Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Review of Sea Change

Sea Change by Aimee Friedman
Pages: 292
Genre: YA Fantasy/Mystery
Pub. Date: June 1, 2009
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "16-year-old Miranda Merchant is great at science...and not so great with boys. After major drama with her boyfriend and (now ex) best friend, she's happy to spend the summer on small, mysterious Selkie Island, helping her mother sort out her late grandmother's estate.  There, Miranda finds new friends and an island with a mysterious, mystical history, presenting her with facts her logical, scientific mind can't make sense of. She also meets Leo, who challenges everything she thought she knew about boys, friendship...and reality.  Is Leo hiding something? Or is he something that she never could have imagined?"

Miranda Merchant, a self-proclaimed science enthusiast, is spending her summer at the mysterious Selkie Island off of Savannah's coast.  She welcomes this much needed break from New York City and the drama that comes with it.  Her mom and Miranda will be living at The Mariner, which is her grandmother's famous mansion on Selkie.  The Mariner was was given to Miranda's mom, Amelia, in the will, which was a shock to her as she had a falling out years ago with her mother.  Amelia's mom, Isadora, is the quintessential southern belle, which is the complete opposite of Amelia and Miranda since they both live in New York City. Amelia is a high powered plastic surgeon and Miranda is a science geek that is more concerned about physics than eye shadow.  However, spending time in Selkie brings up some questions concerning Amelia's past as well as Isadora's.  Meanwhile, Miranda befriends a group of privileged teenagers (a.k.a. "the heirs") who vacation on Selkie every year and many of them want her to date dreamy T.J. including her mother.  But Miranda has her eye on Leo, a townie who works at the Selkie Marine Center, which is right up Miranda's alley.  Unfortunately, dating a "townie" is frowned upon by not only the "heirs" and her mother.  At one point, Miranda thinks that maybe they are right, because it seems Leo is hiding something.  Miranda learns a lot about life, about her family, and essentially, a lot about herself as she spends time on Selkie Island.  Sea Change by Aimee Friedman is a breezy, entertaining read which is perfect for summer.  

I am a huge fan of Savannah so I really loved Friedman's special southern touches in the novel.  I enjoyed the slow pace of the day, the spanish moss, the mint juleps, and the call of the ocean.  One thing that I especially loved was Isadora's house, The Mariner.  As Miranda explored the house, the library, her grandmother's closet, I was captivated.  It was the perfect mystery!  Also, I enjoyed Friedman's use of mythology and lore in this novel.  It really added an extra layer of mystery to the novel.  Lastly, I thought it was interesting how Miranda learned more about her family has she navigated through her grandmother's belongings.  She also witnessed her mother transform from a stressed out surgeon to a relaxed southerner and learning about her mother's past also proved to be highly entertaining.  Without a doubt, I will be recommending this one to my relcutant female readers next school year.

My only problem with this book is Miranda's relationship with Leo.  I feel that it progressed extremely fast and for me, it didn't feel believable.   All of a sudden they were this serious couple.  But once I got past that, I was hooked with the mystery of Amelia's and Isadora's past as well as the mystery of Selkie Island.

If you are looking for a light, fun, carefree read this summer, Sea Change is a must for your beach bag.  This novel made me want to frolic in the sand, search for sea creatures on the beach and lastly, finish my day with a sweet tea on the wrap-around porch all while looking out at the mysterious ocean. 


  1. Sounds like a fun summer read, not one that's at the top of my list, but I'll read it eventually!

    Don't you often find that about romances in YA books? That everything is a total rush? The two characters will hold hands or kiss, and then suddenly they can't live without each other?! It's happens in nearly every book I read, but anyway, what am I saying? I love this stuff! haha!

  2. Lovely review! I'm so glad you liked it. I also love that you called it a beach bag must :)

  3. Definitely sounds like a good summer read! I don't think it is my cup of tea but I know that my sister would LOVE it!

    Leanna--I agree. I feel the same way. Although I was thinking about it..and isn't that how relationships when you are younger tend to be? Too fast? From nothing to dating in 1 second? lol Well..maybe it was like that for me anyways!

  4. Leanna- I agree. It's always a total rush and maybe it's because they are younger like Jamie said. Thanks for stopping by!

    Juju- Thanks! I am glad you liked my review. :)

    Jamie- You are probably right---since they are teenagers they move quickly from meeting to dating to serious relationship. Good point! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I don't like the quick "I'll die without him" romance in YA, either. It's boring and overdone. On another note...I had no idea this book was set in the South! I envisioned a beach community, like in The Summer I Turned Pretty. It does sound like the perfect beach read for the reluctant reader. (:

  6. What a lovely review. :) I was initially drawn to this one because I find selkies fascinating in general, but I also really appreciated the Southern setting - I love Savannah and coastal Georgia in general.

  7. Well it sounds like the setting of this and the selkie theme are real highlights. Shame the relationship isn't convincing. This is a maybe for me. Lovely honest review as always!


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