December 11, 2011

REVIEW: Surfacing by Shana Norris

Kindle Edition
Published November 13th 2011
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 is an approximately 78,000 word/314 page young adult paranormal romance.

Surfacing was a nice change for me. When I picked Surfacing up to begin reading it, I honestly had no idea what the story was really about. I sort of just jumped into it. I have to say that I was immediately hooked after reading the first couple of pages. I really enjoyed it, but there were some parts that threw me off and had me annoyed at times, but I will get into that in a bit.

When Mara’s mother dies she is sent off to live with her father who is a complete stranger to her. She knows nothing about him or what he is really like. Only what her mother shared with her, and even that wasn’t much. From the first two pages of the story I was already interested and wanted to know what was going to happen. The minute Mara arrives, she quickly learns that there is a huge mystery to the town and there’s obviously something she doesn’t know and no one is willing to share with her. Already half the town dislikes her and she has no clue. They look down on her and her family. The only friends she makes and that her father has are also disliked. With everything she is going through, losing her mother, moving in with a stranger, new town, new friends, that last thing she needs is enemies. Then she meets Josh, one of the “cool” kids and they quickly build a friendship, only it’s a secret friendship. It was just a lot of bad happening to her and if it were me, I would have had a break down.

Mara started off as a strong character with a slick mouth and always spoke what was on her mind. She defended herself and she even defended those who weren’t really her friends. She just couldn’t stand bullying. I loved this about her, but then there were times where she would just annoy me. I understand the bitterness towards her father and the pain she is feeling, but at times she lashed out and it just bothered me a bit and felt unnecessary. Another thing that annoyed me a bit was that half the book, or a little more than half, it’s a whole bunch of, “You’re not ready to know the truth” or “It’s not my place to tell you.” After a while I got tired of everyone telling her this and I wanted to know the truth already. Once Mara does finally learn the truth and everything is revealed, the story got even more interesting. I also really liked the relationship Mara had with her friends, and the one she developed with Josh. If there is a second part to Surfacing, I would definitely like to read it. I enjoyed it, but I just wish Mara’s personality stayed consistent. She was up and down for me. There were also lots of moments that took me by surprise. I recommend this story!

3.5 out of 5 stars!



  1. What a great review. I hadn't heard of this book but now because of your review I might just have to check it out.

  2. Most of the time I just into a book without reading the blurb t all haha. I love the mystery I guess. This one sounds promising though and that cover is awesome. I'M not how I feel about the dragging mystery - I'm one to go "Ok let's go... give us something". xD

    Xpresso Reads

  3. I've never heard of this book, but the description makes it sound very interesting, and thanks for the great review!


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