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Wrecked by Anna Davies

Wrecked (edition 2012)

by Anna Davies

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704171,029 (2.28)None
Authors:Anna Davies
Info:Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (2012), Hardcover, 336 pages
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Wrecked by Anna Davies



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Wrecked - that is what this book felt like to me, a wreck. Putting it lightly, I am definitely mincing words here when I say I couldn't find a thing about this book that I enjoyed.

I'll keep my musings short. BEWARE SPOILERS!

Right from the beginning I found Wrecked to have a somber tone and then a few more pages more and it was just downright depressing. There is so much talk of death or suicide, then there is a bunch of death, and then a bunch of pretty much everyone blaming the afore mentioned deaths on the main character, Miranda. Made it hard to stomach and left me with no desire to carry on by the time I reached 100 pages. Then we throw in this connection between the 'Betwixt man" Christian and Miranda - and I just didn't see anything special there to really intrigue and draw me in.

I could say more but I'm not going to turn this into a bash fest just because it wasn't my cup of tea. So for those of you still curious, here is a review of someone who enjoyed it - maybe I'm just the oddball statistic.

A review by Journey Through Pages - 4 Stars - http://journeythroughpages.blogspot.com/2012/04/arc-book-review-wrecked-by-anna-...
( )
  Pabkins | Jun 24, 2014 |
Wrecked by Anna Davies has such an interesting premise: what would happen if a young man who lived in the sea saved a young girl he wasn’t supposed to save from dying and then had to right his wrong? What would he do if he fell in love with her instead? There is so much potential here, but the story turned out vastly different from what I expected.

After reading the description of this book, I went into it expecting a sweeping paranormal romance – which it is not. There are definitely paranormal elements here, with the sea witch and Christian, but there is also a lot of working through the grief of losing friends. The first part of the book really focuses on the accident, Miranda’s guilt and grief, and the way she is treated afterwards. It isn’t until almost halfway through the story that she formally meets Christian, although we have had a short chapter or two showing how Christian has angered the sea witch, Sephie, with his rescue of Miranda. Overall, though, there are very few supernatural/paranormal elements in this book – Christian comes from the sea, but it really seems more like a side note than an element paramount to the story.

Another element that was unexpected was how hateful I found many of the characters. Miranda has survived a boating accident, but she is blamed by everyone for it. Even the teachers at her exclusive school treat her like a pariah afterwards. I would expect that the families of the victims might treat her this way, but teachers? The guidance counselor? I think it would have been more realistic that Miranda was reading some of this blame and anger into other people’s actions; that her guilt would have made her think she was being talked about when she really wasn’t. Miranda ends up with support from no one except her younger brother Teddy, but his character is never fleshed out enough for us to really feel connected to him. Her grandmother Eleanor is written as someone who is totally clueless about reality – appearances are everything and if you just try to act “normal” everything will get better faster. There really aren’t any characters here to sympathize with or feel an emotional attachment to.

Unfortunately, this lack of attachment extends to the lead characters as well. Miranda is so depressed and empty through most of the story that it is hard to connect with her. And while Christian is a nice guy, he is not developed enough to make him swoon-worthy. Their romance is of the “I’ve seen you so I must love you” variety rather than two characters really getting to know each other and building things slowly, so I never really felt like I was invested in their relationship. It does not help matters that Davies’ style leans more towards “telling” than “experiencing.” This is most apparent in the epilogue – we are literally told by the author how Miranda is feeling, rather than learning about it from her.

Speaking of the ending, I’ve seen other reviewers who really hate it. It’s not terrible and is probably appropriate to the story, but it left me unsatisfied. What should have been emotional felt empty.

I know all of this sounds so negative, but I think if a reader approached this story differently than I did they may find more of a connection to it. If it is looked at as the story of a girl working through her grief after a terrible tragedy, it stands up a little better than as a paranormal romance. But when the paranormal elements start building later in the book, it tends to fall apart.

Wrecked is a shaky début from author Anna Davies. With a premise that shows so much potential but ultimately falls short in execution, this is not a terrible book – but it is not great either. The strongest section of the book has more to do with the lead character working through her grief than with paranormal elements, so for readers who connect with that type of book Wrecked may strike a stronger chord than for those of us looking for a paranormal romantic read. ( )
  eomalley | Apr 13, 2013 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: This book has an interesting premise but fails to deliver it in a satisfying manner, relying heavily on exposition to get the mood across while slowing down the story.

