Monday, August 1, 2016

The Girl from the Sea

The Girl from the Sea by Shalini Boland
Creative Adrenalin: 6/9/2016
eBook review edition; 306 pages
ISBN-13: 9780956998552

The Girl from the Sea by Shalini Boland is a so-so novel of suspense.

A young woman wakes up on a beach, apparently having been washed ashore after almost drowning. At the hospital it becomes clear that she has she has retrograde amnesia. She can't even remember her name or even recognize herself in the mirror. The overwhelming questions are: Who is she? and Why was she in the ocean? Then a young man comes forward with evidence that he is her boyfriend. Apparently her name is Mia James, although she doesn't recognize the name. She chooses to believe him and he takes her to her home, where she recognizes nothing. Now she is still trying to fill in the empty blanks and discover who she is.

Mia must learn who she is from what other people tell her. Since she has no memory, she doesn't know who she can really trust and must rely on her instincts to figure out who is being truthful and who is lying. She does know that her supposed boyfriend annoys her. And then there are the dream-like flashbacks she is having.

I did have to suspend my disbelief that Mia would be allowed to have this boyfriend take her home, even though she has no memory of him or their relationship. Hello? Could he have been the one who tried to kill her? Or, even if it was an accident, was he with her? You're really all taking him at his word over what happened the night she disappeared? Shouldn't someone have advised a healthy dose of caution in all things rather than running around believing that everyone she talks to will have her best interests at heart. Uh - no. People rarely are that altruistic. Certainly the police or her doctor could have found some neutral party to simply look out for her. In the real world this would have happened considering who Mia James is. The media would have likely been all over it too.

Basically all of the characters are simplistic caricatures with little development or depth. This simplicity is reflected in the narrative too, which is very predictable and includes some extraordinarily convenient and even unbelievable plot points. You will likely be intrigued enough to keep reading in order to find out what happens next, even if only to see if your predictions are correct. (And for seasoned readers of suspense: you will be correct.) This is "suspense-lite" so don't expect any nail-biting anxiety over what is going to happen next. The plot is simple enough to easily follow even with distractions.  Actually it reads like an easy YA book and I was surprised that it isn't considered YA.

This is an easy, fast read which might make it a perfect airplane book.

Disclosure: My advanced reading copy was courtesy of the publisher for review purposes.

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