The shark was beneath my bed, growing large as the room, large as the lighthouse, rising from unfathomable depths until it ripped the whole island from its roots. The bed was a boat, the shark a tide, and it pulled me so far out to sea I was only a speck, a spot, a mote, a dying star in an unending sky…– GoodReads
A story that has the relationship of a daughter and her mother and a shark that is more than what it seems.
First of all, I could cry from the beauty of Tom de Freston’s art and how it just paired perfectly with Hargrave’s words.
Hargrave is one of my favorite authors and an auto-buy author as well so I basically preordered this the moment it was possible. I didn’t get around to reading it right away…I know…shocking for a reader to not read their preorders as they get them. (Too much sarcasm?)
Julia is such a relatable character for middle grade readers. She’s not a simple cut character she’s given the depth that a child can truly have. Julie is still learning and trying to figure out her place in the world, taking her mother as the example to follow. It’s clear she adores both her parents but she aspires to be like her mother.
Hargrave always tackles the most sensitive matters, showing their ugly sides and letting you feel them at their darkest. It helps so much, and in this case even so much more. This middle grade read shows what it’s like to be a child loving someone who may sometimes not always be able to show the love they have for you, that sometimes adults go through things that can hurt you without meaning to.
Julia does things that can be hurtful, she makes mistakes, she’s exploring and learning about herself and I think that’s always important to show in a book. Especially with younger and middle grade readers, they need to know that these feelings and things they’re going through are valid.
While Julia thinks her mother is simply after a shark to see the rare species, it goes deeper than that and watching her mother lose touch while on her search is impactful.
Pacing is steady, the art is profound, and the writing makes the story so easy to get lost in.
Julia is an amazing character and the small cast of side characters is just as wonderful. The shark and her mother included.
5/5 Cups of coffee from me, I adored this and will be reading it with spawn next.