Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Review + Giveaway: Wrecked

WRECKED
Anna Davies
Paranormal Young Adult
321 pages
Simon & Schuster
Available Now
Received from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Simon & Schuster)
In the wake of a tragic boating accident that killed her friends, 16-year-old Miranda is consumed by guilt. She has no memory of how she managed to survive the crash, only the murky dreams of a strange boy in the dark water. Her only refuge is in the late-night swims she takes alone— until one night on the beach when she meets Christian, a boy who seems eerily familiar, but keeps many secrets.

The more she fights it the faster love pulls her under. Soon she finds herself in over her head when the dangerous true nature of Christian’s secrets rise to the surface.

Wrecked is a seductive contemporary reimagination of The Little Mermaid, with a paranormal twist, from debut author Anna Davies.


MY THOUGHTS
Wrecked is a heavier read than initially expected, our preconceived notions thanks to Disney of under-the-sea tales and merfolk creating a false sense of lightness for us before we pick this story up, and thus we are all the more taken aback when tragedy strikes almost immediately and we’re left with the substantial burden of Miranda’s survivor’s guilt. For most of the three hundred pages Miranda is numb, not actively dealing with her loss or trying to get past it (though this is not entirely her own fault), causing that spark of connection we long for when reading to remain elusive, our attempts to penetrate the depth of her pain and find something to relate to ultimately unsuccessful. Wrecked is a bit of a challenging read as a result, our hearts and minds weighed down by the day to day life following a catastrophic event, and while the synopsis promises us a touch of romance to help ease the ache, the rather lackluster relationship between Miranda and Christian detailed between the pages does little lighten our load.  

Miranda is a young woman we want desperately to like, the treatment she receives from not only her friends and fellow survivors, but the island community as a whole, enough to make us feel protective of her but not quite enough to send phantom fingers into our reality to grab our hearts in a vise-like grip. She repeats a mantra of “I’m fine” again and again, playing it on a continuous loop inside her head and automatically replying with it when those around her inquire after her well being to the point where our fingers long to wrap around strands of our hair and yank should she say it one more time. She says she’s fine when she’s so very clearly not, and she allows her own guilt over the accident to keep her from fully expressing the extent of her pain to those who have already acted as judge and jury and found her guilty of the deaths of her friends. We can’t help but want for her to just once release the stranglehold she has on her emotions and prove to us and all her naysayers that she’s not as empty as she appears.

Though the premise is certainly a supernatural one, the paranormal element actually plays a very minor role in the overall story. Majority of our time is spent with Miranda as she struggles to cope with the violent turn her life has taken, and when Christian finally does enter the picture, we learn almost nothing about the watery world from which he emerges. We’re given nothing but the very basics about the Down Below and its tentative truce with the Up Above, it's therefore difficult to sympathize with Christian’s plight when we know so little about how his decisions will affect his life overall. The romance doesn’t really begin until about halfway through and then progresses very quickly, leaving us to play catch up as Miranda seems to shift gears from grief and loneliness to magnetic attraction with little hesitation. Those lovers of romance will also likely be disappointed in the conclusion of this story, the traditional happy ending bypassed in favor of something a little different.

Overall, Wrecked is well-written and lacks predictability especially in the closing pages, however, both the character development and world building could have been stronger to help us as readers wade through the torrent of grief by tossing us a life line to latch onto and hold tight.

Rating: 3/5
 

Want a taste of Wrecked? Check out this extended excerpt!


GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the awesome people at Simon & Schuster, I have a waterproof e-reader cover and a copy of Wrecked to give away on the blog today! To enter, please just leave a comment on this post with a valid email address so I can contact you if you win. This giveaway is open to US residents only and will run through midnight EST on Monday, May 7th after which time a winner will be chosen and announced on the blog. Good luck everyone!
 

56 comments:

  1. Too bad it's not perfect as far as development goes. Still, the concept sounds great. There are lots of retellings but I haven't seen one of the little mermaid.

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  2. Alison - Oops, I didn't mean to give the impression that it's a Little Mermaid retelling. It's not. I just meant the Disney version is the most memorable mermaid story for me, so I automatically expect talking fish and cute, singing lobsters when I start reading a mermaid book. This was not a happy or cute story!

