Genre: Young Adult
Publication: March 13 2007
Pages: 345, Paperback
Source: Library book :)
Charley almost died in the waves last summer.Now she’s in a coma, neither dead nor alive.On returning to the beach, her younger brother Hal finds it hard to shake off her presence. Thoughts of Charley begin crowding his mind, revealing strange places and violent emotions—thoughts that Hal comes to realise are not entirely his own. As Hal digs deeper into the mystery of her accident, he discovers the truth of what happened.
Veined with thrilling mystery and tinged with the super-sensory, Waves is a compelling coming-of-age story about first love and tragic loss.
BEWARE: this is going to be a rant review and this review is going to include spoilers.
This book was an utter, bitter disappointment. I've been waiting to get my hands on Waves since I saw it in my local bookshop. I went there a few weeks back and looked to buy it but it wasn't available at the shop any more, all I can think now is thank goodness that Waves wasn't available to buy. I'm so glad I could get it out of the library, as if I had bought it I would've regretted spending my money on this book. I'm sorry if this review is too harsh but Blog of a Bookaholic features completely honest reviews, and if I said I enjoyed Waves, I would be lying to my wonderful followers and that wouldn't be right. So the next part of the review is going to be me ranting, you can walk away now, but I hope you'll stick around ;)
The cover and blurb led me to believe that Waves was going to be a summer read that was raw and emotional, that was going to tug at my heart strings and leave me feeling empty and full simultaneously inside. I could see that Sharon wanted Waves to be a compelling story but it fell completely flat with me. I didn't connect with the characters, only towards the end I felt a wave of sympathy for Charley, but it was short-lived. I was expecting Waves to be a beautiful story that would stay close to my heart but I struggled through reading it, the writing was uneven and choppy and I was constantly putting it down and picking it up, but I was never satisfied to continue reading for a long period of time.
I couldn't relate to the characters at all. I also didn't feel like I knew them. When the author got the characters talking, they were always about to say what happened, explain why they acted the way they did but then something stopped them and after finishing this book,all my problems are still not solved and I feel frustrated that I wasted my time reading this book and while I was reading I had a million and one questions flitting through my head and they weren't answered, or maybe they were answered, but just not in a clear, apparent way. It really irked me that the characters kept talking in a start and stop kind of way.
I was also getting sick of Hal. When he visited his sister in the coma, he called her the female dog word and other rude stuff that really wasn't appropriate as she was in a coma and dying. I wanted to shake him and say, for crying out loud, stop being such a cow to your sister and talk to her, say goodbye, you're going to Cornwall and when you get back she might not be here.
Apparently, Charley and Hal were supposed to be really close. I didn't see a loving sibling relationship at all! They rarely showed that they loved each other and even when we were showed the memories of when they spent time together, it was mostly because Hal didn't want to stay by himself. Also, when Hal was describing Charley he didn't make it sound like he was too fond of her. The author really needed to show the readers that they were very close as I just wasn't feeling it. If you really want to see an amazing sibling relationship read Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata, it was a stunning story.
I liked reading the parts of Charley before her coma. She seemed like a really nice girl that was fun and wild, like the billowing wind on a summer's day. I think the book would've been better if it was just told from Charley's point as view as before and after. It would've gripped me more.
I also didn't really get to know the minor characters. They weren't explained in that much detail and I still don't get what all the fuss about Am and Pete was about. O_O
The plot was monotonous, when I was reading it was practically the same things being repeated over and over with only a tiny speck of something new and interesting happening throughout the book. All of the book was basically Charley crying "remember" and "help me" whenever I got to one of those parts I would just groan as I knew it would just be the same repeated thing. I also got annoyed when the writing was of Charley thinking inside her head during the coma as it was quite jumbled up. The author kept putting ellipses that made the story slow and tiring, and the author tried making those parts poetic, but she didn't seem to pull it off to me. Charley's thoughts were often confusing and made no sense at all. The author needed to construct those parts better.
I also thought that the super-natural side to the story wasn't explained and it just added a confusing and creepily annoying factor to the book. There was also a lot of uneccessary cursing and I felt that this was also a contributing factor to the downfall of Waves.
And as I am coming to the end of my review, I will talk about the end of Waves.THAT ENDING WAS THE BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT EVER.
***MAJOR SPOILER BEGINS**
Firstly, on the blurb they say Charley hit her head on a rock. During the whole entire story (this was the only reason I kept reading to see what really happened to Charley) the author was creating this suspense as to why Charley really died. Well guess what? CHARLEY DIED BECAUSE SHE HIT HER HEAD ON A ROCK. Me reading this book and wasting my time, just to find out that she actually died of the same thing that was written on the blurb. Why did the author get me so mystified and then it was just for nothing. Why?
Secondly, the scene in where the accident happens is the scene where Charley and Pete do "it" and Am's pedophile father comes stumbling in and takes Am away, the author really didn't make sense in the last two chapters. I still don't know if Charley and Pete actually did do "it". I don't know where Am's father disappeared to after taking her away AND Charley was so shaken after throwing a wine bottle at Am's father and almost killing him, then straight after putting her clothes on (as she was naked) her and Pete take a stroll, kissing and that, then Charley laughing runs into the sea to cleanse herself of what just happened. Then I'm asking this? WHY WAS SHE NAKED? WHY WERE THEY ACTING SO CHILLED WHEN JUST MINUTES BEFORE THEY WERE FREAKING OUT? WHAT IS AM'S PROBLEM? The author really disappointed me with this. The last scene where we find out what actually happened was just a huge mumbo-jumbo scene of nonsense.
Last, but not least. I thought Charley was going to live, be reunited with her family and Pete. But no, she "lived" through the whole story just so Hal could find out what happened, which was exactly what had happened. That ending just had me so frustrated.
**** SPOILER OVER***
There were really only one or two things I liked about Waves.
1. The idea was brilliant, however, the author didn't do it any justice.
2. There were some beautiful, descriptive pieces during Waves that I really loved.
However, that isn't enough to bump the rating. So unfortunately Waves gets 1 cupcake from me.
Waves had a colossal amount of potential, but by the author's lack of writing a set plot destroyed Waves for me. The author was trying to create vivid imagery, believable characters and a poignant, compelling story with a super-natural, chilling twist. However, she didn't create that for me. Waves was choppily written, like the sea twisting and churning on a stormy day. The writing was all over the place and the characters unlikeable. Waves had potential, but I was let down. This book has got good ratings, so maybe its just me. Read it and see if you feel the same way...
I give it: 1/5 CUPCAKES!