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Only One Opinion (Sea)

literati_rain66 Saturday, October 9, 2010 ,
Review of Sea, by Heidi R. Kling.
Quickie: Not at all what I expected, but lovely.

Full: I went in to Sea cold turkey. I had absolutely no idea what the book was about. Even so, I was surprised. I think the title and the cover made me think "mermaids" or "beach vacation love story" or something along those lines. Boy was I wrong! Sea was a story of love, yes, but also a story of personal growth and overcoming personal obstacles. No mermaids, though. ;-)

Sienna Jones (Sea, to her friends) lost her mother in a plane crash over the Indian Ocean. Sienna's parents would go for two weeks every year and use their training in psychology to help people suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. On one such trip, Sienna's mother boarded a flight and never was seen again. Sienna lost her mother, but she lost so much more. She lost her sense of self, she lost her way in life. Sienna became terrified of flying, and of the ocean. She stopped doing the things she loved, like body boarding, with her friends and lost touch with those she cared about.

Her fifteenth birthday rolls around and her dad surprises her with tickets... to Indonesia. She's furious that he could be so insensitive- he knows how she feels about planes and the ocean! But after some thinking she decides to go through with it.

Off she goes to Indonesia, headed to an orphanage full of tsunami survivors from Aceh. There she sees horrors beyond anything she thought possible, and befriends an adorable little girl who lost her whole family to the tsunami. She also meets a boy, Deni. He's mysterious and warm, friendly and charming. He's different from anyone else she's ever met. They bond over their mutual loss of family members and Sienna feels as if Deni can understand her like no one else can.

That's not all, of course, but if you want to know what happens, you'll just have to read the book. :-p

What did I think? Well, I'd say the general consensus was that I liked it. I wasn't completely blown out of the water (hehe) by it, but it was a nice story. I'm honestly having a hard time figuring out what to say, I don't have any super strong feelings about it.

I did enjoy seeing another country in Sea. It was a nice change of pace to be someplace other than modern day America. It was heartbreaking to read about the devastation of the tsunami and the lives lost and affected. Sea was set in the aftermath of the very real, very tragic 2004 tsunami in Indonesia.

Other than the tragic-factor, the setting was very interesting and detailed. Kling must have done quite a lot of research for Sea, so props to her. To be totally honest, I don't have much else to say about Sea. It was a solid, decent book. It gave me nothing to complain about, but also nothing to squee over. The characters were all... good. I didn't adore any of them really, and I didn't loath any either. Sienna made some really stupid and irresponsible choices, but without them the story wouldn't have been nearly as interesting. (Plus, she's a teenager. Having been a stupid and irresponsible teenager myself, I can follow her logic.)

Aside from the general lack of strong emotions about the book, I did enjoy it. The love story was sweet, and I was happy for Sienna when she found herself again and was able to move on with her life.

I give Sea 3.5 out of 5 stars.


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