Publisher: Flux on May 8, 2013
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Grace has one summer to prove she’s good enough.
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?
“The ability to stand up for one’s self is just as important as the ability to stand up for others.”
“’The only person who can make the decision to help you is you. And the only place to put your trust is God.’”
Favorite Character: Mama Watson. She’s Ford mother, and she was just such a wise person throughout the novel. Although I don’t really talk about her in the rest of this review, she was very inspiring with her words of wisdom over the course of the novel.
“I stretch out my legs, enjoying the hot sand against my calves.”
My Musings: For Grace Parker, surfing is life. All she wants is to get a surfing scholarship to UC San Diego; too bad that’s not what her parent want. They want her to be a good little minion and go off to an Ivy League school. But Grace Parker has got drive, and when her best friend Ford signs her up for a surfing competition, she knows that she’s got to kick butt—one of the judges is UCSD’s surfing coach.
I really liked this book. I think what I liked best about it was its local color. I really liked the way that the character talked, with all of their surfer slang and such. It was really fun trying to figure out what the heck they were talking about sometimes. It really gave the characters a sense of uniqueness. That, paired with Ford’s Hispanic roots shining through, I felt as if the characters were honest to God people who existed out there somewhere. They all seemed so real.
Grace was a girl that I could personally relate to. She had so much pressure on her to be perfect—perfect grades, perfect clothes, perfect schools to apply to. Grace was a very intelligent girl, and she also had a drive to reach the goals that she set for herself—not the ones that her parents set for her. Her determination was something that I was constantly admiring throughout the novel. Although she could come off as mean sometimes, it was completely justified, in my opinion, due to her family life. I couldn’t imagine having to go through what she did at home and still have that much of a backbone. She was truly a great protagonist.
Ford, well, Ford had to grow on me. I have no idea what it was, but I just couldn’t warm up to him at first. But eventually, I did. And I’m glad that I did. He was a hilarious character. He had a great family, and he really cared about Grace. Although at times I was screaming at the book for him to stop being such an idiot, I loved him none the less, and I’m glad that he finally manned up enough to get the girl.
This novel deals with a touchy subject. Domestic abuse. Not necessarily physical, but also the mental kind. That gave the novel a reality to exist in, and it came with a heavy dose of feels over the course of the novel. However, things ended as they should have, and I admire the characters for getting through it.
I really enjoyed the surfing aspect of this novel. I haven’t ever read a novel centered on surfing. It was cool to see the sport and learn about it. I went from knowing absolutely nothing about surfing to knowing close to nothing about it. But it was fun nonetheless, and it was a great physical metaphor to Grace’s life.
The only thing that I did not enjoy about this novel was the alternating points of view. At first, I was very confused, because I was not expecting it, and there was not heading or anything that said that the point of view had changed. Dual POV in some cases is totally cool, but for others, it just takes away from the story. It’s unfortunate, but it’s the truth. Regardless, it was a good novel, and I would recommend it as a great summer read, if you don’t mind the heaviness of bad parents and such. Riptide was a moderately fun summer novel full of chasing your dreams, falling in love, and dealing with high expectations.