Only the Ocean
The two girls sat at opposite ends of the boat and Kel dug and stretched the oars into the ocean like her life depended upon it because it did. 'Just so you know,' said Rose, 'everything, I mean everything, is your fault.'15-year-old Kel Crow lives in a water-logged world, with a family with whom she shares nothing but blood and a heart defect that she knows could kill her any day.She has a plan to escape, and it's a good one: stowaway on the ship, kidnap the girl, swap the girl to buy passage to America and a life-saving operation. But plans never go how they're meant to …Breath-takingly fierce, smart and tender, Only the Ocean is a story of innocence (and its loss), survival, and courage in the midst of darkness.

Only the Ocean Details

TitleOnly the Ocean
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 1st, 2018
PublisherBloomsbury Children's Books
Rating
GenreLGBT, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Fiction, Health, Mental Health

Only the Ocean Review

  • Acqua
    January 1, 1970
    I don't want to rate this because it's a DNF at 5% and rating a book after reading so little is unfair, but I can't do this. Only the Ocean is an interesting experiment of how it would feel to read a perfectly normal book if you took 90% of the commas out.As it turns out, it's unreadable - long run-on sentences just don't flow well - and also pretty confusing at times.I know I read an ARC and ARCs aren't always edited, but I think the lack of commas was intentional (a stylistic choice, maybe, bu I don't want to rate this because it's a DNF at 5% and rating a book after reading so little is unfair, but I can't do this. Only the Ocean is an interesting experiment of how it would feel to read a perfectly normal book if you took 90% of the commas out.As it turns out, it's unreadable - long run-on sentences just don't flow well - and also pretty confusing at times.I know I read an ARC and ARCs aren't always edited, but I think the lack of commas was intentional (a stylistic choice, maybe, but one I don't really understand the purpose of) because I can't believe so many of them would just... not be there.I decided to DNF when I got to the first dialogues, because I understood the writing wasn't going to get any better and because this book also does another thing I do not like - it writes the accents in the dialogue.The idea of a LGBTQ book set in a water-logged world whose protagonist is a girl with a heart defect sounded really interesting, but I'm not continuing this.
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  • Atlas
    January 1, 1970
    Nothing was too much for a girl with nothing to lose* *2 / 5I loved the premise of two girls falling in love in a boat floating on the ocean as the world drowns around them. Unfortunately I found the writing style so incredibly aggravating that it made it really hard for me to enjoy the great aspects about Only the Ocean: fast plot, interesting universe, and cool main character.Kel Crow belongs to a family of drug dealers in a world where the poor dwell in the swamps of a waterlogged world and t Nothing was too much for a girl with nothing to lose* *2 / 5I loved the premise of two girls falling in love in a boat floating on the ocean as the world drowns around them. Unfortunately I found the writing style so incredibly aggravating that it made it really hard for me to enjoy the great aspects about Only the Ocean: fast plot, interesting universe, and cool main character.Kel Crow belongs to a family of drug dealers in a world where the poor dwell in the swamps of a waterlogged world and the rich literally live in high towers. In return for enough money for her to escape her abusive father, Kel agrees to board a boat and kidnap a rich tower girl, Rose, for ransom. She has her baby in tow, which was definitely a completely unique YA plot point for me: I've never read a YA fantasy novel where the main character has a kid. Unfortunately for Kel, her kidnapping doesn't go quite to plan and her and Rose end up floating on a boat in the ocean.I'm going to start off with the things I liked about Only the Ocean. I liked how the book wasn't overly length. It kept the plot moving and rolling with the punches. A lot of action happened. The universe itself was intriguing; with towers for the rich, guns, pirates, and too much water, the book felt futuristic and interesting. Lastly, Kel was a unique character with a strong accent that grew on me throughout the book.Unfortunately, the writing style of the book was so incredibly aggravating and difficult to read. There were virtually no commas, every sentence was overrun with metaphors, and I had to read some paragraphs several times for them to make sense. It didn't have any kind of flow. Here is a couple of examples:"Kel pulled at what clothes were still holding to hide corners of skin from the bang-bang rain, but no matter what she did the salt-soak still bit biddy bites from her flesh""Its orb was so big and fleshy it filled the dark with muscular bounce and Kel sat up to wash herself clean with midnight light"Everything was so overly described that I felt completely emotionally disconnected from the plot and the characters. I didn't feel like I knew Rose at all. Only the Ocean definitely had some great qualities, but I did not get along with the writing at all.My thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for an ARC of Only the OceanRead this review and more on my blog: https://atlasrisingbooks.wordpress.co...
