test3by Betsy Cornwell
YA Fantasy/Paranormal Fantasy
4 of 5 stars
Debut novel – June 4, 2013

First of all, this cover is incredible. The hardcover’s jacket is pearlescent and gorgeous. The story starts off moody and promising a lot of serious content within the world of a vivid New England island. Selkies are an interesting facet of mythology not often covered within YA so I was really excited to snag this on a whim from my library (yes, due to the beautiful cover). Noah is trying to land the most important internship of his life. Lo is fighting her second eating disorder. Their grandmother is full of secrets that start coming out now that they finally get to spend time with her on the island. And of course, there are the selkies.

This was a really nice change of pace for me – kind of like when you see a TV show or movie that isn’t normally your thing. Although it doesn’t get into as much depth as I’d like for certain issues, I flat out enjoyed this story. I love the characters, and that’s what made it for me. All of their relationships are nuanced and solid. The other elements (plot, pacing, writing) are very decent for a debut novel but there are few moments that could be smoothed over. It’s a bit trope-tastic but not in an annoying way–the best I can say it is that for weeks after I read this I kept thinking about the characters and the stormy coastline, and any book that stays with me like that earns my recommendation!

If you’d like to see more reviews or buy a copy for yourself, Tides is available on Goodreads and on Barnes & Noble’s website here. Please consider supporting your local bookstore!

Similar reads:

  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – When I think of mixing fantasy elements or legends with reality, I think of Stiefvater first. This quartet is set in small-town Virginia as Blue Sargent becomes involved with a group of prep-school boys searching for a legendary dead Welsh king. See my review here.
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater – Again, for incredible atmosphere and the casual mix of magic with the mundane, this is an excellent choice. Instead of peaceful selkies, you’ll encounter deadly water horses. See my review here.
  • The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black – If you’d like a bit more magic, visit the small tourist town of Fairfold and follow Hazel’s adventures with the ever-dangerous faeries and their plots. See my review here.
  • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare – Although her first trilogy set in NYC might be a closer match technically, I can’t stand the writing. So I offer up this recommendation for Shadowhunters killing demons in Victorian London. All the interpersonal drama you could desire interspersed with magic and action.
  • Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly – Mermaids from all the oceans must unite to fight a terrible evil. Sera was worried about living up to her mother’s (the queen’s) hopes, but when a terrible attack happens, Sera must shoulder the responsibility for her kingdom whether she feels ready or not. Fantastic female friendships! See my review here.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. erinkbay
    Jan 13, 2016 @ 19:50:37

    Ooh!!! I gotta read this!!! 😀 😀 Thanks for the rec, Manda Panda!!!!

    Liked by 1 person


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