50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews

Learning to Swim by Annie Cosby

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Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Write for You Publishing
Date of Release: March 1, 2014
Pages: 242 pages
Format: ePub
Links: Good ReadsAmazon

My Rating:


About the Book:

When Cora’s mother whisks the family away for the summer, Cora must decide between forging her future in the glimmering world of second homes where her parents belong, or getting lost in the bewitching world of the locals and the mystery surrounding a lonely old woman who claims to be a selkie creature—and who probably needs Cora more than anyone else.

Through the fantastical tales and anguished stories of the batty Mrs. O’Leary, as well as the company of a particularly gorgeous local boy called Ronan, Cora finds an escape from the reality of planning her life after high school. But will it come at the cost of alienating Cora’s mother, who struggles with her own tragic memories?

As the summer wanes, it becomes apparent that Ronan just may hold the answer to Mrs. O’Leary’s tragic past—and Cora’s future.

My Review:

I received this eBook from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Try as I may, I could not figure out why this novel was labelled a fantasy. It had folklore in the story line but in no way did it have elements of fantasy in it. Here I was hoping for some seriously awesome fantasy in it and nothing of the like.
In fact, I would say this is more of a contemporary young adult romance.

Unfortunately, this dragged terribly for me. The flow of the book was tedious at best.
Cora acted more like a teenager of the age of 14/15, not 18. She was weirdly boy crazy for 18, and desperate for a boyfriend. Sullen, withdrawn and a bit snobby to even her own friends. She wasn’t really an easily likable character for me.
The only thing I did agree with her about was her desire to take a year off before college and tour the world. It might have been her more grown up decision yet.

There was a lot of untold tension between Cora and her parents. Despite the reason coming out in the end why Cora never learned to swim and why her parents were so hard on her, I honestly wish there was a little more focus on that. It would have made more sense as to why Cora felt she needed to rebel in many ways. Their disconnection was awkward at best. It would have also made her seem less like a spoiled, snotty brat.

The best part was Mrs. O’Leary. She was an element of mystery in the story. The old woman who told folklore stories from her porch, asked for her jacket constantly. She had Cora wondering about the mysterious local boy Ronan/Rory, a lot. And also a lot about Mrs. O’Leary herself. The folklore was quite fascinating.

Rory seemed more his age, as he was more active in the community and in helping with his parents run their business. His behaviour towards Cora was right at first, he wasn’t sure if he should trust her. She was just another visitor to his tourist town.

But just when the book was getting interesting and the girl gets the boy, the story just ends awkwardly. It was like the author stopped mid-thought and decided to end it right there. There wasn’t really any hint that there would be more books because of it.

I just would have enjoyed it more if it had more elements of fantasy, racing heart love and a little more effort put into the behaviour of the characters, especially the young Cora.

Where to Buy:

Amazon US | Amazon CAN | Kobo | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

About the Author:

Annie is a short, dog-obsessed, ketchup-loving romantic who splits her days—and her wardrobe—between her hometown, St. Louis, and her adopted love, Galway, Ireland.

Her first book was the start of the USA Today-recommended Hearts Out of Water series followed by the Amazon chart-soaring novella series, The Hummingbird Saga.

When she’s not writing, she’s usually reading, editing for awesome YA author clients, and walking Lucy, the rottie mix.


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