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  • Moon
    January 1, 1970
    This is a quick read (I read it in one sitting while I was organising my shelves) but that's one of it's best features. The story doesn't really stand out, it has a F/F romance but it isn't really a surprise and it just seems to be a collection of things happening to them until suddenly everything is fine and they realise they love each other and are now a family. It does a good job at trying to convey the mind set of the characters and it shows in the difference of how they speak which I found This is a quick read (I read it in one sitting while I was organising my shelves) but that's one of it's best features. The story doesn't really stand out, it has a F/F romance but it isn't really a surprise and it just seems to be a collection of things happening to them until suddenly everything is fine and they realise they love each other and are now a family. It does a good job at trying to convey the mind set of the characters and it shows in the difference of how they speak which I found okay and interesting but it gets old fast.
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  • Nikki
    January 1, 1970
    I struggled with Only the Ocean, the prose style just isn’t for me. And while I liked Kel as a main character in places, she’s not always terribly sympathetic. And the awful things that made up her life before the story starts aren’t really dealt with, and I think they should have been. Rose is easier, but you don’t really learn much about her. Or the world in which the book is set. Really, that’s my biggest issue. What is going on around them? We get no context at all! It’s so frustrating. The I struggled with Only the Ocean, the prose style just isn’t for me. And while I liked Kel as a main character in places, she’s not always terribly sympathetic. And the awful things that made up her life before the story starts aren’t really dealt with, and I think they should have been. Rose is easier, but you don’t really learn much about her. Or the world in which the book is set. Really, that’s my biggest issue. What is going on around them? We get no context at all! It’s so frustrating. The writing can be very pretty, and I do like the relationship that grows between Rose and Kel, but I think the cook could have benefited from fewer “style” choices and from being slightly longer so we could get some of that context.
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  • Annette
    January 1, 1970
    If you've been following my reviews for a while already, you've probably noticed that a road trip has to be really good to actually convince me. If that road trip sparks some interesting emotional development for example or if it really serves a purpose and leads to some epic conclusion that just blows your mind.But, this book has a weird kind of sea trip that just leads absolutely nowhere and doesn't come with some great emotional development or conclusion. It all feels a little pointless. It e If you've been following my reviews for a while already, you've probably noticed that a road trip has to be really good to actually convince me. If that road trip sparks some interesting emotional development for example or if it really serves a purpose and leads to some epic conclusion that just blows your mind.But, this book has a weird kind of sea trip that just leads absolutely nowhere and doesn't come with some great emotional development or conclusion. It all feels a little pointless. It eventually leads not really anywhere and all we get to read is two girls at sea almost being killed a couple of times and then somehow finding a way out again. O, and they fall in love, but I have to admit that I missed the exact point it happened and the chemistry. The writing style doesn't really serve the story either. It all feels very monotonous and repeating. My mind was drifting of constantly or I was simply zoning out. Quite often I was reading the words, but they didn't really reach or touch anything in me. It was like I was reading a study book on a subject I couldn't quite appreciate. Geography or something.Doesn't this story have anything interesting? Yes, it has a few interesting elements, among them the world that's being built. It's a pity that we only read about it through memories and dialogues and don't get to see any of it. There seems to be quite a few interesting things going on on the mainland and I wish we got told that story instead of this one.But well, not all books can be four or five star reads, right?
