Friday, February 28, 2014

Random Reads Review - Waterborn by Kimberly James

Title: Waterborn
Author: Kimberly James
Release Date: Spetember, 2013
Pages: 373
Goodreads Rating: 4.03 stars
My Rating: 4/5 stars
My Content Rating: Mature YA (Sex, though not explicit)

Summary from Goodreads: Charms fade… "You don’t have to choose. You can be both. The girl with the charm, the girl without. They both suit you." 

Caris Harper lives a charmed life. Literally.

When her dad offers to take her to the Emerald coast of Florida for summer vacation, Caris jumps at the chance. The chance to get answers to questions she’s always been too afraid to ask. The chance to be normal. Isn’t that what her dreams have been telling her, that here in the place of her birth she can be normal? But from the first moment the wind caresses her face and the sun touches her skin, the charm begins to fade, revealing a girl Caris never knew existed, one that is anything but normal. The long-buried Song that awakens is only the beginning of a transformation that will challenge her ideas about loyalty and family. 

Noah Jacobs is a waterbreather—a species of human fully adaptable to life in the water. Like his older brother Jamie, Noah wants to prove they can use their abilities and be heroes in service to their country. When a simple mission goes wrong and Jamie goes missing, Noah exiles himself to the Deep in a desperate search. MIA is a classification Noah is not ready to accept. But instinct can’t be ignored. Not when he hears her Song. Caris is not what he expects and Noah is determined to get her out of his head. Instead he finds himself acting as her mentor and the more time they spend together, the more Noah realizes he just wants Caris. 

When a startling truth threatens their newly formed trust, Noah straddles the line between love and obsession while Caris struggles to find a balance between the girl she thought she was and the young woman she wants to be.

Waterborn was my February Random Read selection.  As you can see, I'm pushing my review right to the very end of the month as usual!  I won this book awhile back and was looking forward to reading it - glad it was my RR choice!

I've been eager to read a mermaid book for a while - and while the waterbreathers aren't technically mermaids (no tails and they don't live solely underwater), this book pretty much hit the spot.

The negatives:
  • Some grammatical errors.  The book could have used a good edit - the errors were not egregious, but they were definitely noticeable.
  • A bit of a slow start.  I felt like the beginning of the book was a little bit slow. There were quite a few mysteries set up - about who Caris' mom really is and what happened to Noah's brother - but it took till about 40% before you got any real answers.  The book was still enjoyable before that, but it occasionally felt a bit slow.
What I loved:
  • The waterbreathers.  I thought that James did a great job of creating the world of the waterbreathers. It was definitely different from what I was expecting - I thought that they were going to be something along the lines of mermaids, but they really weren't. They're more like people who can breathe underwater and have some other powers - but they live in regular society, not underwater. A lot of the book had to do with the relations between the waterbreathers and the regular humans. Many of the humans knew about the waterbreathers, and not all of them were thrilled about it.
  • Complex family relationships. The family relationships in this book were complicated, to say the least.  Caris grew up without her mother and her father has never told her anything about her. There are so many mysteries surrounding Caris and her family (and it just gets more and more complicated). Then there's Noah's family - his father was dead and his brother was missing - presumed dead. These complex family relationships really added to the book.
  • Caris and Noah.  I was worried at first that the connection between Caris and Noah was going to turn into insta-love, but luckily it didn't work out that way. Instead their romance moved at a very reasonable, slow pace, which I definitely appreciated.  Meanwhile, the connection between them was strong, and I definitely found myself rooting for them. 
Waterborn was a great paranormal romance. While the book didn't end on a cliffhanger, I think there's plenty more of this story to tell and I hope there will be another book to follow up. I give it 4/5 stars.