When high-school senior Noah Gallagher and his adopted teenage sister, Lo, go to live with their grandmother in her island cottage for the summer, they don’t expect much in the way of adventure. Noah has landed a marine biology internship, and Lo wants to draw and paint, perhaps even to vanquish her struggles with bulimia. But then things take a dramatic turn for them both when Noah mistakenly tries to save a mysterious girl from drowning. This dreamlike, suspenseful story—deftly told from multiple points of view—dives deeply into selkie folklore while examining the fluid nature of love and family.

I hate having to do this, but I just can't go on with this one. Tides is the first book I've DNF'd in 2016, and I can't say I'm happy about it. This book has been on my bookself for a while, and as I'm going through a 'read everything' phase, I decided to pick this one up.

Tides is about selkies, and if you're not aware of what they are, they're basically mythical creatures that are seals that shed their skin and take a human form. I was really getting ready for an exciting adventure with some interesting stories. 

Reality is boring.

When I shut the book at 25%, I was very sad. I just had no patience for it anymore. I was reading nothing but stories from a grandma and characters I couldn't give two tosses about, which sucks for a character-driven reader. I found that there was too much going on for this story, and it had no need for so many storylines packed into it. Most of them aren't even needed to make it interesting. The story of Noah meeting Mara alone would have been enough, but to add all additional side arcs in there? Nah. It didn't work for me. The way it was weaved together didn't work for me, either. I felt like some characters drowned out the others, and when you're invested in one but not the others, it all amounts to very little.

I also got lost with all the POVs involved in the story. There wasn't any need for all of them, which also comes back to the packed stories in there, and I just lost track with what was going on and who was who. Personally, I would have preferred it to have been just Noah and Mara's point of view. I found that her story blended with Noah's dream of marine biology would have been plenty. But as it was, with other stories I cared very little about, I got bored easily. Such a shame, as I felt at the start it had so much potential. Betsy Cornwell is a great writer. I liked her style. The plot, unfortunately, not so much. 

Another thing that was off-putting was the characters. I apologise but I didn't really care about anyone. Noah was dull and didn't really stick in my mind so he's quite forgettable, Lo I found a bit infuriating and everyone else just faded into the dull background. I shut the book when there was an argument and I just rolled my eyes. I wish the characters would have been fleshed out more. I would be interested to read about Mara, her family and why she does what she does, but I don't really have the patience for it. 

Noah's family just didn't interest me, and all of the additional drama was just irritating to me. Stop with the arguments and the secrets. Enough.

I hate to be so damn negative, but it's the truth. I will give another Betsy Cornwell book a try in the future, I like her writing and her descriptions, I just wasn't blown away by the characters or multiple plots. Better luck next time for me!

I hope this review isn't coming across as harsh, but I do wish to be honest. I'll say this though, it's not that it's a bad book, it's just not for me. By all means, give this one a try, but I personally didn't take to it. If you know me at all, you'll be aware that I don't have a lot of patience for slow books, so I had to DNF it. If you do pick it up, let me know how you get on! I hope you enjoy it.

Have you ever read any books about mermaids, selkies or any other mythical creature of the sea? We'd love to read more, so we're welcome to suggestions! You can either leave a comment below or find us at any of the following social media: