Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Review: Ocean of Secrets by Aimee Friedman

  Ocean of Secrets Aimee Friedman
  Publisher: Scholastic UK
  Publication date: July 5th 2012.
  My rating: 3.5 stars

Many are drawn to Selkie Island. 
Few know why.

When Miranda Merchant escapes her lonely, hot summer in New York City, little does she know what awaits her. She steps off the ferry on to an island rife with legend and lore.

She isn't expecting to feel a connection to this unusual place. And when she meets Leo, a mysterious local boy, she finds herself questioning everything she thought she knew about boys, friendship, reality . . . and love.

But is Leo hiding something she never could have imagined?

Ocean of Secrets has something magnetic and alluring about it; I’m a person who quickly gets weak at the knees for a gorgeous cover and Ocean of secrets in my opinion has one of the best around. Ever since I have received a copy I haven’t been able to stop staring at it. Everything just seems to fit together for the cover; the colour, the picture and the title; it just gives off a totally mesmeric feel. I was initially a little let down by the title change it was previously known as Sea Change. But once I finished the book, thinking it over this new title matched the book perfectly as the marine Miranda goes to is full with several secrets.

Miranda is forced to spend time with her mother at the mysterious Selkie Island. After her grandmother passed away, she left her house to Miranda’s mother. Miranda’s felt that she has not seen much of her mother since her parent’s separation, so decides to spend the summer with her. Before she even reaches the Island, a strange man on her boat starts putting odd stories in her head; about the myths surrounding Selkie Island and how it’s supposed to have creatures that live in the waters. Miranda know he’s just pulling her leg, there’s a young boy on the boat too, so she thinks he’s making up this story for show. But when Miranda finally gets up on the Island, she starts to notice strange things; she stumbles across a book in the house which hints at exactly what that strange man on the boat was hinting at too. And then there’s the mysterious Leo, Miranda hasn’t had much luck with guys recently, so she’s not sure what Leo’s real intentions are, he seems too good to be true; tall, tanned with blonde hair, a smile that could make you melt and strong muscular arms. The thing is that he loves the water too; Miranda only ever seems to bump into him at the beach or in his grotto and always in the evening. Could these ideas that have been put in Miranda’s head actually be true? Could these creatures exist? Or is it part of her imagination?

What I loved about Ocean of Secrets was that it was chocker block full of secrets and no-one really ever confirms or denies anything. Some people may find this hugely frustrating. But I had a lot of fun with this because you’re kind of led to make your own assumptions. Anything was possible as there wasn’t really ever hard evidence that these creatures ever existed (If you’re thinking what these creatures are I’m sure the title, colours of the cover and oh so subtle hints dropped by the strange man on the boat would give you the biggest clues).

Miranda was an easy character to relate to, she’d not had the best time in New York and so wanted to break from it all. I liked how she was honest (most of the time) and up front with what she did and didn’t like, when Cee Cee, who I did find obnoxious at times and even her mum kept trying to force her to be with T.J. because he was totally the one for her. She put her foot down; she knew why they wanted her to be with him, because he was well off. Whereas Leo the genuine sweetheart they didn’t like which I really didn’t get. I found myself eagerly anticipating her scenes with Leo, as they were thoroughly swoon worthy! Also Leo definitely became my favourite when he admitted he enjoyed reading! (How can you resist a guy that loves reading too?)

Neat endings seem to bore me as of late, so I like how things were left in Ocean of Secrets, with very little answered, there’s still so many things we’re unsure of; I’m hoping that this was left this way on purpose with the hope of a sequel.


  1. I'm not sure if the many unanswered questions would be something I enjoy (sometimes I just need to know!), but I do like the thought of a not-so-neat ending. You're right, it can be a little boring to have everything revealed by the end. Some lingering mystery is always interesting. :) Beautiful review as always, Japsrit! You have convinced me to give this a shot now.

  2. I have a copy of this, but this is actually the first review of it I've read! I'm not sure whether or not this will be for me (I get frustrated if I can't find something out!) but at the same time, I can see it being very interesting! I will have to pick it up soon. Great, honest review Jasprit!

    Steph @ Stepping Out Of The Page

  3. Hmmm. I think this book would frustrate me for the exact reasons it worked for you Jasprit! So funny when that happens:) I love neat endings, and it drive me crazy to be left to make my own assumptions (that sounds bad - like I can't think for myself, but I like certainty in my fiction since there's so little in life!). Beautiful review as always though my friend!

  4. You're right about the cover. It is so, so gorgeous! I would definitely want more answers to my questions, too. Hopefully you'll get a sequel. Great, detailed review!

  5. I love secretive books that keep me guessing, and it's been a long time since I've read a selkie novel (at least I'm guessing we're talking about selkies? Or is it mermaids/men?). And I agree with you about the cover! The colors alone draw me in, and everything just fits together.
    Great review! Miranda sounds like my kind of heroine :)

  6. This sounds like a really good book. I like the idea of non-obvious, questioning mystery, but enough that you can ponder the creatures.

    I'll definitely have to pick up this book now because it sounds soo great.

    Lovely review! :)

  7. Neat endings are becoming quite tiresome for me, too. :) That said, this novel sounds quite interesting! And selkies? Oh. After The Brides of Rollrock Island, I was searching for a decent to excellent book about selkies. :) Glad you enjoyed this book, Jasprit! Stunning review, my love. :)

    And I agree- the cover is enthralling.

  8. I'm guessing Leo is a Selkie because Miranda is going to Selkie island. which is really nice! I do not know any other books with that kind of creature. Wonderful review Jasprit! I also enjoy stories full of secrets!!!

  9. Selkies are new to me for the most part so this would be worth reading for that! What!? Neat endings are boring you as of would prefer a cliffhanger?

  10. Lovely review, Jasprit! I love when a story is so full of secrets yet instead of being frustrated you just get more intrigued and interested in figuring out what they are. This sounds like one and the characters too seems like the kind I would love to know and meet (especially Leo). lol! Glad you enjoyed this. :)

  11. Fantastic review, Jasprit! I haven't heard of this one before, but as you said, the cover is so mesmerizing! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, so I think I definitely have to check it out, especially as I haven't read anything about selkies yet. This is going on my TBR-Shelf for sure! :D

    Ivy Book Bindings

  12. I'm not familiar with this book Jaspirit and while the premise sounds really good, I think the fact that you have to come to your own assumptions would put me off and frustrate me. I totally agree about the cover, it is awesome. Great review :)


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