I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book from the author or publisher free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This review may be cited in part or full elsewhere without my express permission so long as “Lisa Taylor” or “Writer’s Block Party” is given credit with a link back to this post.
Back Cover Blurb:
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.
Let me say ahead of time that I really hate giving bad reviews. As an author, I know how much time and sweat and love goes into writing a book, and that shouldn’t be taken for granted regardless of our personal opinions of any book.
So first the good thing about this book – the writing, technically, is beautiful. This is really the only reason I could finish the book…it read quickly, even though the story aggravated me.
Beyond that though, I couldn’t find much to like about this book. The main character is a high school student, and the book is written like sex on the beach, alcohol, and drugs are a right to teenagers and any adult who tries to stop them is in the wrong. I understand that drinking and sex are things that some teenagers do, and I understand that those things surface in many teenage stories–but I’ve never read a book that treated them as such normal, every day things. The main character’s grandmother (who is raising her and her brother) finds out about their activities and it’s never even mentioned, like these are things taken for granted. That annoyed me…it’s one thing to involve alcohol and drugs and sex in your story…it’s quite another to blatantly tell the teens reading these books that those things are EXPECTED.
Secondly, the main character had no backbone at all. At the beginning of the book, she is driving a boat full of kids and they have an accident. A few kids die, a few more are injured. She is injured as well, and one gets out uninjured. Even though there are no charges pressed and it is determined the boat wreck was an accident, everyone blames the main character, Miranda.
Now, I can imagine students and even friends blaming Miranda, because, let’s face it, kids can be irrational. I was even okay with the fact that her boyfriend’s parents became cold and distant toward her–adults can be assholes. But when the principal of her school tries to keep her from coming back to school, I couldn’t help but get annoyed. No principal would have the guts to discriminate so blatantly against someone who has been in an accident…it’s beyond illegal and he could be sued for everything the school system has if Miranda would just stand up for herself.
Literally the first 200 pages of this book features Miranda cutting school, hating her grandmother, and feeling sorry for herself because everyone hates her. She refuses to talk to her friends and try to work out their problems. She refuses to stand up for herself when people treat her badly. I was strongly reminded of how much I disliked Bella from Twilight.
Not to mention she and her friends are so shallow to begin with. If she had picked friends who had any idea what it is to be mature, compassionate, or even rational, she wouldn’t suffer the way she does. I really just think this book sends exactly the wrong message to teen girls, who are the targeted audience.
The romance toward the end of the book between her and the “betwixtman,” Christian, doesn’t help any. He lays eyes on her and decides he loves her. She lays eyes on him and decides she loves him. Now, I’m not totally against the idea of love at first sight–but does it have to be the abs and the eyes she notices when she decides she’s in love with him? Come on, Miranda. Please show some kind of ability to think.
The blurbs use the fact that this is a new twist on contemporary folk lore to sell the book, but the folklore is barely mentioned. People on the island say that there is a seawitch who rules the ocean. There are merpeople, betwixtmen, and other creatures. That’s literally all the folklore there is. The rest is Miranda whining and crying. If the book had focused on the folklore and actually building a relationship between Christian and Miranda, it could have been great. Instead, at least to me, it focused on all the wrong parts and fell hopelessly flat.