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  3. Hmm, I've seen quite a few lower reviews for this one, but I still have my heart set on reading it. I don't read too many mermaid books, so it would be a nice change. :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for the giveaway!

    mcrs_venin(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  4. I'm planning on reading this one. It sounds different and interesting. Thanks for the giveaway!
    amy dot swihart at gmail dot com

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  5. Hey whats up supersnark?? Bahhaha....

    Anyways now that Im done laughing I thought this was going to be a naughty book judging from the cover...and those shinny muscles....but it sounds really good, I think I might check this one out. :)

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    1. SUPERSNARK TO THE RESCUE!!!!! I just need an outfit and a theme song:)

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  6. I was hoping for more of this book! Still, 3 is not bad - I I truly hoped it would be more awesome!!! I'm also not entirely happy about the small role the paranormal plays. Anyhow... I still wanna read it :-))

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  7. I'm not sure if this one would be for me.

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  8. Aww, man! I was hoping for an enthusiastic review. I'm almost positive that the reading through 300 pgs of "I'm fine" would drive me nuts plus a lackluster romance? Yeah, I think I'm going to skip this one for now. Thanks for the great detailed and honest review, Jenny!

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  9. So funny Tina, I thought it was going to be a smexy book too. Even thought it didn't get a higher rating in your eyes, it still sounds pretty compelling.

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  10. This book sounded so promising, it's a shame it didn't work out that well for you, I also love my romance in books, so if it's got a disappointing ending I'm not so sure now :( I really think I should move to the U.S just so I can enter these competitions! I will enjoy the excerpt instead :)

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  11. That's great that it lacks predictability, but the characters don't really seem that interesting. Regardless, very nice review :)

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  12. Am I just making this up, or are you fixated on fish tales lately? Are you next going to try to take over Mel's Team Mermaid throne?


    Too bad that more of SUPER supernatural elements weren't revealed. I probably would have wanted to see more of that too, instead of all the woe is me stuff.

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  13. I'm wondering what the "something different" is since there is no HEA. I do love The Little Mermaid and am a disappointed to hear that the romance was not up to par.

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  14. This book sounds really good. I'm gonna have to give it a try. Thank you!
    molly(dot)frenzel(at)gmail(dot)com

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  15. This book just flashed across my radar a couple of weeks ago and I have been curious about it. Does it seem like we are being innundated with water books lately? I like the idea of a darker read and you have me so curious about the ending now with that final line. I hope it isn't a fling across the room book. I would love to win! Thanks Jenny!

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  16. I am kind of just going eh..that's all from me

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  17. This looks really good, Jenny, and I like that you mentioned that it is a bit heavier because - while I do like the lighter books at times - I also like to have the heavier ones on hand to read when I'm ready for them. I'm a bit intrigued, though, because I haven't really heard that much about this one. I've seen the cover earlier today only, and I've only read your blog post. The cover is awfully pretty! Good luck to ME!! :)

    asheley.tart@gmail.com

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  18. You had me until "torrent of grief". Eep! You know I hate to cry. Despite the problems, I'm still curious. Would have liked more of the supernatural world.

    Oh and you can come over to team mer any day! ;)

    books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  19. I haven't really heard of this one before but it sounds good. I do wish that you got to know more about the mermaids and their world. Thanks for the review, Jenny!

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  20. This book definitely caught my eye!! Sounds pretty refreshing, thanks :)

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

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  21. it sounds a lot deeper than i thought it would be. I'd love to give it a try. thanks for the contest!!

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

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  22. This book caught my attention a while ago and I've been eager to read it since then. It sounds as though I may need to lower my expectations slightly to not end up disappointed! I'm glad you found it to be a generally good book despite the issues. :)

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  23. Uh, oh. I've had pretty high hopes for this one. Perhaps largely because that cover is so tasty. It seems like you have so-so feelings about it and even though I trust you into the ground, I still want to try it for myself.

