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Wrecked Hardcover – May 1, 2012

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 9 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 830L (What's this?)
  • Series: Wrecked
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442432780
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442432789
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,204,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anna Davies is a writer who works at Cosmopolitan. Wrecked is her first novel. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

“I HAVE AN EXPERIMENT,” GENEVIEVE CLARKE BEGAN as she leaned forward on the driftwood log, toward the crackling beach bonfire. She paused, waiting for Darcy Scott to put down her beer bottle and Gray Hartnett to glance up from her iPhone. Miranda O’Rourke raised her eyebrow. Genevieve always had grandiose theories, and the later it was and the more beer she’d taken from the cooler, the more she tended to expound on them. But Genevieve had been Miranda’s best friend since seventh grade, and even when her experiments were ridiculous—like the time she convinced Miranda to sneak into a frat party at Coastal Carolina with her and pretend they were exchange students from Estonia—her enthusiasm made up for any absurdities.

“I’ll only do it if I don’t have to stand up,” Miranda cracked as she opened her Sigg water bottle and took a large sip. It was already almost midnight, and she had an exhibition soccer tourney tomorrow afternoon, which college scouts were supposed to attend. But she didn’t want the party to end. Not yet. After all, who knew how many nights like this they’d have left? School started next week, and then next summer they’d all be scattered across the country at colleges, embarking on their “real” lives. That was a thought that simultaneously terrified and excited Miranda. Sometimes, Miranda tried to close her eyes and imagine what it would be like to be surrounded by strangers, to not live steps away from the ocean, but she couldn’t. And right now, she didn’t want to.

“Okay, lazy,” Genevieve said, interrupting Miranda’s reverie. “Ya’ll don’t need to do anything. I’ll do all the work. I learned to read tarot cards this summer. And it sounds so stupid, but it works. Like, when I got it done at the beginning of the summer, the cards said I’d have a summer fling. And I totally did!” Genevieve crowed, obviously still thrilled about the totally hot hookup she’d had with a Columbia University rising sophomore when she was enrolled in a pre-college program in New York City during the summer. Or at least the hookup she’d claimed to have. That was the thing with Genevieve: It wasn’t like she lied per se, but she definitely often embellished, and more than once, Miranda had witnessed a flirtatious gaze across a crowded party on a Friday night become an all-out hookup when she described it to everyone else on Monday morning. Miranda never called her on it, and Genevieve never seemed to feel guilty. It was as if, in her mind, she actually began to believe the things she said. Miranda wished she could be more like that.

Miranda was convinced that Genevieve’s faux-scandalous life was pretty much designed to be one step more scandalous than that of Genevieve’s mother, Jane. Jane had been divorced three times, and Whym Islanders were still up in arms that she’d been the one to inherit the sprawling seventeenth-century mansion on Witch’s Knee, the most exclusive area on the island. Jane had converted half the mansion into a yoga studio and had turned the once meticulously landscaped lawn into an organic vegetable plot. And Genevieve followed in her mom’s footsteps, attempting to scandalize the next generation of Whym Islanders by dying her hair bright red, getting a tiny silver stud pierced into her nose and a star tattoo inked onto her wrist, and ending almost every statement with a no? at the end, as if she were daring anyone to disagree with her.

“Did you sleep in his bed? I heard New York is full of bedbugs. I wouldn’t hook up with anyone there,” Gray drawled, wrinkling her nose and purposefully edging away from Genevieve. “Course, I’d never be in New York anyway. Too dirty.”

“It’s also full of hot guys,” Genevieve smirked as she pulled the cards out of her bag. The light from the bonfire was flickering on Genevieve’s face, making her look different than usual—older, more sophisticated, like someone who had a whole different life back in New York. “Right, Miranda?” Genevieve asked.

“Yeah, the guys I remember from pre-school were really hot,” Miranda joked. That was one of the things about Whym: unless you were born there, you’d always be considered an outsider on some level, no matter how many years you’d lived there or how many ties you could claim to the island. Miranda was technically a sixth-generation islander, but because her mother had dared to move and have children elsewhere, she’d never been fully embraced as a local, even though she’d moved here full-time more than ten years ago.

“Ya’ll know I haven’t been back since I was five. Besides, wasn’t the point the tarot-reading thing?” she asked as she hugged her knees to her chest and pulled her giant Calhoun Academy soccer shirt as far as it would go down her legs. Despite the fire, she was freezing. Still, she didn’t want to break up the moment and suggest they head into the pool house.

