the pacing.
Overall, a great book with amazing writing and believable characters. A new take on mermaids that will grip YA fans all over. Recommended for any YA paranormal romance fans.
Overall Rating: B+
Released 15th November 2011.
eBook received for review from the author.