""You mean Im not good enough for him. I held my eyes on his face until he finally turned my way. I willed him to explain it. I wanted to hear him say it for himself: I wasnt good enough to be his girlfriend. I wasnt good enough to be Sams either. I was the ugly duckling, with a wild mother and a brother who walked around dazed half the time."
It's junior year and Missy is coming back to her home island. Three years away was not enough for the cool kids to forget what a loser she used to be. Only this time Sam King, the popular guy she's had a crush on for years, likes her. Is it worth it? Is there any way to escape being a no one?
"Like Moonlight at Low Tide" is touching and opening. It delves into two topics that are not often discussed in Christian fiction: bullying and suicide. With a painfully true view on both, it shows the way to redemption. Missy doesn't have a father, and her mom is constantly changing boyfriends. With this background, Missy often feels worthless. Ever so slowly she learns that she is precious and loved for who she is.
The book contains about half a dozen uses of swear words and two detailed near-sex encounters.
I wish there was more about God in the beginning and middle and that Josh -Missy's friend- was less shy about his faith. However, Missy's coming to God in the end was so beautiful.
~Review written by Sofia Marie of the Teens Live for Jesus blog~
Anna Maria Island, Florida, is where Melissa Keiser spent her childhood years and was a victim of bullying from the â€˜cool kids' who called her Messy and mocked her second-hand clothes. Now she's back and trying to avoid catching the attention of those kidsâ€”except her best friend is dating one of them, and the boy she had a crush on actually seems to have noticed her (in a good way).
Melissa's had a rough upbringing. Her father abandoned the family before she started school and hasn't been heard from since. Her mother has paraded through a series of â€˜boyfriends' over the years, her older brother is a dopehead, and her friends do little but party. Her escape is to swim in the neighbour's pool at nightâ€”until she gets caught. This forms the start of an unlikely friendship.
As I was reading, I was trying to decide whether or not Like Moonlight at Low Tide was actually Christian fiction. Missy wasn't a Christian, her mother certainly wasn't, and it didn't seem that any of her friends were either. It wasn't until quite late in the book that the Christian element started to come through, but it was worth waiting for.
"When I was seventeen, the only boy who ever called me by my full name took his own life. It was the first time I ever saw a mistake that couldn't be undone."
Yes, this novel is different. It's written in the first person, and Missy is a complex character growing up in a difficult environment. It's gritty and real, yet with a bittersweet aftertaste, as though things shouldn't be like this.
Like Moonlight at Low Tide is the debut novel from Nicole Quigley, and shows she is a voice to watch in Christian fiction for her edgy realism. Recommended.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a free ebook for review.
When high school junior Melissa Keiser returns to her hometown of Anna Maria Island, Florida, she has one goal: hide from the bullies who had convinced her she was the ugliest girl in school. But when she is caught sneaking into a neighbor's pool at night, everything changes. Something is different now that Melissa is sixteen, and the guys and popular girls who once made her life miserable have taken notice. When Melissa gets the chance to escape life in a house ruled by her mom's latest boyfriend, she must choose where her loyalties lie between a long-time crush, a new friend, and her surfer brother who makes it impossible to forget her roots. Just as Melissa seems to achieve everything she ever wanted, she loses a loved one to suicide. Melissa must not only grieve for her loss, she must find the truth about the three boys who loved her and discover that joy sometimes comes from the most unexpected place of all.
This was a really depressing story. That said, I found it to be very interesting as well. Maybe I'm too old for stories like this, but I found it to be rather profound and deep for YA fiction. This is just how high school is for some teenagers, how bullying affects the victims, and all I can say about Quigley's writing is WOW.
You can feel the pain in the writing. You can feel how every mistake that is made affects Melissa's life, and how she responds to that hurt. I got sucked into Josh and Melissa's stories right away, and I loved the characterization of Melissa's family and friends. I felt as if I knew the characters from somewhere, and they all felt like family. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, despite the dark feel of it. Not everything needs to be "happily ever after," and for this, I thank the author from the bottom of my heart. A dose of reality that every young person needs to read.
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
This book captured my attention after the first few paragraphs. The plot was paced well and the author captured the voices of teenagers perfectly. She tackled social issues without being heavy-handed and her lesson on trusting Jesus when going through hard times was weaved in seamlessly into the plot. A wonderful debut novel.