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  • Tracey
    January 1, 1970
    This was so hard for me. I tried, really I did. But I just couldn’t get in to it. I had expected it to be a quick read but after barely making 50 pages in 4 days, it was destined to be a DNF
  • Joana Barroca
    January 1, 1970
    I admit I've been in a reading slump lately and that may have a lot to do with the fact that I couldn't keep reading this. I got bored and confused. The sentences didn't really make any sense with the lack of commas, and even though this is an arc I think the commas were purposely missing. I'm also not really a fan of this type of writing so it just didn't get to me.Maybe when I'm out of the slump I'll give it another try but for now, I really want to find something that gets me going from the s I admit I've been in a reading slump lately and that may have a lot to do with the fact that I couldn't keep reading this. I got bored and confused. The sentences didn't really make any sense with the lack of commas, and even though this is an arc I think the commas were purposely missing. I'm also not really a fan of this type of writing so it just didn't get to me.Maybe when I'm out of the slump I'll give it another try but for now, I really want to find something that gets me going from the start instead of me trying to keep going without wanting to.
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  • Kamila Komisarek
    January 1, 1970
    'There was nothing to fight for and nothing to fight against. A Quiet drift of motion; it was only the ocean after all.' I've got Only the Ocean by Natasha Carthew form a book box and, considering a beautiful cover, I couldn't wait to dig right into it. It turned out it wasn't that easy. The book is written in a very peculiar way. The author is heavy emphasising different accents and way of speaking for the main character, who is a girl from poor 'swamp folk'. From the very beginning this book i 'There was nothing to fight for and nothing to fight against. A Quiet drift of motion; it was only the ocean after all.' I've got Only the Ocean by Natasha Carthew form a book box and, considering a beautiful cover, I couldn't wait to dig right into it. It turned out it wasn't that easy. The book is written in a very peculiar way. The author is heavy emphasising different accents and way of speaking for the main character, who is a girl from poor 'swamp folk'. From the very beginning this book is very hard to read. I had to be very focused to understand what exactly was happening, and even though I tried, I often was confused and couldn't imagine it at all. I think only because this book was not long (272 pages) I kept reading. Otherwise I would just put it away and never looked back. Fortunately after about 50 pages it got better... or maybe I got used to writing. The book takes place in a near future (probably, nothing is said directly about it), where Cornwall was flooded and the whole mainland consists of huge swamps and high towers, where the rich people lives. Our main character is Kel Crow, a teenager who decided to runaway from her home in the swamps, taking with her only a knife and her little baby. She has a very precise plan for her future. She needs to kidnap a rich girl, swap her for a bag of drugs and sail to America to sell them and get money for operation fixing the defect of her heart. Seems easy enough for Kel, but of course nothing in life ever comes easy and two girls form different worlds end up stranded in the middle of the ocean on a small boat. The whole book is the fight for survival. Kel is very determined to live to see another day and during their many dangerous adventures she's starting to see the error of her ways. She promises herself that she will change her life around, if only she made out of the ocean alive. Of course a bond between the girls is starting to form, going from acceptance, through rough friendship to even something more. For me it didn't really work very well. There were not much indication of their relationship development, just being constantly stranded with each other. I also didn't really like the ending. I felt that I should be very sad and maybe shed a tear or two, but I felt nothing. The few last pages felt quite ridiculous for me. I also didn't like that there was nothing said about the world around characters. It was only hinted that something big and terrible is happening, but then everything is just left unsaid and you can made it up yourself. I feel like there was a very interesting story there and was completely left untouched. The story also includes tough problems like children abuse, rape and self harm, but all of it is just mentioned and characters don't dwell much over it. I didn't like the story much to be honest. I think to enjoy it you have to be in very particular mood. I know that there is a lot of people who loved this writing style but I'm not one of them. Maybe if English was my native language I would appreciate it more.