Opening Sentence: In many ways Whym Island is like any of the hundreds of tiny islands dotting the South Carolina coast.

The Review:

I’m going to start out by saying that this book has one of the worst synopses ever. I read it and was totally uninterested in this book, mainly because it doesn’t sell itself. When I started reading there was so much more they could’ve worked with and chose not to. Maybe it’s because the book’s so short or it could be because the story seems so simple they thought putting hints in the synopsis was a bad idea. Whatever the reason, I have a feeling a lot of readers are going to pass this story up because of everything the back copy doesn’t say.

Soul-stealing sea witch, Atlantis-like sunken world, hidden secrets of Whym Island. All those things are interesting and exciting, while the back copy emphasizes the fact that some of Miranda’s friends died and Christian is a dreamboat. While all the death Miranda’s experienced in her life, her grief definitely dominates her character, but that’s not the entire story.

When Miranda’s boat loses its navigation system just as a storm rolls in, they can’t get around the island to dock. Lightening strikes the boat and jumping becomes their only plan. When her boyfriend Fletch forces her overboard, Miranda and her friends are drowning. Until an arm wraps around her and drags her to the surface, and a body shushes her as he pulls her towards shore. Miranda survives with a massive cut, but four of her friends die and Fletch is in a coma. A coma Miranda knows in her heart he won’t be coming out of. She can’t remember the boy who saved her life, but she can remember his shimmering skin and the way his arms made her feel safe.

Christian, the boy who saves Miranda, has some pretty massive problems of his own. A betwixtman, neither merman or human, saved Miranda on the day of his Surfacing — the night he turned eighteen, a right of passage where he finally became a man — and now has to deal with the consequences. The sea witch Sephie, who the inhabitants of Up Above think of as a local legend, is all too real Down Below. The sea witch is furious Christian lost one of her souls and makes a deal. He can live as long as Miranda’s soul is where it belongs within the week — meaning, as long as Christian kills her. Otherwise she’ll take his soul in her place.

We’re torn between Miranda who’s living with survivor’s guilt, wondering why she’s the one who got to live while Fletch is stuck living on a tube, and Christian who doesn’t want to take back the life he saved. The worlds of Up Above, In Between and Down Below begin clashing as Miranda and Christian find themselves together again.

As I said, the back copy put this book is a disadvantage from the get go because I started the book uninterested. When I start a book with the predisposition it’ll be bleh, I have to wonder how it affects my impression of the overall book. Wrecked didn’t blow me out of the water by any means, I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing style, which relied heavily on info-dumping to develop the backstory and character relationships. What I was a fan of was the mixture of mythological creatures and an underwater world — Atlantis has always been a favorite myth of mine. The writing and style of this book is really what knocked it down to a two rating, but the story was much more interesting than I originally expected it to be. If you like the current mermaid trend that’s been replacing vampires in YA novels these days, you might like Wrecked. It’s not the best example of a mermaid romance I’ve read this summer, but it’s short and easy to read.

Notable Scene:

“There was a storm. And she was trapped, and I knew it was wrong, but I thought…I thought it would be all right if I saved her,” Christian said in a small voice. The truth was, he hadn’t been thinking at all in the moment that he’d set the girl free, all he knew was that if he hadn’t done something, he wouldn’t have been able to live with himself.

Sephie laughed, the noise sounding like a hiss and a bark. “Well, that’s where our miscommunication lies. Because it wasn’t all right that you saved her. I wanted her soul. I wanted all their souls. But I’m letting you off easy,” she said, not letting go of her grip on his arm.

“Thank you,” Christian said.

“I need her soul. I’ll collect the rest in my own time, but he soul is on you. You have one week.”

FTC Advisory: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers provided me with a copy of Wrecked. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Aug 1, 2012 |
So, this book and I are not friends. I'm going to try and be as tactful as possible here, but it's hard. I pretty much hated this book with every bone in my body. There were many, many technical issues, but aside from that, I also hated the characters and the story. It's hard to write a review when you have no kind words for the book at all. But I will do the best that I can.