After all, this was the last summer the Whym Island seniors—the Ferries, as they’d been annoyingly dubbed back in first grade, when their parents (or, in Miranda’s case, grandmother) had all had to sit down and create a chaperone schedule to get them all to the mainland to school at Calhoun Academy. The Ferries were the progeny of the Whym Island elite: The kids who’d never attended Whym Public, the tiny redbrick school house on the other end of the island that held kindergarten through twelfth grade. Whym Public was for the sons and daughters of the fishermen, housekeepers, gardeners, and clerks who worked year-round to keep the island in its postcard-perfect condition. Calhoun was a private school founded in the seventeenth century that had always catered to wealthy Carolinians. That was what made it weird to be a Ferry: They didn’t really know the other Whym kids, and most of the Calhoun kids lived on the mainland, fifteen miles of ocean away.

And now, none of them could imagine it any differently. Sure, some of them had awkward romantic histories with each other, some of them never quite forgave others for excluding them from seventh-grade sleepovers, and some of them hardly came to parties in favor of hanging out with mainland kids, but all of that seemed to be forgotten in summer—especially this year. So far, the routine had been perfect: Spend the day at soccer practice, at the beach, or doing SAT prep, and then at night, head down to the two-mile stretch of beach in front of the O’Rourke house.

Sometimes, Miranda couldn’t help but wonder whether her own mother would be proud or appalled. Miranda’s mother, Astrid, had hated the island, and had only begrudgingly come back during the summer to allow her mother, Eleanor Ashford, to get to know her children. It was a good island for kids—it had pristine beaches with fine white sand, when the tide was out. The ocean was gentle and sparkling blue, and the ride on the ferry was a guaranteed way to effortlessly entertain a child on an otherwise sweltering day. So that’s why every summer, Miranda’s mother Astrid and her father Hank would pack Miranda and her younger brother, Teddy, into the car and drive down from New York City to set up house in the sprawling mansion Astrid had grown up in. After a week or so, Astrid and Hank would leave, eager to enjoy a temporarily kid-free existence of downtown parties and concerts. For the next two months, Teddy and Miranda would play under the watchful eye of Miranda’s grandmother, Eleanor.

As a four-year-old, Miranda had felt like an outsider. Always shy, she noticed all the other toddlers on the beach at Whym had friends to build sandcastles with and chase in and out of the water. She didn’t. She only had Teddy, Eleanor, and Louisa, the nanny Eleanor hired each summer.

Until the night when Miranda was five and Teddy was two. They’d been listlessly playing with Teddy’s trucks on Eleanor’s screened-in porch one evening after dinner. Louisa was rocking back and forth in a rocking chair, fanning herself with her hand and reading a gossip magazine. It had been storming, and Miranda remembered watching the way bolts of lightning would illuminate the sky. A roll of thunder struck, and Teddy began sobbing. At that point, before Louisa could scoop him up to console him, Eleanor walked in, her face white.

“Teddy and Miranda need to go upstairs,” she’d said, circling her wrist with her opposite hand, as if she were holding onto a banister.

“I was just gonna give them their bath,” Louisa had said guiltily, sure she was about to be chastised for letting them stay up so late.

“Now,” Eleanor whispered.

The next morning, Miranda’s whole world had changed. Now, although she remembered the moments leading up to Eleanor’s announcement perfectly clearly, she didn’t remember the next morning: Who told her, how it was phrased, why their car possibly could have driven off the bridge on Johns’ Island, en route to the dock, where they’d been coming from an afternoon festival. All she knew was that she wasn’t going back to New York City. Not at the end of the summer. Not ever. And her parents were dead.

In her new life on Whym, she was to wear a dress at all times, call her grandmother and all her grandmother’s friends “ma’am,” and play with the dolls that Eleanor bought her, even though she’d repeatedly told her that she only liked stuffed animals. She’d soon learned to never, ever talk about her parents in front of Eleanor, since doing so tended to cause her grandmother to get a faraway look in her eyes, then disappear into the master suite with a headache, for hours at a time. What she hadn’t known until she got older were all the rumors...

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Customer Reviews

I would give this book -5 stars, but sadly I can't!
Just Us Books (M. silva)
It seems the author was more preoccupied with developing the characters' names than writing a reasonably interesting/enjoyable book.
R. Brannen
The plot went nowhere for the first half of the book and then things ended all too abruptly.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gretchen @ My Life is a Notebook on July 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Wrecked was one of those books that left me with a twisted gut, and I'm not sure if that's a good thing.