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  • The Book Lender
    January 1, 1970
    Set in a near-future, waterlogged Cornwall, Only The Ocean depicts a dystopian society where the poor “swamp folk” and the rich “tower folk” do not mix. Fifteen year old Kel is desperate to escape her life in the swamps - a life of crime, abuse and misery. With nothing but a knife, a baby and a meticulous plan, Kel knows what she has to do: kidnap the tower girl from a ship, get her back to land and use the ransom to pay her way to South America and a life-saving operation on her oversized heart Set in a near-future, waterlogged Cornwall, Only The Ocean depicts a dystopian society where the poor “swamp folk” and the rich “tower folk” do not mix. Fifteen year old Kel is desperate to escape her life in the swamps - a life of crime, abuse and misery. With nothing but a knife, a baby and a meticulous plan, Kel knows what she has to do: kidnap the tower girl from a ship, get her back to land and use the ransom to pay her way to South America and a life-saving operation on her oversized heart. But we all know what happens to best laid plans. Unpredictable seas, weather and people leave Kel and Rose - kidnapper and victim - reliant on each other in order to survive everything the ocean throws at them, and force Kel to reevaluate not just her plans, but her whole world view.Only The Ocean will not be to everyone’s tastes. It reads like a post-apocalyptic Cornish folk song - the style may put off some readers, but it worked for me. Long periods of the book are set on a small island, or an even smaller dinghy, and there is a suitably claustrophobic atmosphere to the writing. We get to see very little of the dystopian society up close, what little we know of it comes from contextual clues and conversations. I liked that not everything was made explicit, that there was room for inference and gap-filling.Carthew’s writing is full of powerful imagery, evoking sights, sounds, feelings and places through her interesting and creative use of language. Only the Ocean is certainly not for everyone - the distinct writing style could take time to get used to and may put off some readers. The novel also deals with some serious issues - rape and child abuse, self harm - so is definitely one for older, more mature readers.
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  • Gianna
    January 1, 1970
    I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.In a dystopian world filled with water, people have little chance of living a good life. Kel Crow, just fifteen, wants to escape the life she's been living with her family. And there's a plan involved. The pan was easy: kidnap the girl from the ship, and swap her in order to gain passage to America and start a new life. But when things don't go as planned, Kel will see a very different outcome to I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.In a dystopian world filled with water, people have little chance of living a good life. Kel Crow, just fifteen, wants to escape the life she's been living with her family. And there's a plan involved. The pan was easy: kidnap the girl from the ship, and swap her in order to gain passage to America and start a new life. But when things don't go as planned, Kel will see a very different outcome to her life.. Only the Ocean is a book with a very unique concept. Kel is undoubtedly a very strong-willed and resourceful individual, and her story is one of resilience and courage. This is certainly a good fit for young adults and teenagers. I only have one objection: the writing. It was actually very bad at the beginning (no commas, lack of necessary punctuation, bad writing), which reduced the readability and made reading an unpleasant experience. However, it significantly improved after the first twenty pages or so. I sincerely hope this happened because it is an ARC, which is why I didn't rate lower; if not, however, and if this is its final form, then I would strongly suggest re-editing the first chapters, as the writing style actually took some of the pleasure of the story away.Overall a very good concept, with a really interesting protagonist.
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  • Mia (A Happy Little Bookworm)
    January 1, 1970
    Ahh this book... This book left me with that sweet post-book bliss that only the very best story manage to provide. The (queer) (*squeals*) romance, and surprisingly dark character background (not to mention an ending that made me bawl) helped to make this book memorable and unique. I, like many of the other reviewers most admit that I found the writing style to be something of a challenge early into the story. However, I found that once I delved into the book for a significant period at a time Ahh this book... This book left me with that sweet post-book bliss that only the very best story manage to provide. The (queer) (*squeals*) romance, and surprisingly dark character background (not to mention an ending that made me bawl) helped to make this book memorable and unique. I, like many of the other reviewers most admit that I found the writing style to be something of a challenge early into the story. However, I found that once I delved into the book for a significant period at a time, the writing would not only begin to make sense but begin to really contribute to my understanding of the novel. Only the Ocean's writing was its own language, and as the story progressed, I became more fluent. The setting, too, was hard to decipher, and I never managed to settle on where exactly it was set (both location and time wise). In the end, however, it did't really impact the story; just my curiosity. A great novel with a ship-worthy (puns) couple and quirky plot. A definite 4.5 stars!
