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THE LIFEGUARD by Deborah Blumenthal

THE LIFEGUARD

By Deborah Blumenthal

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: March 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8075-4535-5
Publisher: Whitman

A girl spends the summer at her aunt’s beach house and falls for a fascinating, handsome lifeguard with supernatural healing powers.

Sirena can’t help but be drawn to the seemingly magical lifeguard, who turns out actually to be named “Pilot.” She also finds Antonio, an 80-year old-beach artist, quite magnetic. Sirena’s obsession gets out of control when she steals Antonio’s painting of Pilot, then confesses to the old man. She’s jealous when she sees Pilot with a blond bombshell of a girl she assumes is his girlfriend. She dips a toe into the ocean during a time of dangerous riptides and nearly drowns, also getting stung by a stingray. When doctors want to amputate her leg, Pilot heals it. Antonio dies and leaves Sirena his magic paintbrush and, apparently, his painting talent. And aha! Perhaps the blond isn’t a girlfriend after all! Blumenthal writes suspenseful episodes, but she tends to abandon them and move on to the next one, which adds up to a narrative that doesn’t flow well. For example, readers see Sirena, just after Antonio’s death, painting with newfound, zealous ability until the wee hours, but there is no description of the resulting painting. Throw in clichéd phrases such as “Would I ever feel I’d taken in enough of his face? His being? His touch?” for an undemanding beach read.

Fine for diehard romance fans. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)