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Like Moonlight at Low Tide (Nicole Quigley)

Product Details:
Reading level: YA
pages: 256
publisher: Zondervan (September 11, 2012)
ISBN: 9780310723592
Source: ARC from NetGalley
Read it in 2 days



Like Moonlight at Low Tide: Sometimes the Current Is the Only Thing That Saves You For Missy Keiser, returning to Anna Maria Island, Florida, means two things: her mother made another poor decision with men, and Missy will have to reenter a world where she’s known as “Messy,” a social pariah who dared to have a crush on Sam King, the most popular boy in school.

But much has changed in the three years she’s been away. Missy’s next-door neighbor is no longer an elderly woman but Josh, an intriguing boy who seems genuinely interested in her. At school, she’s surprised to find few people remember who she once was. And any remaining taunts of Messy are silenced when Sam King gives her his nod of approval.

Just as things seem to be perfect, Josh’s sudden distance, her mother’s latest relationship implosion, and her brother’s strange behavior threaten to ruin it all. Missy is forced to decide between the boy she’s always wanted, a boy who is intent on trying to save her, and the brother she’s known all her life. And her decision could have consequences she can never undo.

 


Oh my. Two words: tragic and encouraging.

 
I had no idea what this was going to be about. None. I seriously thought it might be a mermaid tale based on the cover and title. (I was wrong!) Turns out, this is a contemporary fiction book—which is not my usual genre of choice. But, since it was set in my home state of Florida I thought I would give it a try. So glad I did.

 
The characters are great. Missy and Josh are so layered that I was instantly sucked in to their stories. All of the characters are flawed, and that’s what makes them believable. Missy comes from a dysfunctional family (understatement) and she’s trying to not be dragged down by them. I could go on and on about Missy and how she represents so many lonely girls out there… the ones that are desperate to belong somewhere. But I won’t. That would give away too much of her story. I can say that she thinks Sam King is her answer. Oh, how sad and wrong she is. Through tragic circumstances she learns that Sam is just Sam—a teenage guy—and not her savior.

 
Then there is Josh. He’s quiet, observant, and protective of Missy—but why? You don’t really get an insight into Josh’s head, but I enjoyed his presence throughout the book. You always had the sense he was lurking in the shadows—like a superhero of some sort waiting to swoop in and save the day.

The plot is not straightforward at all. For the majority of the story it seems like it’s about Missy finding who she is, but then it takes a turn. You go from typical teenage story to a story of redeeming grace. That was not typical. It wasn’t overly done or being shoved down your throat. It was subtle, and I felt it added a poignant message that so many people need to hear.

Because there is that “turn” towards the end, this book won’t be for everyone. What I found a pleasant surprise might turn the next reader off. It’s hard to say. What I can say though is that Like Moonlight at Low Tide is a fresh insight into the loneliness that plagues so many people in our society.
 
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