May 14, 2021

#BookReview: Shining Sea by @mimicross

Synopsis: Falling in love shouldn’t feel like drowning.

Seventeen-year-old Arion Rush has always played the obedient sidekick to her older sister’s flashy femme fatale—until a mysterious boating accident leaves Lilah a silent, traumatized stranger. As her sister awaits medical treatment with her mother, Arion and her father head to his hometown in Maine to prepare a new life for them all. Surrounded by the vast Atlantic, she finds solace in songwriting, her only solid ground.

Unexpectedly, Arion blossoms in the tiny coastal town. Friends flock to her, and Logan Delaine, a volatile heartthrob, seems downright smitten. But it’s Bo Summers—a solitary surfer, as alluring as he is aloof—that Arion can’t shake. Meanwhile, Lilah’s worsening condition, a string of local fatalities, and Arion’s own recent brushes with death seem ominously linked…to Bo’s otherworldly family. As Arion’s feelings for Bo intensify and his affections turn possessive, she must make a choice. How will Arion learn to listen to her own voice when Bo’s siren song won’t stop ringing in her ears?


Rating: 4 Stars
My Review: Choir in school was my first second love after playing the violin.  Shining Sea was beautifully written.  Fans of the supernatural and mysteries will fall hard for this one.  I loved all the music songwriting that was in the story.  The humor was even better and the conversations though-out the story was spot on and worked well with the characters and making the story light in places along with the heaviness of the situation.  The ending was pretty perfect if you ask me and I can't wait to read something else from Mimi Cross. 

From Publishers Weekly

A young woman is entranced by the power of this sea in this paranormal drama from singer-songwriter Cross (Before Goodbye). Seventeen-year-old Arion Rush moves to the coastal town of Rock Hook Harbor, Maine, with her lighthouse-keeper father, leaving her mother and sister behind to sell their San Francisco home. Arion makes new friends and is soon embroiled in an intense love triangle with brooding Bo Summers and charismatic Logan Delaine. Furthermore, she discovers that Bo and his family are sirens, mythical winged creatures associated with the sea, who survive by feeding from humans. The more Arion is drawn to Bo, the more danger she's in, especially since someone with a grudge against his family seem to be targeting her. The premise is solid, though Cross draws heavily on oft-seen paranormal romance tropes to create a similarly familiar story. Cross's songwriting experience comes across in the poetic language and descriptive passages, but the pacing and plot suffer from a tendency to fast-forward through the more mundane moments; the scene breaks and time jumps can be jarring while the continuous emotional intensity is overwhelming. Ages 12–up. Agent: Danielle Burby, HSG Agency. (May)

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Seventeen-year-old Arion reluctantly moves with her dad to a semi-isolated forested area on the coast where he grew up. Starting at a new high school, she makes friends quickly but is instantly drawn to a secretive, beautiful young man with eyes that make her feel intoxicated and a silent song that draws her to him. She feels powerless to resist him and doesn't understand why he tries to avoid her at all costs, until she has an accident and he comes to the rescue so fast that she didn't even see him move. They grow closer, and he eventually reveals that he and his family are not really mortal. This familiar premise takes place in Maine (not the Pacific Northwest), and the mysterious family are Sirens (not vampires) who live on the breath of their victims. Arion's older and wilder sister is semicatatonic due to an undescribed earlier boating accident, and she remains in San Francisco with her mother. The only thing that can possibly save her life is to become a Siren. Unoriginal, awkward, and illogical plotting with clichéd descriptions unfortunately limits the audience to Twilight die-hards or those looking for a undemanding supernatural romance. The open ending suggests sequels, which may correct some of this volume's limitations. VERDICT An optional purchase for schools and libraries looking to fluff up their paranormal romance collections.-Susan Riley, Mamaroneck Public Library, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


“A lyrical and leisurely writer, Cross, of Monmouth Beach, dips into the young adult world with a novel that weaves mythology, teen angst and family drama. Arion is a singer, songwriter and guitar player like Cross and the moments when the girl pours her soul into her music feel authentic. There are rough seas to travel and cannot be explained without spoiling an excellent someone who loves classical mythology it's fascinating to see someone bring it gracefully to modern times.” The Newark Star Ledger

“The written dialogue in this book is one of its best features. It feels genuinely authentic and age appropriate. Each character also seems to have his or her own voice, which helps make the characters more complex. I especially like the witty banter between Arion and Logan. It is very funny and charismatic. I often found myself smiling at their repartee.” YA Books Central

"Shining Sea will appeal to those who love, love triangles, the supernatural, and mystery! If you love all three of those then you will be a diehard lover of this book! The characters and music aspects of this story is just breathtaking! You won't go wrong by checking out this book." —Night Owl Reviews, TOP PICK

“Cross's songwriting experience comes across in the poetic language and descriptive passages.” Publishers Weekly

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