    Rubysreads@gmail.com

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  24. Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to read both books. They sound very good. Please enter me in contest.Tore923@aol.com

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  25. Thanks so much! This book looks awesome!!

    chelle2006@aolDOTcom

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  26. Good to hear that it's well-written and not predictable. I still want to give it a go even if the character development and world building is kind of weak :)

    amethystfaerie[at]msn[dot]com

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  27. Sounds interesting, thanks ; ) supergirlbn18@aol.com

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  28. Thanks for the review and giveaway! I like the premise of this book, but I had wallowing. But... she has reason to, I just hope it fits in context of the situation and she doesn't turn into whiny character. I know that sounds harsh but I'm mean that way :) I haven't read a good "mermaid/man" book in a while so this book has definitely caught my attention :)

    efender1(at)gmail(dot)com

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  29. Sounds like a really good book!! Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

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  30. I have never read a Little Mermaid retelling. I'm definently going to want to check this book out. Thanks for the great giveaway! :D

    laughs4life14(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

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  31. This sounds awesome! I love retellings and this sounds very interesting!

    Thanks so much

    ccfioriole at gmail dot com

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  32. I really like when endings are unpredictable :) !! I'm not sure I'll pick up this book though because it sounds good but not awesome :) .. Thanks for the honest review Jenny :)

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  33. This sounds really good! I always have loved the Little Mermaid and this book sounds so unique. Thanks for the giveaway.

    wolfluvr420 at yahoo dot com

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  34. That is one heck of a spicy cover for a YA book YOWSER!

    (Not entering) good luck y'all!

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  35. I recently finished Of Poseidon and absolutely LOVED it, so I think that I best pick this one up (even though it obviously does sound a fair bit heavier than Of Poseidon)- also, you totally have me (a lover of romance) intrigued by the end of the book.

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  36. I hate it sometimes when the author doesn't build a world enough and you can't fully grasp what is happening. I have no idea if this is part of a series, but maybe more information in the next book???

    Great giveaway Jenny! Thanks!
    jacindahinten(at)gmail(dot)com

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  37. Haven't we all at one time or another, had one of those auditory loops running thru out heads like Miranda does in the book? "I'm fine" repeated enough might just convince ourselves that we are. I would love to read this book to find out what happens to Miranda and her doubts about her life. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

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  38. I neglected to add my email addess to the above post:
    puttputt1198eve at comcast dot net Thanks!

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  39. Thanks for such a wonderful review... you are making me nervous with the

    "the traditional happy ending bypassed in favor of something a little different."

    line. I think that could lead to disappointment!!

    Rusa500(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  40. I am so excited to read this!!

    ajiehuang1997 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  41. I really want to read this! Thanks for the giveaway :)
    laceyblossom@yahoo.com

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  42. I was really excited about this one because of the interpretation of The Little Mermaid but after I read that the narrator was numb throughout most of this one, I've got a feeling that I'm going to have a tough time connecting with her - like you. I may read this one but I'm in no hurry to do so now. Thanks, Jenny :)

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  43. I think that the numb feeling characters tend to have when they are grieving can make us not connect so well with them. Sometimes I'm ok with it if I can really feel that they are in pain. So I'm not sure how I would feel about this one. I gotta say, the premise sounds interesting!
    Candace_redinger at Yahoo dot com

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  44. I've heard some pretty wicked things about this one... (not WICKED as in good either!) my tour stop is next week- I'm going to start reading it today!!!

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  45. Loved the review and thanks for the giveaway!

    bwithbite at gmail dot com

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  46. Thanks for the giveaway!

    booksoverboys at hotmail dot com

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  47. I think this book sounds interesting I am curious to see if I would like it I generally like more happy books with happy endings but I would like to try this one!!!
    Thanks for the giveaway!!!

    bridget.howard@hotmail.com

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  48. I was really hoping this would be an awesome book! I still want to read it, even so. Sign me up!

    Heather
    hrose2931 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  49. AWESOMENESS! Thanks for the giveaway!! :)

    daniellelovesbooks@gmail.com

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  50. I didn't really understand what this book was about at first so thank you for the review Jenny.
    Doesn't really sound like the book for me but it is interesting that it doesn't have the traditional HEA. Sometimes I like a change.

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  51. Some of the reviews I've read have been really up and down but I'm intrigued and it sounds like something I would like. Thanks so much for the chance to win. Crossing fingers

    june111(at)att(dot)net

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  52. I've seen mixed reviews for this but I'm still looking forward to giving it a read. Thank you for the opportunity to do so :)

    jaidahsmommy(at)comcast(dot)net

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  53. Yay! Thanks for the giveaway!
    Alyssa Susanna
    lilleetleet(at)verizon(dot)net

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  54. Never noticed how good this book looked thanks for the chance!

    ashtreygonesmokeya@yahoo.com

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