Sea by Heidi R. Kling
Published: Putnam Juvenile
Released: June 10, 2010
Still haunted by nightmares of her mother’s death, fifteen-year-old Sienna Jones reluctantly travels to Indonesia with her father’s relief team to help tsunami orphans with their post traumatic stress disorder—something Sienna knows a lot about. Since her mother’s plane went missing over the Indian Ocean three years before, Sienna doesn’t do anything if it involves the ocean or planes, so this trip is a big step forward.
But the last thing she expects is to fall for Deni, a brooding Indonesian boy who lives at the orphanage, and just so happens to be HOT. When Deni hears a rumor that his father may be alive, Sienna doesn’t think twice about running away with him to the epicenter of the disaster. Unfortunately, what they find there could break both their hearts.
A few years ago, Sienna lost her mom, she no longer did the things she loved like surfing & avoided her close friends. On her birthday, her dad buys her a plane ticket to join him & his team on their next mission to help kids in an Indonesia orphanage. The focus being dealing with the after emotional effects of the tsunami, something Sienna can relate to as she continues to have nightmares that stem from losing her mom. Reluctantly she goes on the trip...and on the first day meets Deni, the leader of the the Aceh boys.
The connection between Sienna & Deni, both leading different lives, in different cultures & carrying baggage from traumatic events in their lives was beautifully written. Seeing them grow together, even in such a short time, was believable and made you laugh, cry & left you wanting more! Another thing I enjoyed was the setting: as Sienna learns about Indonesian culture, so did I, sometimes experiencing a little culture shock along the way.
I must admit the premise didn't grab me when I had first heard about the book: I'm not a 'romance' reader and the post-tsunami setting sounded depressing. I couldn't have been more wrong & thanks to my curiosity to all the hype I read on of my favorite books this year! If you like a little romance with two flawed character who are discovering more about themselves along the way, this book is for you. I like to think of the book sorta of like the movie Titanic. The movie is pre-sinking & Sea is post-tsunami, this is their setting & the tragedy just added to the journey you take.
The ending is so touching, I must warn you to have Kleenex nearby. Sea's story takes you on an emotional roller coaster ride & when you reach the end you'll find turning back to page one and starting all over - seriously, this book is THAT good!