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  • Gabi
    January 1, 1970
    To start: stunning book cover, and when least expected, beautiful lines.Sentences run on and on, unfortunately. Some parts of sentences were wholly disconnected from the rest. This made this book incredibly hard to read in one sitting. I found myself simply skipping lines and paragraphs due to the length and low amount of punctuation.Both characters were well developed. Kel's personal improvement was very well done. You can see her point of view clearly, and once you finish the book, you underst To start: stunning book cover, and when least expected, beautiful lines.Sentences run on and on, unfortunately. Some parts of sentences were wholly disconnected from the rest. This made this book incredibly hard to read in one sitting. I found myself simply skipping lines and paragraphs due to the length and low amount of punctuation.Both characters were well developed. Kel's personal improvement was very well done. You can see her point of view clearly, and once you finish the book, you understand her hatred of the baby, and why she's doing what she's doing.The romance was fun. Most of their interactions were insulting banter, which is one of my favourite tropes. You can see them test the waters with each other, and how they eventually learn what to say to each other.It was also incredibly natural. I could definitely see why Kel liked/loved Rose, and the slight struggle she went through to get to that point felt very real.It's a shame the book was written the way it was. Good characters and a premise I liked, but it was more than difficult to read.
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  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I found this extremely difficult to read due to the writing style. I’m sure to some it will be wonderfully lyrical to some but unfortunately I just couldn’t gel with it. The prose are overly descriptive and because of this I found myself distancing myself from the characters. I had no emotional connections with anyone. The plot itself, if you can wade through the writing, is pretty good. It’s quite a short book, so it needs to be s I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I found this extremely difficult to read due to the writing style. I’m sure to some it will be wonderfully lyrical to some but unfortunately I just couldn’t gel with it. The prose are overly descriptive and because of this I found myself distancing myself from the characters. I had no emotional connections with anyone. The plot itself, if you can wade through the writing, is pretty good. It’s quite a short book, so it needs to be succinct and fast paced, and the story is creative. I love dystopian novels, and even if they all tend to follow the same patterns, I usually find them entertaining. Kel also has the potential to be a powerful lead character, with some rather interesting qualities (such as a heart defect, which adds another dimension to the story) - but I just wasn’t taken there. I just wish I could have got on with the writing, because this was a struggle.
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  • Book Box Club
    January 1, 1970
    In a water-logged world, two girls are stranded at sea. Kel is a hardy runaway, threatened by a faulty heart. Rose is a frustrated captain’s daughter, stolen from her father’s ship and soon to be used as collateral in a trade that might save Kel’s life. We loved this book. Here at Book Box Club we read lots and lots of YA and tend to gravitate towards books that are a bit different and stories that we haven't heard before. Only the Ocean is filled with beautifully lyrical writing and complex cha In a water-logged world, two girls are stranded at sea. Kel is a hardy runaway, threatened by a faulty heart. Rose is a frustrated captain’s daughter, stolen from her father’s ship and soon to be used as collateral in a trade that might save Kel’s life. We loved this book. Here at Book Box Club we read lots and lots of YA and tend to gravitate towards books that are a bit different and stories that we haven't heard before. Only the Ocean is filled with beautifully lyrical writing and complex characters that are rarely found in a YA Dystopian setting. Natasha's writing style is really unique. Now we can't wait to read all of her other books and will be keeping a keen eye on what she's writing next! We will also continue to recommend this vivid and moving novel full of adventure, friendship and the brutal force of the ocean.
