Monday, July 31, 2017

Book Review: Changes in Latitudes by Jen Malone

Pages: 384
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: July 25, 2017
Publisher: Harper Teen
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: Wanderlost
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "A "road" trip romance that takes place at sea! All Cassie wants is to get some solid ground under her feet following the shock of her parents' divorce. So when she learns of her mom's plans to take Cassie and her brother, Drew, on a four-month sailing trip from Oregon to Mexico, she's stunned. There is absolutely nothing solid about the Pacific Ocean.  Cassie is furious. And nervous. It's been hard enough keeping Drew sheltered from what Cassie knows about her mother's role in breaking their family apart, but living in such close quarters threatens to push her anger past its tipping point. Enter Jonah, a whip-smart deckhand who's as gorgeous as he is flirtatious. Cassie tries to keep him at a distance, but the more time they spend together--wandering San Francisco, riding beachside roller coasters, and exploring the California coastline--the harder it is to fight the attraction.  Cassie wants to let herself go, but her parents' split has left her feeling adrift in a sea of questions she can't even begin to answer. Can she forgive her mom? Will home ever feel the same? Should she take a chance on Jonah? With life's unpredictable tides working against her, Cassie must decide whether to swim against them... or dive right in."

17 year old Cassie McClure is rightly upset when she finds out her parents are divorcing. She overhears a heated conversation between her parents where her dad accuses her mother of cheating on him.  Cassie keeps this a secret, but it obviously creates a chasm between her and her mother. In order to repair their family and for her mother to do something she has always wanted to do, they embark on a sailboat trip for four months.  Cassie's younger brother is excited about it, but Cassie doesn't want to miss her friends, school, and the beginning of her senior year.  Can you really blame her? Plus, being stuck on a boat for four months with her mother and brother sounds like hell.  That is until she meets the deckhand, Jonah, from one of the other sailboats they are traveling with. Maybe this will prove to be an memorable trip after all? Changes in Latitudes by Jen Malone is a fun summertime read for fans of road trip books or readers who want a unique setting for their beach read.  

Cassie wasn't my favorite character at all in Changes in Latitudes. Although I could understand her resentment, she was super moody and annoying at times. I did enjoy her more once she let her guard down, especially with Jonah.  Cassie really jumped to conclusions, but for a teenager I think her reactions are pretty standard and realistic.  I really liked her relationship with Jonah as he is definitely one of the good guys.

While I didn't find Cassie's mother's reasoning for her sailboat trip to be that realistic (I mean how many mothers would uproot their children like this, especially during the school year?), I liked the idea of a family repairing itself on this once-in-a-lifetime trip.  I will admit that Cassie's mother was an interesting character. Although she seemed flighty at times, I liked learning more about her back story and the truth surrounding her divorce from Cassie's father.  I also liked that she was more than just Cassie's mother in the story. She had her own past that was explored as well as her own mistakes that she made when she was younger. I also appreciated her wishes for the future and how she shared them with Cassie. She seemed more of a human being and less of just-Cassie's-mom, which we seem to encounter a lot in YA. 

The setting of Changes in Latitudes was to die for and I really soaked it all in.  I am not a big sailor by any means, but I love boats and the idea of sailing down to Mexico sounds incredible. The descriptions of the water, the sunsets, the dolphins, the towns (especially San Francisco) really were perfect. I wouldn't expect anything less from Malone though, because her last book, Wanderlost, was also the same way.

I think this book has a deeper message in it about anger, resentment and about communication. I liked how it made me think about this and it wasn't just a fluffy beach read. If you are looking for a beach read with a little more heart, a whole lot of wanderlust and adventure on a sailboat, definitely check out Changes in Latitudes this summer. 


  1. I had this book on my TBR for this month, but haven't had a chance to get to it yet. I really enjoyed Wanderlost, so I'm curious to see how this book compares. :) Great review!

    1. I'd say it's just as good as Wanderlost. I look forward to your thoughts on it. Thanks for visiting, Christina!

  2. I just received this book from a giveaway and I can't wait to pick it up. I've heard so many great things about it. I love that it's a deeper book even though the cover screams fluffy beach read to me. lol! Great review!

    1. I hope you enjoy it, Julie! I think it has the perfect combo of fluffiness, but also a lot of heartwarming and deeper moments. A great summertime read for sure. Thanks for visiting!

  3. Great review! I had to keep reminding myself that I acted like Cassie at times when I was a teen. She wasn't always easy to like. I loved Drew though. Such a sweet kid. I am going to have to put this author on my must read list. I enjoy her stories and characters and the way she creates a setting. Even though I have zero desire to sail, she made this trip sound amazing. :)

  4. Great review! I am definitely going to try and read it.


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