Early Review: Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs

Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs (YA)
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers (Boomsbury)
Release Date: May 10th, 2011
Review copy courtesy of Book It Forward Tours

Synopsis: Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home; continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark; and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kai, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water’s temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her—and that the entire ocean’s future hangs in the balance.

I wasn’t sure about this one to start. Don’t get me wrong, Tempest Maguire is charming, and I love the California setting (ocean, beach boys, surfin’ hotties, oh my!), but it had its foot firmly in teenland. It is a YA novel, after all, so that’s ok, but sometimes my 34 year old self has trouble going quite that far back. Then of course you have the boyfriend/girlfriend on-again/off-again angst and the ubiquitous love triangle. There’s Mark, the boy that Tempest has known for years, comfortable, protective, and oh-so-safe. Then we meet Kai, who rises out of the ocean like the otherworldly hottie that, of course, he is. Instant attraction between Tempest and Kai ensues, Mark spits fire in jealousy, and we’re off!
Tempest is turning 17, and for most of us, that means, usually, another year of high school (hopefully relatively painless), and enjoying dating and friends. For Tempest, it means she’s grown gills and may or may not be turning into a mermaid. She also has to make the decision to go mermaid and take to the ocean, or stay human…or does she? When Kai gets pulled under the ocean by a sea witch, Tempest goes after him, and this is where the book really took off for me!

When I was 19, I went to Cozumel, Mexico, and remember how amazing the water was, a whole other world of beauty unfolding underneath me. I had no trouble imagining the wonder that Tempest felt as she descended the ocean depths and discovered an entire underwater city, full of beings that she’d only imagined! Tempest Rising is told in first person from Tempest’s POV, and the author writes a relatively believable 16-going-on-17 voice. Teens will love this book, because, let’s face it, what teen girl wouldn’t want to A) Live on the beach in California (in a house with lots of glass, better to enjoy the ocean views) B)Have a former pro surfer dad that now has a highly successful surf and clothing line C)Have lots of hottie surfer guy friends (with two of them fighting over you) and D) Yes, you’d have gills, but…underwater cities! Awesome tattoos that appear by themselves! I realize I sound flip, but Tempest Rising is chock full of stuff that teen girls will adore, and I’ll be honest, I enjoyed too! This, er, not-teen girl had loads of fun with Tempest’s imaginative story, and also the pleasure of reading a novel where there wasn’t a werewolf or vampire in sight! Blasphemy, I know, and while I loves me some were and vamp fun, sometimes a break is nice, and Tempest Rising was a refreshing teen fantasy!
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  1. Thanks for the review. I was wondering about this one. It's been stuck on my considering-to-read shelf for quite a while but now i think i'll finally move it over to the to-read shelf.

    -Mocha from A Cupcake and A Latte.

  2. Not sure if you have kids, but the cover (and even plot to some extent), can't help but remind me of Barbie in a Mermaid Tale – right down to the pink tale and tattoos. See picture –> http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_jxyG9pX1DSY/TQi8QW15BNI/AAAAAAAAChk/rZODnVL2TL8/s1600/9781742481364.jpg Not sure I can get past that. 🙂

  3. Thanks for the review! I am receiving a copy of this soon for a blog tour the publisher has set up and I wasn't really sure what to expect. I initially thought I'd sign up because it's a debut novel but the premise didn't grab at me. I think I'm exited now though 🙂


  4. Melissa (My World...in words and pages)

    Great review! I have to say I know the feeling of reading books and just not able to get that far back there with the young ones anymore. lol. I'm 35 and most of them work for me, but from time to time I have to work at it. 🙂 thanks!

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