Let's start with the writing. It was all telling. Well, mostly. It felt like a summary of events rather than a story. Not only was the writing really amateurish, but there were consistency issues. And they were really bad ones. And I hope to god they are fixed before this book goes to print. Christian saw Coral's yacht twice. For the first time. I won't quote it because it's an arc and can still be fixed, but you cannot see the same boat for the first time, twice. Christian also showed his brother the same book of matches for the first time, twice. The first time Valentine shrinks back, afraid of the fire. The second time Christian whips them out and tries to explain what he is going to do. It's just lazy writing. And bad editing. I haven't seen plot holes that large in ages.

The characters and character motivations were just ridiculous and made no sense. First of all, Miranda. Grow a backbone and stand up for yourself, girl. Every other character except Christian was out-of-control mean to her. And I get why they are upset. She was driving in a boat accident that killed four people. But the key word here is 'accident'. She didn't mean it and yet these people are blaming her and bullying her for something she had no control over. And some of the things they say and do to her get pretty revolting. No one seems to remember she lost 4 friends and her boyfriend is in a coma, dying. She also got injured. But they hate on her and ostracize her and her grandmother continues to put her through it by forcing her to go to school and visit Fletch in the hospital. Fletch's parents are horrible individuals. I know your son is in a coma, but you don't treat people this way. What is wrong with you? And I guess that's my point. The characters' actions are completely unrealistic. Real people with beating hearts would not act this way.

And then there was the love story. Or rather, the puke story. Seriously. Call me mean if you want, but these two were nauseating. This time I will quote. Because some of this dialogue is utterly ridiculous. And I know it's not coming out before editing.

Miranda: "You could have left. If I was swimming, and I saw a boat on fire, I don't think I'd save anyone," Miranda admitted. Wait. What? She'd leave people dying on a fiery boat and swim away? WTF is this?

And then there is this scene. It's so corny. I mean...REALLY corny.

"Happy birthday," Miranda said. It was so weird, the way their conversations constantly jumped all over the map. It was like when the radio played on the boat. Sometimes, there'd be crystal clear reception, only to be interrupted by static. Then, seconds later, clear reception again.

"Thanks," Christian smiled.

"Did you get everything you wanted?" Miranda leaned in toward him, aware that she was acting supremely out of character. But that was okay. She didn't want to act like herself anymore. "Or did you want this?" she asked, heart pounding against her chest as she kissed him. First of all, the writing is terrible. Second of all, GROSS. That is nauseating. For real.

Deep thoughts with Miranda: He's just a friend. It's not a big deal, she reminded herself. She glanced over. Christian's jaw was set, and he was staring straight ahead, as if he were frightened. Who was she kidding? Of course he wasn't just a friend. They'd kissed. Her heart sped up whenever she saw him. She knew his collar bones sloped slightly before ending in his surprisingly sharp shoulder blades, concealed under just the right layer of muscle. And yet... Hold the phone. You know how his collar bone slopes? And that his shoulder blades are sharp? Listen. I've been with Dan for 7 years and I don't even pay attention to his shoulder blades and collar bones. Ridiculous. And the writing? Kill me now.

At one point I laughed out loud because Miranda ordered a medium pizza in a bar and didn't tell the waitress what toppings she wanted on it. That might be some vital information that was missing there. She could bring you a medium pizza with anchovies, after all.

I've got one more for you. This is some brilliant description. *Hint: sarcasm*

Coral led Miranda to the living quarters of the ship. In contrast to the deck, which had seemed so expansive, the actual living quarters were cozy. The furniture was heavy, dark wood and blue velvet coverings, and Miranda felt like she'd taken a step back in time. None of the surroundings matched Coral's whimsical, bohemian personality. The room felt stuffy, and Miranda found herself having a difficult time catching her breath. Did you notice it? Answer this question. How can a room be cozy AND stuffy at the same time? Hint: it can't.

Truthfully, that's only the beginning. But why even bother? You can clearly see all that is wrong by reading those quotes. And I'm not even going to bother to remark on the creepy instalove. Or the slut-shaming that happened in the opening pages. Just...make up your own mind. But I wouldn't recommend reading this one to my worst enemy. Lazy writing gets an automatic one star from me. Sorry. This book was terrible. ( )
1 vote GreatImaginations | May 7, 2012 |
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After a boating accident off Whym Island, South Carolina, takes the lives of four friends and injures three others, seventeen-year-old Miranda meets Christian, a sort of merman who saved her life but was then charged by a sea witch to kill her.

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