This is the story of four teenagers, one girl and three boys. They are all good friends who, along with their families, are taking a lake vacation together right before starting their first year of high school.
The action starts right at the beginning, and a mystery develops involving a missing girl who might have died-or she might not be missing at all. There is a mix-up over the girl's identity. The teenagers in this story are immediately thrown into the middle of the confusion and possible danger. Much of the story has the lone female teenager, Hiro, convinced that foul play has taken place, while the rest of her friends waver between partially believing her, to complete disbelief.
This is a real page-turner that involves lots of suspense and mystery along with believable dialog and situations. Although this is the third book in a series, the story definitely stands on its own. There is a small amount of referral back to earlier books, but it is easy to understand the story-line, and is not confusing. I have not read the other two, but did not have trouble following Below the Surface. The author states this is the end of this series. I hope not, because I would like to revisit these characters after they have had some high school experiences.
I was pleased with the way the author handled the book's characters that had fears which ran the gamut from swimming under water to doubts about fitting in. Also, at the end of the book, the author has some great advice about fear, and what should be done when one experiences it. I appreciated that this was a clean story written from a Christian point-of-view. Although this book is supposed to geared toward young adults, the story and characters are so well-done that adults would like this tale as well. I certainly enjoyed it, and highly recommend this 5-star book to adults, young and old alike.
The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through Zonderkids/Thomas Nelson Publishing for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner. Despite my receiving the book free, it has not influenced my judgment, and I have given an honest opinion.
I must admit, I wasn't sure what to expect when I began this book. It looked ominous but said that it was for children and I'm always on the look out for realistic fiction books that are engaging but still filled with truths that direct my children to God's word. I was pleasantly surprised that Below the Surface did those things!
Since this was the third book in the Code of Silence, I was trying to piece together the earlier history of the characters. But, once I was drawn in, the author, was able to paint a realistic account of the characters and the intricate thoughts that swim in the minds of pre-teens/teens. I appreciated the very age appropriate conversations and the realistic portrayal of difficult situations, for example, Cooper's anxiety given he was abducted; his friend, Hiro's sadness in losing her father; and their friend, Lunk's mixed emotions surrounding his physically abusive father. In light of all of that, I also appreciated how the author was able to incorporate, Cooper's father and the truth of scripture to give the kids strength and hope - without sounding preachy and unrealistic.
Although their summer was supposed to be "drama free", Hiro's suspicious disposition and need to investigate draws them into a scary situation they had no idea they would face. I am definitely recommending this book if you have tweens and teens. We're already looking for the two books!
Having read the previous installment to this series, I was glad to re-visit with friends Gordy, Cooper, Hiro, and Lunk. They proved very entertaining with their typical "teen" behavior/speech, antics, and pranks. All jokes aside, this book dealt with important and in-depth topics like facing fears, making important decisions, and doing the right thing.
The author geared this series for boys, but it is very versatile for girls as well. The suspense is enough to draw and maintain the readers focus throughout the story, without being a bore. The suspense, touch of humor, and spirituality of the book were well balanced throughout.
The a word from the author was very informative. Because the main theme of the book was fear, Tim discusses fear in a candid way and shares tips on how to overcome them.
I would recommend this book for preteen boys and girls who love a good mystery. I give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookSneeze in exchange for this independent and unbiased review.
This is the last summer before High School and Cooper just wants to hang out with his friends and enjoy it, but something won't let him. Something is Below the Surface of the water and this something is scaring Cooper. The question is what exactly is down there?
When Cooper, Gordy, and Hiro think they witness a crime, a series of events is set into motion and the past and all its fears begin stalking them. Cooper, Gordy, and Lunk want to ignore Hiro's concerns but Hiro is usually right. And she isn't convinced that a murder wasn't committed. Something doesn't add up and she's is determined to discover the truth even if it means going out on her own.
Someone is determined to keep them from discovering the truth, even if it means silencing them forever. And he does mean forever...
Below the Surface is the third book in the Code of Silence trilogy. You don't have to read the first two books to enjoy this book, but you will know about past experiences that are mentioned in this book. And these past experiences have a direct bearing on the fears Cooper, Gordy, Lunk and Hiro are burying. This summer will prove just how strong their bonds of friendship are.
I think part of the reason the kids got into trouble is because they really needed more adult supervision/interaction. They got into the biggest messes when there were no adults around and the fact that they didn't tell their parents the whole truth of what was going on was the issue. The statement about silence being golden is so not true when there are problems. And underlying fears were something that they needed to talk about, as was evidenced when Cooper's dad was with the boys.
I really enjoyed this book and the intensity and excitement level really held my attention. I did not want to put it down until the very end. And I have to say I was a little disappointed to learn that this is the last book
(well a lot disappointed if you must know). These books should appeal to middle grade readers and even young adults who enjoy realistic heart-pounding fiction.
I was provided a copy of this book through the BookLook blogger program in exchange for my honest review
I really didn't like this book, I guess I had my expectations to high. I had trouble getting past half the book and it really took all I had to finish this book so I could write my review.
This book was about 4 friends who during a summer break witnessed a murder. They saw this couple fighting and how the woman got thrown off the boat and died and how the man tried to cover up the entire time. All in all it was just an ok book and not worth recommending to my friends.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.