Haunted by recurring nightmares since her mother’s disappearance over the Indian ocean three years before, fifteen-year old California girl Sienna Jones reluctantly travels with her psychiatrist father’s volunteer team to six-months post-tsunami Indonesia where she meets the scarred and soulful orphaned boy, Deni, who is more like Sea than anyone she has ever met.
She knows they can’t be together, so why can’t she stay away from him? And what about her old best friend-turned-suddenly-hot Spider who may or may not be waiting for her back home? And why won’t her dad tell her the truth about her mother’s plane crash? The farther she gets from home, the closer she comes to finding answers.
And Sea’s real adventure begins.
Between the fanatical reviews posted by several bloggers and Sea’s gorgeous cover, I had to have this book for myself. Even though I knew a large part of the plot was about tsunami relief, part of my brain expected this book to have lots of idyllic romantic scenes where the characters work through their emotional baggage while sitting on a beach. I have no idea where my brain got this idea, but Sea turned out to be much different, yet absolutely beautiful nonetheless.
Sea is a story that had me “Awwing” on one page, angry the next and even feeling a little queasy a few pages later. I didn’t particularly like Sienna or her traveling companions at first, but I began to like Sienna more throughout her time in Indonesia, and my feelings about her completely changed by the end of the book. She felt a lot of anger towards Vera and occasionally her father, which I loved, because if I’d been in her shoes, I’d have felt the same way. As for the love interests of this story, while I found Deni sweet and romantic, by the end I found myself very appreciative of Spider’s role in the story.
Kling is not shy about depicting cultural differences or the devastation caused by the tsunami. I wasn’t honestly sure how I would feel about Sea until I reached the end, however. I kept wondering how everything would tie together, would the reader feeling as though he or she had been deprived of a proper ending. To be honest, it was one small paragraph that made me fall in love with this book. One beautifully expressed, heartbreaking yet apt paragraph. That was when I realized that this is not just a book for victims of tsunami, or someone who has lost his or her parents. This is a book for anyone who has ever had to overcome loss, or anyone who has felt trapped within the confines of a broken heart, stuck in a state of static, yet unable to move forward.
I will not forget Sea or Sienna’s emotional journey any time soon. The last few chapters of this book had me in tears, but also left me thinking about what’s important when it comes to living life. Don’t less this book pass you by.
Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book.