Saturday, May 10, 2014

Review: To the Sea by Deirdre Riordan Hall

To the Sea
by Deirdre Riordan Hall

Category: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary      
Publisher: Createspace   
Release Date: Feb. 11, 2014
Edition: E-Book
Page Count: 314
Source: From author in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis: Fresh out of college and newly married, twenty-something Kira plans the perfect future with a house in the suburbs, ski getaways, and fancy dinners. When her husband Jeremy dies in a car accident, loss casts her adrift, but her heart cracks wide open when she uncovers the secrets he left behind.

Despite her dislike for the ocean with the whipping wind and itchy sand, Kira seeks solace in salt: tears, sweat, and the sea, helping her move beyond the myth of perfection, and guiding her toward the truth of who she really is.

She takes surf lessons to overcome her fear of the water and her well of grief. In the local surf scene, she meets sultry Jamie, with a hot Australian accent. He’s eager to spend time with her, but mostly between the sheets. Then there’s soulful Ian, her surf instructor, who helps her get on her feet and ride the waves.

During a transformative trip to South Africa on surfari, she learns the best way to be loved, yet when she returns to the shores of New England, grief continues to haunt her. She must let go, but how? Torn between the tides, Kira discovers strength and courage, navigates loss, lust, and love, taking readers along for the plunge.


Review: Contemporary! That is the very first thing I need to say about this wonderful book. I love to read contemporary books, especially ones that can make me feel a lot of different emotions, and this book certainly did that for me. I took the step up and read New Adult instead of Young Adult, and I still really enjoyed it. I think that it helped that Kira, the main character, was pretty much my age. Out of college and working her first job. I could understand where she was in her life, though I cannot imagine dealing with everything that she had. 

The beginning of the book was a tear jerker, but for more ways than one. Kira receives a call that her husband Jeremy, who was supposedly working late at his law firm, was in a car accident and was in the hospital. After getting there, she is told that he did not make it, but that the woman that was in the car with him did. From there, Kira finds out that Jeremy was not really a "husband" at all, but a real jerk who wanted to make his parents happy, win bets against his horrible friend, and still do whatever he wanted despite being married. I felt so horrible for Kira, and found myself happy that Jeremy died (I know that's harsh, but I don't care!). 

The majority of the book is about Kira trying to get over the grief and anger she feels, and to find a way to move on. She has wonderful friends in the form of Nicole, who helps her come up with ways to let go, and Alice who takes her to yoga most days after work in order to get their minds on other things. They were both the kinds of friends that a girl would need and want when going through a horrible situation like that. 

To move on, Kira decides she needs to get over her fear of the water and try something knew, so she decides to take on surfing lessons after running into a surfer, Ian, on the beach. The whole experience teaches her a lot; about letting go of control and allowing herself some freedom, but also what love should look like. She meets Jamie, who makes her feel great, but is just interested in sex. Then there is Ian. Man, do I love Ian! He is just the thing that she needs; stable, kind, understanding, patient. I was SO happy that Kira finally found the guy that she deserved after going through so much, even if the thing with Jeremy made her cautious about all of it. 

While the whole book was amazing, it was the ending that I loved more than anything. Yup, I'm a fan of the sometimes over-romantic happy ending. I don't think that there is anything wrong with that, either! This book gave me just what I was looking for in an ending, and I could not have been happier with the conclusion as I put the book down. Huge congratulations to Deirdre Hall on her debut novel, and thank you again for allowing me to review the book.

Rating: 5.0/5.0

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