Olivia Forrester’s family vacation is one person short this year: Her parents have split up.
Liv usually looks forward to the annual trip to her grandparents’ beach house, but it won’t be the same without Dad, who shares the 13-year-old’s love for facts. Determined not to upset her parents with her true feelings, pragmatic Liv develops a protective shell around her pain and anger. During a nighttime visit to the beach, Liv observes a sea turtle looking for a place to nest. However, the harsh light from the inn next door confuses the turtle, and she turns back to the ocean. Self-reliant Olivia promises herself and the turtle she’ll convince the inn’s greedy owner to put in turtle-friendly lighting. Her attempts get her into trouble, but even after a desperate act causes further tension between Liv and her family, she struggles forward, never giving up on her mission. Likable, familiar Liv is a reflective, compassionate, and self-aware narrator, and she juggles myriad conflicting emotions, struggling especially with how to express her feelings while being considerate of those of the people around her. Facts about sea turtles preface each chapter; the story will spark interest in the life cycle of sea turtles. Aside from a few secondary characters of color, including Liv’s Latinx cousins, assume whiteness.
A strong story about growing up. (Fiction. 9-13)