Monday, February 18, 2013

Review: Surfacing by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Surfacing
Surfacing by Nora Raleigh Baskin
A lyrical and deeply moving portrait of grief, blame, and forgiveness, and of finding the courage to confront your ghosts — one truth at a time.
As soon as she was under, Maggie heard the quiet, though every sound was amplified in her ears and in her brain...Sound, like shame, travels four times faster under the water.
Though only a sophomore, Maggie Paris is a star on the varsity swim team, but she also has an uncanny, almost magical ability to draw out people’s deepest truths, even when they don’t intend to share them. It’s reached a point where most of her classmates, all but her steadfast best friend, now avoid her, and she’s taken to giving herself away every chance she gets to an unavailable — and ungrateful — popular boy from the wrestling team, just to prove she still exists. Even Maggie’s parents, who are busy avoiding each other and the secret deep at the heart of their devastated family, seem wary of her. Is there such a thing as too much truth?
Publishes in US: March 12th 2013 by Candlewick
Genre: contemporary
Source: Candlewick

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Blkosiner's Book Blog review   photo e5dc5b81-8d14-43c0-8729-4aa5ace54a04_zps8f029a2d.jpg
     Surfacing is a quick read, but I liked it. I liked the premise of her almost magical ability that draws the truth from people and I love the themes of grief and blame that ultimately give way to forgiveness, so I knew that I needed to read this one.
     Maggie was an enjoyable character and I saw a lot of character growth in her. I think a part of this is that the story is told partly in flashbacks, which is on the line of middle grade and young adult contemporary. It deals with some pretty hard core issues, but it is never gratuitously graphic, although there are scenes I wouldn't want a sixth grader to read, so I don't know. In parts (I did get a bit confused of the time line) she is only in 6th grade, but at some point she is a sophomore, because that is what the back of the book says... I am not sure where this transition is... This didn't take away from enjoying Maggie, although her voice is younger in some parts, which leads me to think middle grade.
    I really liked her best friend Julie. It was a quick form relationship as young kids, and she stuck by her and  learned her nuances but loved her anyways. But she isn't just a cookie cutter, she has a personality and she questions and tries to get quieter Maggie to talk to her instead of just abandoning her like others seem to do because they end up telling her things they don't want to be out in the open.
    I labeled this as contemporary because I was never quite sure about her ability. I know that some people are just easy to talk to and tell secrets to. So I think that the almost magical is key word.
   The ending was more open ended and sad that I would like, but I think it fits the themes of the book.
Bottom Line: This is a sweet but dark story with a likable protagonist.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Have you felt like you could tell your secrets to a stranger?


41 comments:

  1. No I keep things close to my chest and could not imagine sharing with a stranger. great review!

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  2. I LOVE the cover! I haven't heard about this one before. I hate sad books but at the same time I do like books where characters are growing and dealing with tragedies and grief. I like to see them work through it and come out better on the other end. I am kind private with my deep dark emotional secrets but then again I'm actually pretty open and honest if someone wants to know so I'd say yeah I might unload all my secrets on a stranger!

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    1. I agree, if someone asks or needs advice, it gets me talking more.

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  3. Sounds like a pretty interesting story. And I love reading stories like these! I have not heard of this one before, but you awesome review makes me wanna :)

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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    1. It felt mgish to me, but still emotional

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  4. I've nver heard of or seen this book! The cover is kind of cool. I'm glad you really liked it! Quick reads are always good to have around, in case you don't feel like reading!

    I want to tell strangers things sometimes, because they won't judge me like people I know. But I rarely tell anyone, known or unknown, anything about me.

    Great review!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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  5. I've never heard of this book before, but it does sound like a very meaningful read. I'm glad you liked it, despite the open ending.
    Great review, Brandi!

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    1. Yeah, open ending seem more common these days, but I have a hard time with them

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  6. I've never felt like I could share my secrets with a stranger-I'm a pretty private person and I don't share easily with anyone even those I trust most.

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    1. I understand that. I used to be more like that, try to share more now

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  7. I can't take open endings, no way

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  8. This sounds like a very interesting book. I don't think I could ever tell my secrets to a stranger, it's be too nerve-wracking for me.

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  9. Open endings are not my favorite, but they are still better than cliffhangers. This definitely sounds different and interesting. Have a happy Mondy Brandi.

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    1. True. At least cliffies usually have a sequel

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  10. Quick reads are always good. I don't really like open endings myself, but I'm glad you enjoyed this one so much.

    Great review! :)

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  11. Sounds like an interesting read! I think I'd enjoy learning more about her ability. Glad you enjoyed this one! <3
    -heather

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    1. That's the thing, I classified as contemp because I wasn't sure if it was actually magical or just somehting about her personality

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  12. I don't mind a well done open ending. Still usually makes me want more tho. :) I haven't heard of this book and I do like sweet but dark books. You don't get too many of those. Will definitely have to check this one out.

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    1. Yeah, sweet and dark is a hard line to tread

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  13. I don't do well with open endings and sad endings, glad that you enjoyed this though. I have had instances where I've liked talking to strangers. Some people just have that gift don't they?

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  14. I hadn't even heard of this one, but it does sound interesting. Great review!

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  15. This sounds good, but it sounds like it might be a tad confusing when transitioning. I like the description of it though.

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  16. This is my first time reading about this story. Maggie seems to be an interesting character. Thanks for sharing.

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  17. Sometimes its easier to tell strangers your secrets.... this book sounds like an interesting read. Havent heard of it before I'll have to remember it. Great review

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    1. I hadn't heard muchabout it until browsing their catalog

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  18. Sounds interesting. I don't really have many secrets, but I wouldn't feel comfortable telling my secrets to a stranger. Although I think it would be easier.

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    1. I thnk it would be easier too.
      I don't have secrets per say, but stuff everyone doesn't know about me

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  19. It does sound good overall but I hate open ended endings. It really ruins the book for me.

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  20. The cover is great! Best friends are pretty important characters to me in a book so it's good to see that Julie was up to the task. Not sure this one is my kind of read though, but I really enjoyed your review :D

    I would find it difficult to spill my secrets to a stranger. I have to get to know someone pretty well before we dive into the deep stuff. Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven

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    1. Best friends are hit or miss, but I loved how Julie was there no matter

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  21. Honestly this book sounds confusing. I haven't heard of it but after reading your review I dunno what to think. Luckily you were able to enjoy it :)

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  22. Great review sweetie :) Glad you mostly liked this book. Sorry it confused you :\ I think it would be easier to share my secrets with a stranger.. :)
    Love, Carina @ Carina's Books

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  23. Hmmm categorizing this book sounds like a challenge.

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