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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an oddly realistic mermaid tale
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...
Published on May 13, 2012 by Evelyn Thomas

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It left me with a twisted gut in good and bad ways
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...
Published on July 23, 2012 by Gretchen @ My Life is a Notebook


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It left me with a twisted gut in good and bad ways, July 23, 2012
This review is from: Wrecked (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. I do have to say, though, that I adored Miranda's honest ruminations about her relationship with her boyfriend Fletch, who was left in a coma after tha accident. That, at least, was real teenager thoughts that I connected with.

All in all, this was one of those books that I didn't love or hate, mostly because it wasn't my taste. It moves slowly and focuses a lot on Miranda's emotions. That's beautiful done, for sure, but ... what can I say, I'm an action girl. I would certainly recommend this book to those people who like emotional books, but-again-the mermaid factor in this one is very small. If you're a contemporary YA lover who's looking to dip their toes into the latest mermaid fad, then this is for you!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing blend of both contemporary and paranormal elements, May 11, 2012
This review is from: Wrecked (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. The island's history and the paranormal twist are tied together in a very realistic way, and it's one of the things that kept me reading this book. Apart from that, the paranormal twist and the romantic interest, Christian, the mysterious boy who saves Miranda left me wanting more than that was given to me in the story. I liked that Christian wasn't just a merman, he's what's called a Betwixt, which is basically a cross between being a human and a mermaid. Though I wanted more, I enjoyed getting the small glimpse into his underworld life from his pov of in the story.

Wrecked has an intriguing blend of both contemporary and paranormal elements that hooked me, but it left me needing more from the book to like it on the level I had hoped to. I felt that both the tragedy and Miranda's trying to cope with everything that's going on over shadowed the paranormal twist in the book. I wanted more of the paranormal element. I wanted more Christian, who fully emerges onto the scene a little too late in the story for me. While I felt sympathy for Miranda, I struggled to connect with her. I understood her depression and her trying to cope with the deaths after the accident, and I felt bad for her. With Christian I was completely drawn to him and wanted to know so much more about him and his undersea world than what I got. Since Anna hooked me with her paranormal lore of the Sea Witch and than finding out what Christian is, I wanted to dive into the undersea world more than what was given to me.

Having said that, I did like that this story wasn't wrapped up all nice and happily in the end. Don't get me wrong, there's a bit of happiness in it, but it's not what readers are going to be excepting, at all. Though I wanted more from this story, I will say I sat and read this book in one sitting, because I couldn't stop reading it. I wanted to know if Christian was going to follow through on what his task was (which you'll find out in the book), I had to know what would happen between him and Miranda and as well as how Miranda was going to fair through all this. Wrecked definitely lives up to it's name in more ways than one, with both the actual wreck that happens and the emotional and mental wreck that Miranda faces after it. It's definitely an intense book and one I'd recommend to YA readers. I'm looking forward to reading more of Anna's books. There is an underage drinking scene and some mild language in the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an oddly realistic mermaid tale, May 13, 2012
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This review is from: Wrecked (Hardcover)
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
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite as strong as I'd hoped, May 3, 2012
This review is from: Wrecked (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. She says she's fine when she's so very clearly not, and she allows her own guilt over the accident to keep her from fully expressing the extent of her pain to those who have already acted as judge and jury and found her guilty of the deaths of her friends. We can't help but want for her to just once release the stranglehold she has on her emotions and prove to us and all her naysayers that she's not as empty as she appears.

Though the premise is certainly a supernatural one, the paranormal element actually plays a very minor role in the overall story. Majority of our time is spent with Miranda as she struggles to cope with the violent turn her life has taken, and when Christian finally does enter the picture, we learn almost nothing about the watery world from which he emerges. We're given nothing but the very basics about the Down Below and its tentative truce with the Up Above, it's therefore difficult to sympathize with Christian's plight when we know so little about how his decisions will affect his life overall. The romance doesn't really begin until about halfway through and then progresses very quickly, leaving us to play catch up as Miranda seems to shift gears from grief and loneliness to magnetic attraction with little hesitation. Those lovers of romance will also likely be disappointed in the conclusion of this story, the traditional happy ending bypassed in favor of something a little different.

Overall, Wrecked is well-written and lacks predictability especially in the closing pages, however, both the character development and world building could have been stronger to help us as readers wade through the torrent of grief by tossing us a life line to latch onto and hold tight.

