by Tricia Rayburn
Embarrassment of Riches challenge 3/50
I really enjoyed this YA goodie. It starts out kind of creepy and confusing, an old Maine harbor town in the summertime. But the weather is wonky, major storms keep coming through and Vanessa’s sister Justine has drowned, the rumor is suicide from the diving cliffs but other people are drowning as well. Plus Vanessa keeps hearing a weird wailing sound in her head.
She hooks up with her neighbor Simon to hunt down his brother Caleb who was with Justine when she drowned. What the heck is going on? She keeps hearing her sister talking to her and helping her, certain ladies in town give her splitting migraines and it is weird and creepy and odd and bizarre. The reader is withheld information for a slow build, or for the tide to slowly pull you out until you don’t realize you are super far from shore…suddenly the water slowly pulls you under, so you have that moment between hearing clearly and the muted tones after you are slightly below the surface.
Some of the chapters end with a little cliffhanger and the next one starts somewhere else so you don’t YET get to know what happened. It ratchets up the tension a bit and is a smidge irritating (cause I wanted to KNOW), but it was great. I was humming as things started being revealed. Which, ok, you can kind of see ahead of time, but not fully. Honestly it felt like you were in fog for a while. It clears. It was fascinating, shiny and dangerous.
Luckily this is the first in a series. I am excited to see what happens next to Vanessa, because she has some powerful enemies. I also want a little more clarity, but sea water is rarely crystal clear. 3.5 sea stars, orange with long tentacles.