Wednesday, March 21, 2007


I just finished Waves, by Sharon Dogar. This is a heartbreaking, sensuous novel. Set on a beach in England during the summer, we follow Hal, a 15 year old boy, as he slowly joins the group of youth who endlessly hang out on the beach, meets a beautiful charming girl named Jackie, gets annoyed by his little sister Sarz, and all the other things a teen at the beach for the summer might do. On the other hand, his home life is dark and lonely; his older sister Charley, who he used to be so close to, isn't here this year. Instead, she is left behind at the hospital, still in a coma from a mysterious accident that occurred while they were all at the beach last summer. Her presence is everywhere; he thinks he hears her voice, and he is starting to remember things about what happened last summer. He remembers a shadowy presence and wonders who it was. He finds he is driven to find out what happened to Charley.

This novel starts out strong, and ends with a grand finale, but somewhere in the middle it seems to circle around itself, almost relentlessly. This could be interpreted as another manifestation of the ocean metaphor that is used throughout the book, but it did get to be a little much for me. It was intense, and and found myself wanting to get on with the plot a bit faster. However, it was an effective device. I found the descriptions of first love to be accurate and touching. This book would be suitable for young adults of either gender aged 13 and up.

One other interesting tidbit: this book is "endorsed" by Philip Pullman, a successful author whose works I completely love. I'm not really sure what the "endorsed" term means in this context. He says it's good? The Pullman Seal of Approval? I mean, I'm glad Pullman liked the book, and I admit that seeing a quote from him on the cover made me more interested in the book, but I'm a little annoyed by the whole idea of endorsement. Does he read and endorse lots of books? Are they neighbors and somehow she got him to read her book? Are they secret lovers? Who knows!

Sharon Dogar
Published by Chicken House, April 2007
ISBN13: 978-0-439-87180-8
344 pages
Ages 13+
Young Adult, Family relationships, sexuality, mystery


Lien said...

Does it actually say "endorsed by Philip Pullman" or does it just have a quote on the cover by Pullman saying how great the book is? 'Cause the latter happens all the time, doesn't it? I actually remember reading something about that once- an author writes about how he had to give a quote to a certain other authors so that he'd get quotes in return and stuff like that. Silly, really- I'd rather they direct me to a full review.

lillentil said...

an author being interviewed on NPR recently said the same thing about "book endorsement sluttery" amongst the authoring community.

Apparently it's not as loose for academic works tho, since the endorsement has to hint at the content and conclusions drawn by the author so that the endorser sounds intelligent.

book martini said...

Whoa, comments! I didn't know I had any comments. Shouldn't I be notified or something when I get a comment?

Anyway, I have done a little research into this. Apparently, the chick who wrote this book was actually a student of Philip Pullman, and one the publisher's website it actually says, "endorsed by Philip Pullman". On the book itself is a quote from him, saying something good about the book, but I don't think it actually says "endorsed by" on the book.

jacqueline said...

if you signed your book, it can be endorsed by you too!