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  • Samantha (BookishSam)
    January 1, 1970
    Unfortunately I’ve had to DNF this book at 30% completion. I tried my hardest to get into this book but just couldn’t. The sentences are messy, long, and I found myself rereading some a few times to make sense of them. I hated the stylistic writing choice of the author - the lack of commas in the book was infuriating and was a large factor in struggling to understand some of them easily. I felt that not a lot was happening in this story, and I just found it lacking in a lot of areas. Kel’s backs Unfortunately I’ve had to DNF this book at 30% completion. I tried my hardest to get into this book but just couldn’t. The sentences are messy, long, and I found myself rereading some a few times to make sense of them. I hated the stylistic writing choice of the author - the lack of commas in the book was infuriating and was a large factor in struggling to understand some of them easily. I felt that not a lot was happening in this story, and I just found it lacking in a lot of areas. Kel’s backstory? More info on what’s happening on land? The context just wasn’t there and unfortunately ruined a book that could’ve had a lot of potential
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  • Chryso
    January 1, 1970
    The way this is written is amazingly unique. Despite the fact the story itself wasn't my cup of tea it was so well written, with such a musical type flow to it, that I couldn't put it down and read it in just over a day. There was something engaging and emotive throughout. I found myself being drawn in to the characters, who are ridiculously realistic, even though I thought the storyline itself felt basic. It moves quickly, there is always something happening, even in the times where there is no The way this is written is amazingly unique. Despite the fact the story itself wasn't my cup of tea it was so well written, with such a musical type flow to it, that I couldn't put it down and read it in just over a day. There was something engaging and emotive throughout. I found myself being drawn in to the characters, who are ridiculously realistic, even though I thought the storyline itself felt basic. It moves quickly, there is always something happening, even in the times where there is nothing happening.I would definitely say it's worth a read though.
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  • Mrs A. Christmas
    January 1, 1970
    The only reason I finished it was because of a book club. The narrative was very simple and did not have a major story line, although some parts were interesting to read. There is no major character development and their personalities were quite linear, also some facts are not explained very good, there is no backstory of the swamps and the towers, so the reader doesn`t really understand the differences between the two main characters and their lifestyle before the event. Also thought their jour The only reason I finished it was because of a book club. The narrative was very simple and did not have a major story line, although some parts were interesting to read. There is no major character development and their personalities were quite linear, also some facts are not explained very good, there is no backstory of the swamps and the towers, so the reader doesn`t really understand the differences between the two main characters and their lifestyle before the event. Also thought their journey was a bit pointless, they end up the same place they started.
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  • Victoria Robinson
    January 1, 1970
    This had an interesting concept to it but I just could not get into it at all, I had to keep stopping to take a break. Also to say that this book contains self harming and abuse why is there nothing at the end? Most novels with similar topics have a list of websites or numbers to call if you or someone you know has gone through similar situations.
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  • Fiona
    January 1, 1970
    I really did enjoy this book. The reason I’ve only given it 3 stars is because I would have loved a bit more world building. It feels like it is set in some dystopian type world but I’m really not sure because it is never explained.This is definitely more of a character based story which is still great; I love the relationship between Kel and Rose and the character development is so on point!
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  • Stefanie Stokes
    January 1, 1970
    Full review to come but for now a trigger warning for self harm and child sex abuse.
  • Maria Mihaela
    January 1, 1970
    Not all bad but very difficult to read. It felt like I'm skimming.... not reading.
  • Beth Wainwright
    January 1, 1970
    Fierce and defiant, you will fall in love with every element of this journey. An incredible piece of art, I can't wait to read more by such a powerful, lyrical writer.
  • Beccy
    January 1, 1970
    True rating; 3.25 starsAlthough the story is interesting, I'm sure it would have been more evocative had I formed a connection to the characters.However I found the grammatical choices to put across Kel being a guttersnipe escaping from the bloated swamp slums jarring, and I was often questioning if it was intentional to form Kel's character or an error not picked out at the proofreading stage.
