An Australian swimming sensation and her graphic artist boyfriend are entwined by fate.
Clayton Sandalford is 17 when a riptide sweeps him out to sea; he panics but is saved by an athletic girl named Ash. The story jumps ahead—at the start of an important swim meet, Clay, now Ash’s boyfriend, gives Ash a ring etched with a figure of a Scottish water lover, a mythical creature who dissolves when exposed to sun and air. While Ash sets a world record in the meet, Clay draws a mysterious picture of Ash and a giant wave, one that is completely different from his usual style. A later drawing by Clay seemingly foretells a tragedy that befalls Ash. The co-authors unfortunately fail to maintain consistency in narration, telling the story mostly through Clay’s perspective, with random lapses into omniscient as well as the points-of-view of Ash, her stereotypically manically-driven mother, her stereotypically Bible-quoting father, and other secondary characters. Ash’s characterization seems primarily limited to her physical attributes—broad shoulders, long hair, and a strange affinity for water. The teens are sexually active, but their relationship never quite feels real, and the semimythical ending is neither surprising nor believable. The book adheres to a white default.
Of limited interest. (Fiction. 14-18)