Publication date: May 8th 2013.
My rating: 3.5 stars
Grace has one summer to prove she’s good enough. For Grace Parker, surfing is all about the ride and the moment. Everything else disappears. She can forget that her best friend, Ford Watson, has a crush on her that she can’t reciprocate. She can forget how badly she wants to get a surf scholarship to UC San Diego. She can forget the pressure of her parents’ impossibly high expectations. When Ford enters Grace into a surf competition—the only way she can impress the UCSD surfing scouts—she has one summer to train and prepare. Will she gain everything she’s ever wanted or lose the only things that ever mattered?
I love picking up books where you go into them expecting a light summery read, but you’re left ending up with a deep emotionally overwhelming story.
Surfing is Grace’s thing, it’s always been something she’s good at. So with a big surfing tournament around the corner and well known scouts rumoured to be there. Grace knows she has to up her game but this gets difficult when her best friend Ford and surf trainer decides to intern at Grace’s dads law firm over the summer. On top of that Grace’s dad puts extra pressure on her to get into one of the Ivy League colleges. Has anyone stopped to see what Grace actually wants to do? She’s getting all this pressure from everyone but shouldn’t she just follow her heart?
I really did feel for Grace, she was always one to keep what was going on in her life private. Her perfect family image everyone saw was a big lie, and these feelings she had for her best friend Ford, she decided to deny whenever it came up. Grace was super talented and she knew she had a great shot at getting scouted, but her parents had entirely different opinions. Grace’s parents were the worst; her dad had a fake facade that had everyone thinking he was a decent man, but then at home he was just hell. Then there was Grace’s mum, she was always quick to make assumptions about everyone and then always put Grace down. However what pained me the most about her was that she was never there when Grace needed her the most, she just shut down everything Grace did or said. Despite having crap parents, Grace tried her best to rise above it all, and I truly did admire her characters strength. She did make a few mistakes along the way, but hiding a secret as big as she did, I understood why she kept everything away from Ford.
With dual narratives from both Grace and Ford, we were given great insights into both characters. I adored Ford (his real name is Ferdinand, which I preferred) he was sweet, down to earth and such a fun guy. He had his over protective role over Grace nailed, but he was also able to lighten the mood with his jokes and banter. But what I adored the most about was him that he always knew what mattered to him the most; his family and his roots, he was never one to forget how important this was and tried to as much as he could to make a difference. Ford’s parents were also great; they clearly illustrated what honest parents are meant to be like with their insightful wisdom they imparted on Ford, and how they were also quick to take Grace in whenever she needed a place to hang out.
Despite some of the focus on dark family issues, Riptide was also a story laced with scenes of summer fun and beautiful friendships. There was a lot of surf lingo dotted throughout, but just like Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar, I still found myself enthralled by a mesmerising read. Riptide was a story I’m glad I gave a try; it was littered with beautiful achy scenes, but also a lot of fun along the way. If you’re in the mood for something different I definitely recommend giving Riptide a try.