Monday, September 20, 2010

Review: Sea by Heidi R. Kling

235 x 159mm
336 pages
ISBN 9780399251634
15 Jun 2010
Putnam Juvenile
12 - AND UP years

Still haunted by nightmares of her mother’s death, fifteen-year-old Sienna Jones reluctantly travels to Indonesia with her father’s relief team to help tsunami orphans with their post traumatic stress disorder—something Sienna knows a lot about. Since her mother’s plane went missing over the Indian Ocean three years before, Sienna doesn’t do anything if it involves the ocean or planes, so this trip is a big step forward.

But the last thing she expects is to fall for Deni, a brooding Indonesian boy who lives at the orphanage, and just so happens to be HOT. When Deni hears a rumor that his father may be alive, Sienna doesn’t think twice about running away with him to the epicenter of the disaster. Unfortunately, what they find there could break both their hearts.

A compelling summer romance, Sea marks the arrival of a stunning new voice in YA.
So, initially, I really liked this book. Then as Sienna is traipsing around Indonesia, completely disregarding her father and the local customs, I was irked. This comes from that nagging little voice in my head that belongs to the mom in me. What the heck is this girl thinking, when she's been warned numerous times that to be alone with a boy, even if they are only 15 and 17, means they are "betrothed"? Ok, I've vented on this subject, on to the rest of the book.

What I really enjoyed in Sea was the eye-opening look at the conditions in this area still, years after the tsunami devastated it. I knew there was so much loss at the time of the natural disaster but the struggles still being dealt with by the people and the world-wide efforts to help were something I hadn't thought much about. Kling gives us a peek at what's happening. She truly captures the heartbreaking realities, especially with regards to the orphaned children involved.

While I wanted to wring Sienna's neck a few times, I suppose ultimately she had her heart in the right place and we can all understand the well-meaning but reckless nature of teenagers. She had her own troubles to deal with, also. Though this book is 300 plus pages, I found the short chapters and larger print made it fairly quick to read. If you like stories with a bit of meat but still that feel of first love, then you will enjoy reading Sea.


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