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  • Ellie
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of those books that was advertised on Netgalley as 'Teens and YA', but kept popping up on my Twitter feed as having queer rep. So not knowing much about it or about the author, I requested the book and was approved, thinking that the concept sounded fascinating. But sadly, the book didn't really live up to my expectations.Kel Crow is the book's main character, and the whole story is told from her perspective. She's from the wrong side of the tracks, a member of a family with a reputa This is one of those books that was advertised on Netgalley as 'Teens and YA', but kept popping up on my Twitter feed as having queer rep. So not knowing much about it or about the author, I requested the book and was approved, thinking that the concept sounded fascinating. But sadly, the book didn't really live up to my expectations.Kel Crow is the book's main character, and the whole story is told from her perspective. She's from the wrong side of the tracks, a member of a family with a reputation for being ruthless and deeply involved in illegal activities. She also has a heart defect, and without surgery (unavailable to her in her current situation), she could die at any moment. Kel's tough and aggressive, partly because that's how she's been brought up to be, and partly because that's the only why she can get by in the world. She's resourceful too, but not always the best at thinking through the full consequences of her actions.Regarding characterisation, I felt like I knew and understood Kel and her motivations. However, I didn't feel connected to any of the other characters, and particularly with Rose, I think that was a huge issue in the book. Because all we get of her is from her interactions with Kel, and much of that is coloured by Kel's perceptions and assumptions about her, it's hard to see her as her own person with her own agency, rather than just a character who exists to force Kel to go on a journey. And if I hadn't known that there was queer rep, I think I would have been surprised when it was explicitly stated, as for me, the relationship didn't feel like it was developing that way.I found a lot of the story quite difficult to follow. Carthew uses dialect for Kel and various other characters, which I'm not always fond of, and Kel herself has quite unusual internal dialogue patterns. Combined with some formatting choices that could be to do with the specific e-ARC copy I read or could be part of the finished version, overall I struggled both to understand what exactly was being said, and what was happening in terms of the plot. I was definitely interested in what was happening, but I felt like the pacing didn't quite work for me, so some sections seemed to be quite long for what was going on it them, whilst others felt too short and lacking in detail.The one aspect of the book I really loved was the setting. It's in the UK, which is a great place to start, and then it's in Cornwall, and off the coast there, which is an area of the country I think should be way more prevalent in literature (outside of the cozy mystery/women's fiction type books set in some quaint country cottage). And of course, the sea itself plays a huge role in the story, and is beautifully imagined. I thought the sense of place was incredibly vividly described throughout, and the whole book felt quite cinematic in that respect.This was definitely not the read I was expecting it to be. Though I loved the setting and the vivid descriptions, the actual storyline didn't make all that much sense to me, and I didn't feel any connection to the characters. Sadly, this isn't a book I'd recommend, though I'd be interested in checking out other books by this author to see what the rest of her writing is like.
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  • Annette Jordan
    January 1, 1970
    An interesting concept but I struggled with the writing style and that really impacted on my enjoyment of this book. Kel Crow is fifteen , living in a swamp with her family, and the victim of abuse . Her only dream is to flee to America so that she can have an operation on her heart, and in order to make that happen she must kidnap Rose, the daughter of an arms dealer, and trade her for drugs which will fund her travels. In the strange dystopian future of the world presented in this book, riots An interesting concept but I struggled with the writing style and that really impacted on my enjoyment of this book. Kel Crow is fifteen , living in a swamp with her family, and the victim of abuse . Her only dream is to flee to America so that she can have an operation on her heart, and in order to make that happen she must kidnap Rose, the daughter of an arms dealer, and trade her for drugs which will fund her travels. In the strange dystopian future of the world presented in this book, riots have broken out, the rich live in the safety of towers while the rest of the population literally struggle in the mud and filth. Despite the strange and strained circumstances, Rose and Kel grow to care for each other, and rely on each other for survival in some very harsh conditions. While the premise of the book was interesting, as I mentioned the struggle with the writing style made this book less enjoyable for me. The author has chosen to use minimal punctuation, resulting in long run on sentences which are difficult to read fluidly. I read and reviewed an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher, all opinions are my own.
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