Thursday, April 28, 2011

Review: Dark Water - Laura McNeal

Where I got it: Amazon Vine for review
Rating: 5 stars
Cover Rating: 4 stars (Very interesting and I like how simple it is.)
Genre:Young Adult
Publication Date: September 14, 2010
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 284 p.

Pearl live in California near avocado trees. Over 900 avocado trees that is. There her Uncle Hoyt's he farm them and often hires migrant workers to help out. When Pearl notices a particularly young and interesting worker, she asks her Uncle to hire him. His name is Amiel. An accident left him with damage to his throat, so he doesn't talk. Pearl is completely intrigued by him,  her life isn't that good and she wants him in it to make it better. When she stumbles upon his home (a small makeshift hut next to the river) she starts to feel more than just a curiosity towards him. Amiel says it's not right, they shouldn't be together, but Pearl longs for it with every inch of her being. Wildfires come and Pearl goes to the river to warn Amiel, since she is sure he hasn't heard about how close they are. She abandons her family and friends to find him and make sure he is kept safe.

This was a great story about love and family. Pearl's cousin has become weird and distance as they have grown up. It could be he has some sort of feelings for her, or some feelings of his own that he doesn't know who to talk to. Pearl becomes completely in her own world as soon as Amiel comes into the picture. All she wants is to be with him in any way. I wish it were sunny 340 days of the year here in New Hampshire, maybe I could dabble in a forbidden love in the warm heat of the bright sun. I have loved all of Laura and Tom McNeal's other novels and was a little weary of this one, Laura's first solo project, but it was not a disappointment whatsoever. I had a hard time with the flow of the novel only when Pearl would mention the present in the midst of telling her story. She would often compare the then to the now. It wasn't too bad though. Amiel seems like the perfect dreamy character for a girl to fall in love with even if it is taboo. It seems silly in this day and age that a love like that would be taboo, especially so close to the border. Amiel was an illegal though, so maybe that is mostly why it is off limits. This was a fantastic novel, that was beautifully written. If you haven't checked it out yet, I suggest you do.

First Line:
"You wouldn't have noticed me before the fire unless you saw that my eyes, like a pair of socks chosen in the dark, don't match."

Favorite Line:
"The chest-cracking swells went on inside me."


  1. Wow, this does sound fantastic! Great review :)

  2. what a lovely review

    i'm thinking of getting this when it comes out in paperback :)

    i do love family-vibe stuff


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