A.Z. McKinney is on the shores of greatness. Now all she needs is a boat.
the Sea of Santiago appeared overnight in a cow pasture in Arkansas, it
seemed, to some, a religious miracle. But to high school sophomore A.Z.
McKinney, it’s marked her chance to make history—as its first
oceanographer. All she needs is to get out on the water.
is easier said than done, considering the Sea’s eccentric owner is only
interested in its use as a tourist destination for beachgoers and
devout pilgrims. Still, A.Z. is determined to uncover the secrets of the
Sea—even if it means smuggling saline samples in her bathing suit.
when a cute, conceptual artist named Kristoff moves to town, A.Z.
realizes she may have found a first mate. Together, they make a plan to
build a boat and study the Sea in secret. But from fighting with her
best friend to searching for a tourist-terrorizing alligator (that may
or may not be a crocodile), distractions are everywhere. Soon, A.Z.’s
dreams are in danger of being dashed upon the shore of Mud Beach.
her self-determined oceanic destiny on the line, A.Z. finds herself at
odds with everything she thought she knew about life, love, and the Sea.
To get what she wants, she’ll have to decide whether to sink or float .
. . But which one comes first?
Release Date: March 2017
Age Group: YA
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Reviewed By: Nat
This was an oddly crafted story. The writing style is more mature than most YA and seemed a bit poetic at times but it was still easy to follow and had a smooth flow of events. I enjoyed AZ and her determined spirit as she hits one road block after another in her pursuit of knowledge and life in general.
The story centers around The Sea of Santiago but the details are never
fleshed out. I would have liked to have known a bit more on how this anomaly came to be or if it was just truly a scientific wonder.
The parentals in this story are present and odd all in their own right. I liked how they were fleshed out and believe their peculiarity helped to build the spirit of AZ. But they were different, that's for sure.
And Kristoff, the boyfriend... like any boyfriend of a 14 year old... he was just meh. He was, as my grandfather would always say, "just another dumb kid". I didn't really care for him.
One thing that really stood out to me right from the beginning was how the tourists that visit this little town are referred to as Pilgrims. I re-read one chapter because I thought maybe I was about to read something crazy like The Handmaids Tale. But alas, they were just tourists. #dang
I would consider this a heavier YA read just based on the sentence structure but with a story that is relatable and true to the heart of adolescence. AZ is well-written, engaging and gets caught in a pickle a time or two but you are sure to love her.