Sea by Heidi R. Kling
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release date: June 10, 2010
Haunted by recurring nightmares since her mother’s disappearance over the Indian ocean three years before, fifteen-year old California girl Sienna Jones reluctantly travels with her psychiatrist father’s volunteer team to six-months post-tsunami Indonesia where she meets the scarred and soulful orphaned boy, Deni, who is more like Sea than anyone she has ever met.
She knows they can’t be together, so why can’t she stay away from him? And what about her old best friend-turned-suddenly-hot Spider who may or may not be waiting for her back home? And why won’t her dad tell her the truth about her mother’s plane crash? The farther she gets from home, the closer she comes to finding answers.
And Sea’s real adventure begins.
What can i say about the amazing debut that is Sea by Heidi R. Kling? It was well written, interesting, with fantastic characters, and a unique premise. The setting and plot was so original and it really opened my eyes to the struggles countries like Indonesia face after natural disasters. I've always wanted to do relief work, and Sea proved just how big a difference these volunteers and doctors make for the victims. The characters in Sea were believable and extremely well developed, even the minor characters. The descriptions were vivid and I could picture everything that Sienna saw- even the awful things that made you want to turn your head.
Sienna was a brave and inspiring character. She's been through a lot herself, so could better connect with the orphans of the tsunami. Her mother had been killed when Sienna was twelve and Sea was still dealing with it when she arrived in Indonesia. Luckily, the orphans opened Sea's eyes to how important it was to move on and come to terms with her mother's death. Sienna was a character that I could really understand, her pain was very real and I loved being able to see how her character changed through the course of the novel.
The love interests were awesome- I loved them both! Faithful Spider back at home stuck with Sienna through her pain and suffering and really understood her more than anyone. He was sweet and a surfer at that! On the other hand, I also loved Deni. He was kind, understanding, and could relate to Sienna more than anyone. The trauma and pain he had witnessed was awful, and to believe he was able to stay strong and rebuild his life afterwards? This made him all the more admirable and impressive. His relationship with Sienna developed quickly and intimately, but was very believable. Both characters needed someone to support and understand them, someone they could fall back on, yet could distract them from reality. Deni and Sienna had a great connection, and I cried at the end even though it was meant to be.
Back to the setting- what an original and eye opening setting. The timing (after a huge tsunami) and setting (an orphanage and village in Indonesia) was perfect. It made Sea an even more emotional and fantastic read. I practically cried hearing the survivors stories and those of the brave children living in the orphanage. Team Hope, the team compromised of Sienna, her father, and two others, really made a difference for these orphans and it was very inspiring to read about. Reading about the Indonesian customs so different from ours was intriguing and interesting overall.
All the characters were really well done and likable, even though that only were featured for a scene. The reader will feel a real connection with Sea after they're done reading and will want to read certain pages over again.
Heidi R. Kling is a beautiful and inspiring writer, and Sea will effect the lives of all it's readers. I know I've said this in quite a few reviews, but I definitely recommend picking up a copy of Sea today. It will effect you in a way no other book ever has.
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars