Sea by Heidi R. Kling
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: June 10th 2010
Buy it from: Book Depository (free shipping worldwide!)
Gold star (4.5/5 stars)
Synopsis: 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.
Review: Sea was one of my highly anticipated books of 2010 and it was certainly worth the wait. Set in a foreign country, Indonesia, Sea is a novel about first love, grief and a journey of self-discovery. It is a welcome change in YA lit, completely free of vampires, angels and what not.
Kling’s compelling writing instantly sucked me in and I was so caught up in the world and the story and everything that I didn’t realise how deeply absorbed I was. The writing was also the strength of this novel. The vivid imagery instantly transported me to Indonesia and the characters came to life before me; full of energy, depth and realism. What I loved the most about this novel was that Kling wrote every single detail about Sienna’s life in Indonesia, right down to the steaming bowls of sticky rice they ate, the lack of toilet paper and proper sanitation in the mandi and the fun times spent with Deni and the orphans.
Sienna was not the least adventurous on the outside but deep down, she had the bravery and courage. Deni was well painted character with a sad past. Both of them together made Sea a wonderful story that will leave you wanting more. However, I felt Spider needed more development, he was barely in the book, and I needed more pages with him in order to completely like him.
While I absolutely adored this book, I felt that the love triangle was not very well justified. In just a short time span, both Sienna and Deni fell hard for each other. Then there was the other guy, Spider who was waiting for Sienna back home. The ending just didn’t feel right to me when, everything happened to quickly and it was almost as if the romance had a happy ending for the sake of a happy ending. I just wished she chose one guy, and stuck with that choice.
Sea by Heidi R. Kling is recommended to fans of Twenty Boy Summer, The Summer I Turned Pretty and to anyone who wants a novel that has a passionate sweet romance. An unforgettable story, read this book!
Review copy provided by publisher.