SEA CHANGE by Aimee Friedman


Age Range: 12 - 14
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A watery and predictable supernatural romance. Miranda Merchant, accustomed to city life, visits Selkie Island (off the Georgia coast) when her mother inherits a house. Her mother intends to sell it and remain unattached. But Miranda falls in love with Leo, crossing Selkie’s strict class division between the “heirs” (including her family) and the working-class residents. She supposedly overcomes the snobbery that thinks heirs “b[ear] the beauty and grace that c[o]me from generations of careful breeding,” but even at the end, she refers to Fisherman’s Village as “the wrong side of the island.” Leo’s a mythical ocean creature, but the text never formally confirms that. Friedman tells rather than shows, and Miranda’s voice alternates between incongruously nostalgic (“I’d forgotten how comforting it was, the casual intimacy that could exist between girls”) and flowery (iced tea from a pitcher is “a waterfall of amber-colored liquid pour[ing] forth”). Miranda leaves for New York knowing she’ll return, but Leo’s promise of a happy ending “[s]oon” doesn’t offer enough suspense for an ending without closure. (Fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-439-92228-9
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Point/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2009


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