It was, certainly, not what I expected. If you're looking for a novel with a distinct focus on mermaids, look elsewhere. This one was more of a contemporary drama that happened to have mermaids in it. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, but it was not what I'd thought I'd signed up for.

Personally, the pace of the plot was much slower than I like to read. I prefer novels that GOGOGO. The whole first couple of chapters, especially, are full of clunky back story that I don't really think had much bearing on the story. After all, the synopsis TELLS you that her friends die, so why drag it out? I don't want to sound like a horrible person, but still: if they're going to die, KILL THEM. Don't tell me what they all were like in kindergarten. There's time for that later, when I feel like I care.

Miranda as a main character infuriated me. The way that her pain was written was gut wrenching and almost made me cry, but her actions didn't DO anything. Her grandmother just told her to do things and she bowed her head and backed down. My gut twisted further with outrage and annoyance at these times. I kept bashing my head against the cover, begging her to snap out of it. But she didn't. Ever. To this moment, I'm not sure if it was in character with all the pain she was feeling or out of it.

The romance in this book wasn't as prevalent as I thought it would be. Of course it's insta-love and all that, but it was really more of a short blip in the book rather than a focus. I'll cap my rant on insta-love because you guys don't want to hear it for the umpteenth time, but still. I do not like insta-love.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids Book Reviews on May 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
There's something alluring about mermaid mythology and the enchanting idea of the existence of an under sea world. The mermaid lore mentioned in Wrecked's synopsis is what made me want to read this book. I was intrigued with the concept of a teen girl meeting a mysterious boy who has ties the ocean that surrounds the island she lives on (that part you find out from reading the book itself). What surprised with Wrecked is that while the paranormal lore plays a bit part in the over story, the paranormal characters aren't as big as tragedy that unfolds for Miranda.

Miranda's story is one that's both intense and heart breaking. Her world gets rocked when her boyfriend and some of her friends decide to take boat her boat at night when a freak storm finds them wrecked out in the ocean, and the tragedy unfolds from there as there's few survivors. It wasn't hard for me to completely sympathize for this poor girl with everything she's had to deal with and what she ends up coping with in Wrecked. With out giving much away, I will say this girl deals with heartbreak more than once during the course of her story. Here's the thing about Miranda, she's tough, she gets through her grief and what unfolds in her story with that toughness. She also has hope, even it's just a glimmer of it.

One of the things I liked about this story was Anna's descriptive and in-depth telling of Wrecked's setting and the rich history that goes along with it. This not only laid the ground work for Anna to include her paranormal twist into Miranda's story, but it also allowed me to see and understand why the various characters in this tiny historical coastal town act they way they do.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Evelyn Thomas on May 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I opened this book, I was anticipating magic, and strange creatures, and a really hot merman-like creature. And they were all definitely there, but what really struck me was the reality. I mean, if mermaids walked into real life, I think the author captured how people would react. Miranda's feelings after her personal tragedies felt very true, and the relationship between her and her grandmother was full and richly developed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Supernatural Snark on May 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Wrecked is a heavier read than initially expected, our preconceived notions thanks to Disney of under-the-sea tales and merfolk creating a false sense of lightness for us before we pick this story up, and thus we are all the more taken aback when tragedy strikes almost immediately and we're left with the substantial burden of Miranda's survivor's guilt. For most of the three hundred pages Miranda is numb, not actively dealing with her loss or trying to get past it (though this is not entirely her own fault), causing that spark of connection we long for when reading to remain elusive, our attempts to penetrate the depth of her pain and find something to relate to ultimately unsuccessful. Wrecked is a bit of a challenging read as a result, our hearts and minds weighed down by the day to day life following a catastrophic event, and while the synopsis promises us a touch of romance to help ease the ache, the rather lackluster relationship between Miranda and Christian detailed between the pages does little lighten our load.

Miranda is a young woman we want desperately to like, the treatment she receives from not only her friends and fellow survivors, but the island community as a whole, enough to make us feel protective of her but not quite enough to send phantom fingers into our reality to grab our hearts in a vise-like grip. She repeats a mantra of "I'm fine" again and again, playing it on a continuous loop inside her head and automatically replying with it when those around her inquire after her well being to the point where our fingers long to wrap around strands of our hair and yank should she say it one more time.
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