I received this book, The Lifeguard, from the publisher through NetGalley
Albert Whitman & Co
It's an unsettled summer for Sirena. Back in Texas, her family's splitting apart, but here in Rhode Island, at the cottage of her Aunt, it's a different world. There are long days at the beach and intriguing encounters with Pilot, the lifeguard with shamanic skills. Sirena explores her obsession with Pilot and discovers his mysterious--almost magical--gifts.
Genre:YA Paranormal Romance
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
The recommended age for The Lifeguard is thirteen and up, I must agree that this is a perfect book for that age group. It was really cute, super sweet, but ultimately a little too young for me.
Sirena is a sixteen year old girl, and boy, does Deborah Blumenthal channel a sixteen year old with her writing! Sirena's thought process, her slight obsession, her anger with her parents. . . it all reminded me of being sixteen. Pilot is a complete mystery, he's elusive and serious. Never giving a hint to his emotions. For me, the secondary characters were what made this story. Antonio, the eighty year old painter, Mark, the restaurant owner, and Aunt Ellie, who writes science fiction books. They rounded out the feel, making the story whole.
There are hints that allude to a paranormal, kind of magical, element that helps keep the mystery alive, the curiosity stoked as the story unfolds on it's own. I found the main plot of The Lifeguard to be about Sirena struggling to understand the world around her, coming to terms with changing tides and letting go of the hurt and anger. It was a nice change to have a books sub-plot be the paranormal aspect instead of being the main focus. The letters between Sirena and her best friend, Marissa, were a very nice touch, showing qualities of Sirena that were lost from being in a state where she didn't know anyone her own age. I loved how all of the secondary characters helped Sirena make the changes necessary to let the past go, it made each of them endearing in their own way. The ending will have your heart pitter-pattering! One of THE sweetest endings ever, I absolutely loved it!
Altogether, this was a fun, cute, sweet, somewhat whimsical read that was easy to get swept away in. I wouldn't miss out on this one!