Rating: 3/5
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating and enchanting, May 1, 2012
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This review is from: Wrecked (Hardcover)
Like so many people have agreed, the cover is hot, And I don't disagree with that! But the story is intriguing too, one that grips you from the first page to the end,

Whym Island is a tiny island off the south coast of South Carolina that may as well be a tourist trap, especially with their "Whym Island: Some Things Must Be Seen to Be Believed" tagline. And that's a philosophy that's especially scoffed at by year-rounders, the ones who have boats and know the tides like the back of their hands. Which is why no one on tiny Whym Island 100% believes that it was an accident that 17-year-old Miranda drove her boat into a shipwreck that killed four of her friends.

Losing four friends is insurmountable enough, but Miranda, an orphan raised by her grandmother, alternates between feeling like she got the worst luck in the life-lottery drawing and just feeling numb, She knows it was an accident. She knows it was an accident ... and yet ...

Getting into Miranda's head, the reader learns about the mysterious boy who rescued her from the water, who is both everything she feared and wished for. Deftly weaving dialogue with setting with heart, the author weaves an enchanted--and doomed--world you'll be only too into exploring. Highly recommended for teen paranormal fantasy fans!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Annoying Drama + Mermaids, September 1, 2012
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This review is from: Wrecked (Kindle Edition)
As I read a few YA novels a month, I figured I should start reviewing them. This is my unfortunate first. Spoilerish:

Miranda is another athletic, preppy, pretty, rich girl living in some sort of Californian wonderland of underage drinking and choking privilege. But her parents are dead. Okay. Wow me. Nope? Dang. Now, despite my otherwise scathing review, I will say this: this book is sad. I genuinely felt bad for her, her survivor's guilt, and her suffering at the hands of her classmates. Aside from that, however, Miranda is pretty typical. While she wasn't as selfish as many YA novel leads, I felt like she was sort of detached from the whole situation. Boat crashes. She's saved by some mysterious guy. Most of her friends die. Her boyfriend, Nicejaw Popcollar, is in a coma. Everyone hates her.

The love interest is a merman (betwixtman, he's got legs) named Christian. He is squeaky clean and BORING. Everyone in the Down Below is at the mercy of a heinous tart named Sephie. Sephie is a sea witch, and controls the tides. She also enjoys drowning humans and keeping their souls, and it is also the jolly hobby of a few other sea creatures. They are a comforting people, worthy of Disney choruses and intense merchandising. So, he saves Miranda. Sephie gets mad, as she wants Miranda's soul. Go kill the girl, she says, or I'll kill you.

Alright. It moves VERY slowly. Sometimes, that is not bad. Instead of developing characters or the romance itself, however, it features Miranda sulking and her socialite Grandmother being icy. Her and Christian barely interact until over halfway through the book. I was horribly bored. I just wanted the book to be over. At around 60% I found myself glancing at my completion on my kindle over and over, and had to put it down often to avoid skimming. There is a VERY rushed climax, and an unhappy ending. Having an unhappy ending does not make drama, and a good book. It made me mad because I suffered through the last half of it, and I didn't even get a satisfying end. Not something I wished I had spent money on. She could have done a lot, exploring the lore of the mermaid world, throwing in more characters, upping the wonder factor of their existence. Nope. Just. Angst.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mermaid Fantasy With a Realistic Twist, June 18, 2012
This review is from: Wrecked (Hardcover)
3.5 stars

Mermaids, mermaids, mermaids...they are everywhere, but I can't complain. Anna Davies' new tale with the tagline of `some things have to be believed to be seen' isn't quite as enchanting as most mermaid stories would seem to be, but that is what makes it stand out and work so well.

From the first page, we meet fun-loving, realistic Miranda. She's a girl with a great life, despite losing her parents as a child. She lives on the idyllic island of Whym with a wealthy grandma and a great younger brother. She has great friends and a wonderful boyfriend, but small town superstitions run rampant, and when a tragic `accident' causes the death of half of her group, Miranda is devastated.

This mermaid story never truly feels like it's a mermaid story. Sure, there's some alluring mermaid and betwitxmen (never heard of them before) lore, but it's more about Miranda coping in the aftermath of great loss. I could be a little biased here, but I believe the greatest strength that Wrecked has, is that in light of all the fantastical elements, the story comes across as quite realistic; it seems more like a contemporary read than a fantasy read.

All in all, Wrecked has a lot of great things going for it. Miranda is a strong, even though she may see herself as weak; she's easy to relate to, even though she's experienced trauma that few ever will. The other, more minor characters are all presented in a very skewed, one dimensional way, but it still works out.

Miranda's savior and the mermaid element in the story, Christian, doesn't have quite the depth that is needed to really connect with him; and he brings in that insta-love aspect that so many YA books have, but I got over that easily. Because when he's around Miranda, he changes her, helping her move past all the terrible things in her life, and I can get behind a guy (or betwixtmen) who can do that.

