Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Riptide - Lindsey Scheibe

Riptide book cover
Riptide by Lindsey Schiebe
Publisher: Flux Books
Publication Date: May 8, 2013
Source/Format: Netgalley (Thanks Flux!) || e-galley
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

For Grace Parker, surfing is all about the ride and the moment. Everything else disappears. She can forget that her best friend, Ford Watson, has a crush on her that she can’t reciprocate. She can forget how badly she wants to get a surf scholarship to UC San Diego. She can forget the pressure of her parents’ impossibly high expectations.

When Ford enters Grace into a surf competition—the only way she can impress the UCSD surfing scouts—she has one summer to train and prepare. Will she gain everything she’s ever wanted or lose the only things that ever mattered? (from Goodreads)

There are so many reasons why Riptide could have been a book I fell head over heels in love with. It's about a girl who surfs, and surfing has always been a sport that fascinates me. The girl appears to be experiencing the problems of a typical teen - dealing with her parents, chasing her dreams, falling in love. While Riptide's story includes all of these things, the execution simply fell flat for me and I finished feeling slightly disappointed in what I'd just read.

What I Liked

Surfing was a big part of the novel. Like I already mentioned, I love surfing (even though I think I'm too much of a chicken to try it myself). The way that the sport is woven into the novel as part of Grace's life is really well-done, and it's so clear that Grace is dedicated to the sport that she loves. The best parts for me, however, were the descriptions of what it was like for Grace when she was surfing; it made me feel like I was right on the board along with her.

Grace's determination to follow her dreams was admirable. There's a lot of opposition in Grace's life when it comes to her dreams of surfing, particularly from her parents. I really admire the fact that she persisted in doing what she wanted to do, what she knew she loved, in spite of everything.At the start, she was pretty hesitant to disobey them, but that just held her back. It was nice to see her finally fighting for what she wanted, instead of going along with what they wanted from her.

Ford (and his parents). Ford's story is actually told in bits and pieces here and there, since the POV shifts from Grace to him for some chapters. He was really intriguing, especially with his interest in immigration law and helping people he knew. I would have loved to read more about this particular part of the story. (Also, his parents are included because they are basically warm and wonderful, especially his mother.)

What I Didn't Like

There are so many different things going on all at once. There's Grace's quest to enter and place in the surf competition. There's the matter of Grace's issues with her father. Grace's issues with her mother. Ford's dealing with something in his past that haunts him. Ford's internship at the firm where Grace's father works. Ford and Grace's friendship-more than friends dance. Other romantic interests. I mean, if these things had been properly woven together, I feel like I might have enjoyed the story more. But I felt like it was pretty scattered and all over the place, especially since a lot of them were either too easily concluded or never concluded at all.

The multiple point-of-views didn't work. While I enjoyed reading from Ford's perspective, I wish it had been fleshed out more. There definitely wasn't an equal balance to the book, as it was primarily about Grace. Ford's parts ended up being very sporadic and jarring and just out of place to me.

Grace has the worst parents. I absolutely hated Grace's parents. Sure, they had little moments where I started to soften towards them, but in the end, they were simply horrible people. Her father's behavior was just nuts, but it was her mother who I hated even more as the book ended.

The romance. You know, to me, if they'd just both been honest with each other from the start, they could have avoided all the potholes in their budding relationship. I suppose that was going to add another dimension to Grace's situation, but it seriously backfired for this reader.

I really wanted to like Riptide more than I did, but it inevitably was a book that disappointed me. I couldn't connect with the characters to the level where I truly cared about what became of them. The story had too many plot threads, and the execution just didn't work when it came to weaving them together. While it had a lot of potential, Riptide was essentially a novel that I was disappointed in.

16 comments:

  1. I think I will end up skipping Riptide, for me - the relationships and romance really has to work and I also loathe the whole non communication thing.

    ALSO.

    I think you should read Raw Blue if you haven't already - it's Aussie YA about a girl who surfs and so much more. Actually, it could probably be new adult. Either way it is fantastic, but I kind of feel like you've read it. I don't remember, hah!

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    1. I've heard of Raw Blue! I have yet to read it (thanks to my ever-growing TBR pile), but you can be sure that I intend to. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  2. I have to say I'm relieved that you felt disappointed about this book too. It had so much potential but... I'm not sure what happened. Well, I do. You are right... TOO MUCH HAPPENENED and the story was very uneven between the two characters.

    Good point about Ford's parents though. Loved that portion of the book, and I so badly wanted Grace to confide in his mom.

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    1. I was totally waiting for Grace to confide in Ford's mom (who is AMAZING). Too bad it didn't happen!

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  3. I think I'll skip this one. I'm not fond of multiple POVs where one view is not given the same weight.

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    1. It made me sad that it felt so unbalanced! I'm actually fairly certain I would have liked this more if I'd gotten more of Ford's story in the mix.

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  4. Sorry it disappointed. I'm still not sure if I should read this book or not... I mean, it sounds like it has a great potential to blow me away. I love reading about surfing (not to actually surf. I'm just to clumsy LOL) and I am crazy about summer romance books. They are always the best!!
    But I'm kind of worried about the multiple POVs that don't work and about the romance..
    I have to read a few more review before I decide.
    Thank you for sharing your honest opinion! I love your blog.

    Sapir @ Diary of a Wimpy Teen Girl

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    1. Don't get me wrong - there was DEFINITELY potential when it came to this book. I just feel like it wasn't what I hoped for it to be, and that was sad.

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  5. I think surfing looks pretty cool, though I don't think I'm brave enough to ever try it myself! It's a shame this book wasn't as good as it could have been. Multiple points of view don't always work for me, and I'm not convinced that the romance will do it for me either. To echo April's comment, you should check out Raw Blue if you haven't already. That book is brilliant! :)

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    1. I always find surfing cool, but I'm not brave or coordinated enough to even think about attempting it! As I told April, I definitely intend to read Raw Blue. It's incredible, based on what I've heard about it!

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  6. It's so funny, but your reaction to surfing is the same as mine. I wouldn't ever do it myself, but I'm fascinated by it and I often enjoy books and films where it's featured.

    I was uneasy about the book for a few reasons, though, some of which were confirmed by your review. I'm sorry this ended up being a disappointment, but thank you for your honest reactions. Always helpful to know what you're getting into.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. I always admire the people who have the guts and skills to surf. It scares me though, but I definitely enjoy seeing other people do it.

      I'm sorry I had to confirm your uneasiness! It made me sad as well to end up not enjoying this one as much as I thought I would.

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  7. Oh, I like that this is about surfing since I haven't read any with that sport (at least, when its a major part of the story). I don't like it when things are all scattered & there's too many story arcs to follow though. And BOO for sucky parents! Great review tho!

    Vivian
    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

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    1. I loved that this was about surfing too! It's always been such a fascinating sport to me, and it was even better that it was a girl surfer. However, the story was overall very disappointing.

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  8. Well darn! I was interested in this one, because I also love the idea of a surf element. It sounds so summery! I love to connect with characters, though, and you mentioned that you just could not get there with them. That's really disappointing! Multiple points of view have to be done really well, and it sounds like it just wasn't in this case. That's too bad. And honestly, bad parents always turn me off. I think I'll skip this one. Thanks for your review!

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    1. It is quite summery, as a matter of fact! But it just wasn't the book for me, especially because I didn't find any way at all to connect to Grace.

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