Y’all, hang on tight because we have a little bit of a rambly review below. This is generally what happens when I really do or really don’t like a book.
FIRST OFF, SOME STATS:
ABOUT THE BOOK
In the wake of WWII, a grieving fisherman submits a poem to a local newspaper: a rallying cry for hope, purpose . . . and rocks. Send me a rock for the person you lost, and I will build something life-giving. When the poem spreads farther than he ever intended, Robert Bliss’s humble words change the tide of a nation. Boxes of rocks inundate the tiny, coastal Maine town, and he sets his calloused hands to work, but the building halts when tragedy strikes.
Decades later, Annie Bliss is summoned back to Ansel-by-the-Sea when she learns her Great-Uncle Robert, the man who became her refuge during the hardest summer of her youth, is now the one in need of help. What she didn’t anticipate was finding a wall of heavy boxes hiding in his home. Long-ago memories of stone ruins on a nearby island trigger her curiosity, igniting a fire in her anthropologist soul to uncover answers.
She joins forces with the handsome and mysterious harbor postman, and all her hopes of mending the decades-old chasm in her family seem to point back to the ruins. But with Robert failing fast, her search for answers battles against time, a foe as relentless as the ever-crashing waves upon the sea.
WHY I CHOOSE THIS BOOK
Mostly the cover. And the title. The title sounds so intriguing. I also read the back cover blurb, but that wasn’t the tipping point for me.
WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS BOOK
Oh guys. This isn’t a review I’m looking forward to writing because I always feel so bad writing a negative review when I’ve received a book for free. Yet, honest reviews are my specialty, so here I am.
Let me start off by saying that there isn’t really anything wrong with the book. The content is clean, the editing is good, and the writing is lovely.
It just wasn’t the book for me. And that’s sad, because after reading the first several chapters I was super excited. As in, it’s been a long time since I’ve started a book by a new author and felt so much promise. I was intrigued by the characters, delighted by the quirks, and drawn in by the lyrical tone of the writing.
But then the time hops started, and the writing style changed, and I fell into bookerly woes and didn’t even want to finish the story. The good news about all those things I just mentioned is they’re purely subjective. That means that there’s a good chance you will like the story.
For me, when a book begins going back and forth with time periods, it’s a total hit or miss for me. Meaning, I either really, really like it, or else I really don’t like it. And this book was one that I really didn’t like. I’m not even sure why it was. I liked each of the time periods, but when the switching began I lost interest in all of them.
One thing that I think is super cool in theory but didn’t actually like in reality, was that the tenses changed with the different time periods. One of the storylines was told in present tense, and the other was told in past tense. (Both third-person.) This is a brillant way to tell a story, but sadly, for me, present tense just messes with my brain and it’s hard and takes a super long time for me to get into a story. So, to be pulled back and forth meant I never really had time to immerse myself in present tense, which is probably the biggest reason as to why I didn’t like the book.
Also, when I re-read the back cover copy just now I was amazed by how long it takes in the book to find out what the rocks are for. I read the back cover copy before I requested the book, but then forgot what the book was about before I started reading. I’m not sure if the knowledge of what was going on would have made the book better for me, or been spoiler-y?
As for the plot itself… It felt kinda jumbled together. Not everything made sense to me and I was a bit confused by why the relationships were so messed up. I mean, it you find out in the book, but it just felt off.
I read this as an e-book because I was on vacation, but in retrospect, if I would have realized sooner that it was a time hopping book I would have waited to read my physical copy of the book and probably would have enjoyed it more.
To end on a positive note, there were some things I really liked in the book: The small town feel, the way Ann communicated with her uncle (SO COOL and one of my favorite things I’ve read about in a loooonnnngggg time), Rob and Roy’s relationship with each other (sweetest thing ever), and a certain chapter near the end of the book involving watching the sunrise over the ocean.
Y’all will probably like the book. I certainly don’t not recommend it. It was clean and interesting. I do encourage y’all to get a physical copy instead of an e-copy if possible because this is one of those books that is better read while physically.
Also, the book has a 4.8 star rating on Amazon, with over 75 reviews, so that’s pretty great.
I’m giving Whose Waves These Are two out of five stars and am thankful for NetGalley giving me an e-copy so I could review it for y’all.