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A copy of Beyond the Rising Tide by Sarah Beard was the latest First Reads Goodreads giveaway novel this pedometer geek read. It is one of two novels written by Beard; the other is Porcelain Keys, and both are considered Young Adult (YA) novels. This reader was privileged to receive an autographed copy, but that in no way affected this extended review.

Beyond the Rising Tide

by Sarah Beard

Published by Sweetwater Books, 2016

an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc,

ISBN: 978-1-4621-1784-8

This the first of Beard’s novels this pedometer geek read, and it is classified as a YA romance. For this reader, what’s not to like? It is a story of young love and the recklessness of youth.

Actually, this YA romance is not a typical run-of-the-mill romance because the romance is one that is full of angst as well as spirituality. Told from the alternative perspectives of the two main characters, Avery Ambrose and Kai Turner, the story tells of their first meeting when Kai saves Avery from drowning with his death as a result.

Now, Kai has the role of a healer in Demoror, one of three realms in the afterlife. Through this role, he observes Avery’s continuing difficulty with his death six months earlier, and how it has changed her. He only wants to help her to rediscover her sense of self and have her return to her formerly vivacious life. Even in life, Kai was always a rebellious soul, pushing the boundaries, and it is no different now. He breaks the rules of his position, thus finding a way to have a body for a short period of time. Time enough to meet Avery for real and form a deep relationship with her.

Avery, for her part, has become depressed over the loss of the boy who saved her life. She dwells on it, looking for any clue as to who he was, and thus barely functioning in her daily life. Once a daredevil, now she avoids all the things she once enjoyed, particularly surfing. She avoids going into the water altogether, and in so doing, has had her boyfriend Tyler dump her.

It is only after Kai “meets” Avery (again) for the first time that Avery begins to change, to accept, to love again. Unfortunately, Avery and Kai have only a few days together as he has been caught breaking the rules by his mentor, Charles. In those few days Kai must help Avery to heal, to become whole again, but will that be enough time? Can Kai save Avery without losing her forever? Will they ever be together again? Is it possible to be dangerously happy (to understand this the book must be read)? Moreover, how can the pair have a happily ever after?

 

Overall, this story is a refreshingly clean teenage romance (no graphic language or sex) with deeper issues at its core. The author doesn’t shy away from talking about depression, loss, death, or other spiritual matters. Not only that, but this reader was surprised by the ending.

Yes, there were a few What-the-Tuck trends seen throughout the novel…some hair tucking, green eyes (okay blue-green eyes), but nothing totally outrageous. The book was well edited, too, with few typos…one exception, which this reader actually found funny, was the use of repel for the word rappel (as in the character rappelling down the cliff face).  One of the more interesting facets (to me, at least) was that each of the two characters had unique identifiers, which followed the ocean wave theme, at the beginning of each chapter to identify from which perspective the story was being told.

This reader hopes to read the author’s other work, Porcelain Keys. Moreover, it is hoped that there will be other stories by Beard in the future.

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