Author: Tracy Deebs
Published: Walker Books for Young Readers, 2011
Cover Score: B-
Overall Grade: A
Tempest Maguire is more than comfortable with the life she has: her one love is surfing the California waves with her boyfriend, Mark, and hanging out with her dad and two little brothers. However, Tempest's 17th birthday is approaching, and she will have to make a decision that typical teenagers don't have to face: as a half-mermaid, does she want to remain on land, or does she want to give herself to the ocean like her mermaid mother, who left Tempest and her brothers 11 years ago to return to her true home? Even though Tempest loves her friends and family, the pull of the water is becoming increasingly insistent, as is her attraction to Kai, a mysterious and gorgeous surfer whose superhuman abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well. When Tempest enters the underwater world, it is unlike anything she ever could have imagined--she will come face to face with power-hungry sea witches, terrifying monsters, her mother, and, ultimately, her destiny, which the whole sea depends on...
My thoughts: Wow! I am definitely loving this current "mermaid" trend in YA! Tempest Rising was enchanting and beautifully written. I was sucked in to Tempest's story by page one, and it was an exhilarating ride, right up to the conclusion.
I really liked how the book wasn't all fantasy: it was about romance; it was about a mother and a daughter; it was about choosing your future. There was a perfect amount of lead-up (aka Tempest's life on land), so that I got to know Tempest's character and the importance of the decisions she had to make.
There was so much emotion jam-packed into a couple of hundred pages, and as a reader, I felt them all, sympathizing for Tempest. I felt the tension within the Mark-Tempest-Kai love triangle, I felt Tempest's longing for the sea, I felt her anger towards being abandoned by her mother, I experienced her confusion and fear at turning into a mermaid, I felt the love she had for her brothers and father, and I felt her guilt as if it were my own.
In addition, Ms. Deebs created a fantastical underwater environment that gave the novel a genuine 3D feel. I felt as if I were swimming alongside Tempest in this magical alternate reality that was flawlessly created. Tempest was easy to relate to, and I saw a lot of myself in her.
Although I was expecting more action and adventure and less internal monologue, I really enjoyed the fast, thrilling, romantic, ride of Tempest Rising. Overall, a stunning debut. I can't wait to see what's next for Tracy Deebs, Tempest, and Kai!
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