First Review: Sea by Heidi R. Kling

Heidi R. Kling
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: June 10, 2010
Pages: 336

Rating: 5 Stars

Summary: (from Goodreads)

Haunted by recurring nightmares since her mother’s disappearance over the Indian ocean three years before, fifteen-year old California girl Sienna Jones reluctantly travels with her psychiatrist father’s volunteer team to six-months post-tsunami Indonesia where she meets the scarred and soulful orphaned boy, Deni, who is more like Sea than anyone she has ever met.

She knows they can’t be together, so why can’t she stay away from him? And what about her old best friend-turned-suddenly-hot Spider who may or may not be waiting for her back home? And why won’t her dad tell her the truth about her mother’s plane crash? The farther she gets from home, the closer she comes to finding answers.

And Sea’s real adventure begins.

Wow. What a stunning debut from author Heidi R. Kling. I heard about Sea during the Fall of 2009 and have been anxiously awaiting its release day, and it lived up to my expectation. Sea was beautifully written, full of emotions, and deeply touching.

Sea expertly deals with loss, love and life, all in one book. While reading Sea, I constantly found myself thinking what I would do in the characters situations and wondering what a struggle it is for some people to make it day to day. 

What I really enjoyed about Sea was the characters. All the characters, everyone from Sienna, to Deni, to Spider, were so real and well written. Each character was there own distinct person who had their own issues that they had to deal with throughout the book. For me, I loved Sienna. Her emotions were so real, I felt I could truly connect with her. When Sienna experienced sadness, I felt sad; when she felt joy, I was happy. I love when a book can make you connect with a character on a personal level and in Sea, that is truly what happened. 

What I truly loved about this book was its setting and the topics it dealt with. Heidi truly recreates what it would be like living in Indonesia after the 2006 tsunami. You truly get a feel for Indonesian cultures and traditions thru Sea. Reading this book made me want to hop on a plane and go visit this country to see the beauty for myself. While reading this book, I also realized how catastrophic the tsunami in Indonesia was in 2006 and the struggles and loss that the people had to go through and it deeply saddened me. After reading this, I wished I could have gone back in time to help with the relief efforts in that country to less the pain of characters such as Deni. 

Sea is one of those books that I know will stay in my mind forever. The powerful messages of loss, love and hope are messages that are crucial to living. As Sea reminds us we must Dare to Love and Dare to Live. 

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