Title: Chasing at the Surface
Author: Sharon Mentyka
Publisher: WestWinds Press
Publication date: October 4th 2016!
Page count: 216 (paperback)
Age recommendation: 10
How I came across the book: A BOOK TOUR/REVIEW REQUEST!!!!!!!!! 😀 Thank you so much for this awesome opportunity! ❤
Sometimes finding your way home takes more than courage. It takes a leap of faith.
After her mother unexpectedly leaves home, twelve-year old Marisa struggles with her feelings of loss and abandonment just as a pod of nineteen orca whales – mothers with their new calves following a run of chum salmon – become trapped in the enclosed inlet near her Northwest home. Marisa’s journey to help the whales find their way home brings her to a new understanding of the assaults humans have had on nature, and the complicated meaning of family and home. ~ Goodreads
So I tend to avoid sad books because I always end up, well, sad. And for that reason, I was a little nervous about reading this book. But because I was brave, I forged through and read it! And you know what-I was surprised! Yes, I know what you’re thinking-‘The great and mighty Sue? The one that knows all? Was surprised?!‘ And I come now from my mighty throne of OTPs, ships, and fanfiction (aka trash cans) to answer your cries of worry and confusion, I was indeed, surprised. Unlike *cough* My Life Next Door *cough* this book cover’s gorgeousness not only matched the content and quality of the story inside, but the story was actually better than the cover! It’s one of the best books I’ve read all September! It really pulled me into its story and made me want to read it. The plot is well crafted and thought out, though I did guess some plot twists, it didn’t make me frustrated or mad! The writing was well done and very fluid. It was perfect for the story and the Orcas. One thing I really appreciated was how the author actually took time to research Orcas and their habits/facts. It really showed in the story and had some cool facts, that even I (a rabid environmental documentary enthusiast in my younger days), didn’t know! I also love how it spreads awareness about Orcas and what they do, which is something that is super duper important to me because I love animals. I also thought it was super cool how the author added real life events, (Orcas in the little inlet thing ((I’m a total expert as you can see))) to the story! And it was a perfect mix of dealing with abandonment and Orca drama! 😀 And even though M (nickname for the main character) could have been annoying and not have learnt anything, she did learn things and only got on my nerves twice!!!! There was some cussing (hence the 10+ age rec), but I felt that it was necessary to the scene/moment they were used. The only real complaint that I had, was I felt like the abandonment thing was taken a little lightly for such a serious issue, but it wasn’t like ‘Falalala mother abandoned me Ima go cry oh wait there’s my friends I’m all better now!’ so it wasn’t too bad.
Naomi snorts. “Right. Try restricting the right of navigation and see what happens,” she says, echoing Kevin’s answer that day when I asked about closing the inlet to boat traffic. “It’s like asking people to give up their guns.”
“I’m also the ‘fin guy!'” He sets his hand on his head and wiggles his fingers. Everyone is quiet, wondering what in the world he’s doing.
Even in the fading light, I can see all the way south to the Warren Avenue Bridge and north to where the inlet dead-ends at Silverdale. Little specks of light, from the last few boats still moving on the water, flicker in the distance. “Looks just like my view from the trailer park, don’t you think?”