Thursday, 18 July 2013

Review: Surfacing by Nora Raleigh Baskin


Title: Surfacing
Author: Nora Raleigh Baskin
Author Info: Website|Twitter
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Publisher
Publication Date: 4th July 2013

Tell Me About It
Though only in year ten, Maggie Paris is a star on the school swimming team. She also has an uncanny, almost magical ability to draw out people’s deepest truths, even when they don’t intend to share them. It’s reached a point where most of her classmates, all except her best friend, now avoid her, and she’s taken to giving herself away every chance she gets to an unavailable – and ungrateful – popular boy from the wrestling team, just to prove she still exists. Even Maggie's parents seem wary of her as the deep secret at the heart of their devastated family slowly unravels and Maggie learns a further truth about the circumstances surrounding her sister's death.

A lyrical and deeply moving portrait of grief, blame and forgiveness, and of finding the courage to confront your ghosts – one truth at a time.
My Thoughts
Just as Maggie is able to draw out other peoples deepest truths, Surfacing had a way of drawing you out of your world and into the world of the book.  The beginning of Surfacing was compelling and captivating and I found myself quickly wanting to know more about Maggie and why she has this effect on others.

However as I read further my opinions changed, I felt that Surfacing was a bit disjointed, changing what time frame it was in with no apparent clue or hint to the change, going from present, to past, then back to present.  The chapters were numbered, and occasionally we get a chapter from her sister, but frequently throughout the chapters we are suddenly thrown in a memory of Maggie's about the events that lead up to the death of her sister.

After finishing Surfacing I'm not too sure what to think.  I think the story had a good plot to it, but the constant backwards and forwards between time lines confused things, and the story itself didn't seem to flow correctly.  I would have enjoyed it more if the story was either told in a more linear way or clearly labelled so you knew what time frame you were in, failing that, then I would have liked more focus to have been on Maggie's ability to draw out others truths, expanding on this and finding out why this happens and how.

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