Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: November 15, 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 by Shana Norris follows 16-year-old Mara Westray as she deals with the death of her Mother while moving to a new town to live with the Father she’s never known. Living on an island full of people who ridicule and condemn her for unknown reasons, Mara decides to figure out the answers to the questions no one wants to answer. But what she finds isn’t exactly what she was expecting.
I adored this book. I have such a ridiculous love for mermaids and Surfacing took that love to the next level. Norris did a great job of bringing her version of mermaids, also known as finfolk, to life. Mara was such a great character. You’ve got this angry 16-year-old who has spent her entire life not know who or what she is only to be bombarded with the truth at the worst possible time.
It’s so easy to relate to the pain Mara is going through and to understand why she dislikes her Father so much. When we were first introduced to Lake I wasn’t sure what to think, but as the story went on I grew to like him and understand why he’d spent all that time away from Mara. While I enjoyed most of the supporting characters, minus Elizabeth of course, I think my very favorite aside from Mara was Josh.
I love the Relationship between him and Mara and how things started off with them. He’s snarky and a total smartass, but underneath he’s got this hole in him that matches the loss Mara feels within her. I really enjoyed the dynamics between the humans and finfolk in the book how they knew about each other.
I’ve gotta say there is a surprise twist in there that I figured out when I was about 80 percent done with the book and knowing I was right gave me this giddy joy. This book was so good. I loved the descriptions as well the transformation of legs into the tale as well as the finfolk music and how it can let you see the dead.
Norris did a lovely job of weaving together legend with imagination and I’d highly recommend Surfacing to anyone who enjoys a good young adult fantasy read with a lot of heart.
I write young adult books from a tiny town in eastern North Carolina, where I live with my husband and our zoo of animals. I am the author of SOMETHING TO BLOG ABOUT and TROY HIGH, both available from Abrams/Amulet Books, and THE BOYFRIEND THIEF and SURFACING, both available in ebook format for all ereaders.