When it comes to a book review like this one I must make a decision.
In the hopes of writing as an unbiased, professional book reviewer I am going to hold my breath and bite my tongue. Then, you can hear me roar after I hit ‘publish’.
First, I must preface this book review by saying: when I read any book my intent is to fall in love with the story and connect with the characters.
Secondly, I am the type of person that takes ‘suspend your belief’ to a whole new level. I am a willing reader. If an author wants to take me to a fictional planet where the citizens breathe bread pudding and poop butterflies then I will believe it! However, I need the story to at least build this world, give it a history, and make it palpable and strong.
Unfortunately, Deep Blue Secret failed to achieve the above for me.
I find myself at a loss of words to describe the plot of this book so I will let the Goodreads synopsis do it for me.
Goodreads says this book is about:
California teen, Sadie James, thinks her life couldn’t get any better. She has great friends, an energetic mother she adores, and the beach practically in her own backyard. But her carefree life is turned upside down when she’s rescued by a mysterious and strangely familiar boy who won’t even tell her his name.
Each time the boy appears, Sadie’s unexplainable attraction to him deepens along with her need to unravel his secrets. The boy is there to protect her. But as wonderful and exciting as it might be to have an irresistible boy with crystal green eyes protecting her every move, every minute of the day . . . why does Sadie need one?
As Sadie finds answers, she realizes her life isn’t as perfect as she thought. Not only is she caught in a world of dangerous secret agents she never knew existed, but it turns out her true identity may be the greatest secret of all.
The story begins with lovable Sadie James and her beautiful mother. This family is adorable and far from dysfunctional. I found that refreshing. It was nice to see a mother and daughter dynamic that was not catty, rebellious, or bitter.
The problem here, is Sadie. Sadie is a perfect character. Everyone loves her. She literally has no enemies. As the story begins a conflict with her best friend arises only to solved by Sadie giving her friend her blessing to see a boy that Sadie had previously liked. The conflict is not Sadie’s fault and ultimately resolved by Sadie therefore her perfect status remains.
Sadie is un-phased by the major conflict of this novel. She barely reacts when she’s told she’s been followed her whole life, that there exists a place with secret healing waters, that the ‘mysterious’ boy she has met is actually an agent there to protect her. Everything that happens to her barely registers.
Another major problem I had was with so many unanswered questions. Anderson introduces the concept of a people called Water Keepers. These keepers have a secret and sacred water that can heal any ailment. Throughout the story our ‘mysterious’ hero character goes back and forth between what I can only assume as dimensions because Anderson never explains where he comes from. Sadie, the perfect character never questions where this other place is that he is from. ‘Mysterious’ hero’s trip to this other place must be instantaneous because he leaves Sadie and comes back whenever she needs him in the blink of an eye.
This book is the first in a trilogy and I suppose an argument could be made that Anderson could answer these questions in the other two novels. With that said, I believe there is so much development she has to make up for that one novel would have to be dedicated to world building.
If you’ve noticed the quotations I’ve placed around mysterious then you are probably wondering why I’ve put them there. I say ‘mysterious’ because Sadie tells us that this boy is mysterious. The reader is constantly told that something is mysterious, but never shown. I felt like I was literally reading passages where Sadie would say ‘The mysterious boy looked at me with his mysterious eyes and I felt his mysterious power over me’ (not a direct quote). That’s how the book read.
Even more unfortunate, the entire climax and resolution of the novel happens in one chapter in the span of an hour or so.
I had received this book for free through bookbub.com. I knew that I was picking up a light-hearted YA novel. I thought I would be reading a fun, fast, and entertaining paranormal romance. What I did get was an underdeveloped fantasy world filled with flat characters and poorly constructed story arch.
I don’t feel comfortable recommending this book. But I would never discourage someone from checking a book out because I am underwhelmed by it. Below will be the Goodreads link.
Whenever I finish a book that I did not enjoy I feel a deep sense of a letdown. In fact, in order to prevent myself from feeling this way I’ve begun not finishing books I being to dislike.
Tell me, do you think it’s better to finish a book for better or for worse? Or are you of the mind that it is better to move onto a book more worthwhile then to continue to trudge through disappointment? Can a book be redeemed if a reader keeps reading? Let me know in the comments! I’m sincerely interested!
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