Wrecked was an easy, enjoyable read, with some new (at least to me) mermaid lore. It's not the most inventive tale or something full of constant action, but the emotional punch it packed was surprisingly realistic and effective. Regardless of the fact that I really did enjoy it, I have to say that I hated the ended. It felt far too rushed and anticlimactic. Aside from that though, it's a mermaid story that even fantasy haters will enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, June 9, 2012
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This review is from: Wrecked (Hardcover)
(Source: I borrowed a copy of this book.)
"Whym Island: some things have to be seen to be believed"

17-year-old Miranda is looking forward to chilling out with her friends over the summer before they go their separate ways to college, when disaster strikes.

Driving her boat home with her friends on board, (they live on a small island) a storm sets in suddenly, and her boat gets hit by lightning. Thrown overboard by her boyfriend in an effort to save her, Miranda is drowning when she is saved by the mysterious Christian. Unfortunately though her friends aren't as lucky, and with three friends dead, herself and two others injured and her boyfriend in a coma, the small island community where Miranda lives turns on her.

Struggling just to get herself out of bed in the morning, Miranda is trying and failing to come to terms with what has happened, until she once again meets Christian.

Christian is a `Betwixtman' - kind of like a merman, but he has legs. Christian just couldn't let Miranda drown when he saw the accident, and now Sephie - the witch of the sea is angry. Christian has deprived her of Miranda's soul, and she wants it. If Christian doesn't kill Miranda and bring Sephie her soul within 7 days, then Sephie will take his soul instead. But can Christian really kill Miranda though? Especially when he finds himself falling in love with her.

This is my first mermaid-type book, and I really enjoyed it! It kind-of reminded me a little of `the little mermaid' (the Disney version), with Christian being given a time frame to retrieve what the evil sea-witch wanted. I really liked this storyline though, and it was believable and interesting.

I felt so sorry for poor Miranda. She had had such an awful experience. Not only had three of her friends died, two more been injured, and her boyfriend was brain-dead and in a coma, but she had also been the one driving. Even though the accident wasn't her fault, the entire school and island treated her like a murderer. She was treated like a total outcast, repeatedly told not to bother people or even look at people, and it was made clear on a daily basis that she wasn't wanted at her school. This really pushed Miranda to her limits, and her grief, depression, and feeling of helplessness was clearly evident.

Christian felt an instant attraction to Miranda, which didn't fade with time. Why he ever agreed to a deal with Sephie I don't know because it was obvious to me that he would never be able to kill Miranda when he previously had been unable to stand back and watch her drown. He did his best to help Miranda rather than anything, and ultimately lost in his dealings with the sea witch.

As much as I liked this book ,I did have a couple of niggles with the story, for a start the blurb began with `Secrets of the sea have never been sexier than this' but in truth there was actually very little romance at all, with the characters only really kissing twice. I also found it quite strange that Miranda claimed she `only felt safe whilst swimming' when she had nearly drowned, and three of her friends actually had drowned!

Ultimately though I enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to anyone who likes young adult paranormal romance. I read this book in one sitting and wanted more!
9 out of 10.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A FANTASTIC BOOK AND A MUST READ!, June 6, 2012
This review is from: Wrecked (Hardcover)
Review 7 out of 5

First off, I would like to say that I LOVED the cover. It caught my eye with it's simplicity, but I think it suits this book beautifully. Secondly, I absolutely LOVED this story. I find it rare to find books about mer-folk, so to find this one made me ecstatic!
Miranda is a character that I wish I could just hug! Her life has been one big tragedy after another. Instead of the support of the community after a terrible accident, she finds herself being isolated and lonely. Then she meets Christian.
Christian is a fantastic character, and I could so have a huge book crush on him! If it wasn't for the fact that he is a betwixt man, and lives in the sea, he would be perfect boyfriend material!
However, it's Selphie the sea witch who scares me! She's not a nice lady at all!
This is Anna Davies's first novel, and it was a fantastically written piece of YA fiction that took The Little Mermaid story, twisted it and gave it a completely modern and fresh look. There are a few expletives dotted in the story, but it does not detract from the overall flow of the tale. I will certainly be on the look out for more of her books in the future. I highly recommend this YA novel if you are looking for romance/adventure with a fishy tale!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wrecked, May 27, 2012
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This review is from: Wrecked (Hardcover)
I was a little bit blown away I have read so many books , but this one was awesome , a little love and romance a little mystery I loved it bring on the next one
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Wrecked
Wrecked by Anna Davies (Hardcover - May 1, 2012)
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