Author: Aimee Friedman
Publisher: Scholastic UK
16-year-old Miranda Merchant is great at science … and not so great with boys. After major drama with her boyfriend and (now ex) best friend, she’s happy to spend the summer on small, mysterious Selkie Island, helping her mother sort out her late grandmother’s estate. There, Miranda finds new friends and an island with a mysterious, mystical history, presenting her with facts her logical, scientific mind can’t make sense of. She also meets Leo, who challenges everything she thought she knew about boys, friendship … and reality.
I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but oh boy – isn’t the Ocean of Secrets cover stunning? It’s when I think about it probably the sole reason I picked it up from my review pile – I didn’t even bother reading the blurb to decide if I wanted to read it. My internal reasoning – cover looks good – I’ll read this next
And the story inside is more than a match – we join Miranda as she’s making her way to Selkie Island, an island whose oceans are knee deep in legends of mermen, kraken and other magical creatures of the deep with a fog that surrounds it that almost lends it the air of an island that can only be found by those who know where it is – of course the ferry that goes there knows exactly where it’s going … but we can pretend!
The cast of characters Miranda meets on her journey are a fairly mixed bunch – CeeCee bursts onto the page and becomes Miranda’s best friend for her time on the island. She has such a bubbly personality that makes spending any time with her a joyful experience. CeeCee is also Miranda’s key to most of the other friends Miranda makes. Like TJ.
TJ. Hmmm. I kind of think I need to have an opinion on him but I think it’s fair to say I kind of don’t. He seems …. nice? Pleasant? He’s not a bad character and he’s introduced almost like a potential suitor (in debutante society). He’s billed – by CeeCee – as the hot, popular guy on the island and CeeCee and her friends are trying to set the two of them up. Something which Miranda’s Mum doesn’t seem to have too much of a problem with. Make that any problem with.
Unlike Leo – I loved Leo, he clicked with Miranda straight away – they seemed to get each other, with a shared interest in science (all be it different strands). Leo is from – as I imagine Miranda’s mother would put it – the wrong side of the island.
You see the island is split into two – socially speaking at least – Fishermans Village is where the islanders live, the ones who live there all year round and by trade are mostly (you guessed it) fishermen. They’re not particularly well off (but do OK) Everyone else spends the summer at Seklie – taking advantage of the Boardwalk and the Marine Centre. And there is a definite divide – the two sides simply don’t mix. Full stop.
And yet Leo and Miranda get on like a house on fire.
I would have liked to see more of TJ and CeeCee – they seemed to be peppered throughout rather than consistently there. There was a point where I was wondering where on earth CeeCee had got to whilst the story focused on the blossoming relationship between Leo and Miranda! Not a problem as such but as CeeCee makes such stamp on the page when she’s not there – it’s noticeable.
I can’t finish this review without talking about the ending which is going to be quite difficult – I don’t want to spoil any part of it but I do want to say that it is at the same time infuriating but right for the book. It leaves the reader to make up their own mind – and that is all I’m saying – doesn’t it annoy you when someone does that – but as much as I want to say more – I don’t feel that I can! Sneaky!!! hehe
An intriguing little story, something a little bit different – with a sweet romance at it’s heart – and a killer cover!
Thanks to Scholastic UK for sending me a copy.