Seven Tears into the Sea Paperback – Apr 1 2005
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From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up–Gwen, 17, has returned to a small beach community seven years after the scandal that forced her family to flee. Now she's spending the summer working at her grandmother's inn and hoping to put the past behind her. The very first morning she's there, however, she meets Jesse, a boy who claims he already knows her, and knows what happened all those years ago. Overcome by her attraction to him, Gwen spends more and more time with him and realizes that he has secrets he isn't telling her. Her grandmother's tales of selkies foreshadow what is to come, and readers will probably guess the outcome long before Gwen does. If they can get past the sentimental title that belies the real story, the romance and mystery will keep them reading until the very end. Expect this to be popular where retold myths and fairy tales are in demand.–Ginny Collier, Dekalb County Public Library, Chamblee, GA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr. 7-10. Unlike Farley's middle-grade Phantom Stallion series, her first YA novel is not equestrian in theme. Her focus, however, is still on a transcendent bond between a girl and an animal--in this case, a sea lion selkie. When Gwen and her parents abruptly move away from their coastal family seat, her clairvoyant grandmother predicts that forces "no mortal can imagine and no female can resist" will draw her back. Sure enough, when Gwen, 17, returns for a summer job, she falls for exotic wanderer Jesse and finds herself immersed in a modern, California version of a Scottish selkie myth. It takes time for her to acknowledge Jesse's sea lion nature (perhaps too long, considering his taste for raw bait); eventually, though, Gwen accepts his alien qualities along with the tragic knowledge that their time together is fleeting. Farley's numerous supporting characters and subplots lend more complication than meaningful depth, but Gwen's convincing, contemporary voice, by turns resolutely practical and head-over-heels for a guy who "kisses like an ocean god," will draw many teens into one of folklore's lesser-known beauty-and-the-beast romances. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
good book, though my friend read it and did not like it. You will probably hate it or love it
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Now she is back, helping her grandmother at the inn overlooking the very spot where she encountered the mysterious boy in the midnight surf. Was he real; is he human or something else? This is a well-crafted story with believable characters and a smoothly flowing plot. It reminds me of Kotuku by Deborah Savage, another YA story I greatly enjoyed. This would be an excellent addition to any library YA collection or as a gift for someone who likes light fantasy. The ending invites a continuance.
In Seven Tears Into the Sea, Ms. Farley tells the tale of a selkie boy and his lady love. What I most enjoyed about this story was the writing - it flows with a lyrical quality making the story sometimes feel sad and other worldly, yet there were times that were light and funny. Her characters are realistically portrayed although there is a paranormal element. The descriptions of the beach, the town, and the bed and breakfast where Gwen is helping out at during the summer, really give it a relaxed feel but at the same time there are so many moments where it feels whimsical - almost like a modern day fairytale.
The story is told through Gwen's perspective so you only get to see and feel what she does. I wish we would have learned a little bit more of Jesse - this would be my only complaint. But I was still pleased with the story as told through Gwen's eyes. The relationship that forms between them is sigh worthy and even tear inducing (on my part).
All in all, this was a lovely story. Ms. Farley masterfully uses the selkie myths and interweaves them into this story - making it a poignant yet mesmerizing read. I found it to be a very refreshing, unique and the perfect summer read.
I decided, not long ago, to re-read it, and once I did, I picked up so many small facts and witty one-liners that I hadn't picked up on before.
This book is so jam-packed with clear details that it's almost impossible to read them and let them all sink into your mind the first time. Also, in addition to frequent and helpful details, Terri Farley also wrote this book with a lot of similes, metaphors, and symbolism adding key elements to the plot and pace of the book, as well as shaping the main characters into what makes them so peacefully pleasant and so horrifyingly horrendous in their actions.
Like a few other reviewers, I had also read the PHANTOM STALLION series prior to receiving this book. However, I don't think Terri Farley's writing has ever shone more brilliantly or creatively than with this one piece of work.
This book is, above all else, a romance, and should be treated thusly. It isn't a cute, fluffy summer blanket read, which I discovered the first time I read it. I mean, sure, it's set on the beach during the summer and all of that, but I was pleasantly surprised (although admittedly a little disappointed) at the ending. It was definitely a far-cry from how I thought it would end. Hopefully, one day in the future, Terri Farley will continue the story of Gwen and her love interest Jesse, whose mystical secret defined her childhood.
Anyway, I would absolutely recommend this book. Even if beach scenes aren't quite your thing, who knows? Maybe you'll like it for the characters and the quick-paced plot. I know I did.
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