The Sound of Drowning

384p. Page Street. Mar. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781624147111.
Gr 9 Up—Ben is the love of Meredith's life, but after a terrible accident in which Ben almost drowns, she is forbidden to talk to or see him. The only way they can stay together is to keep their relationship a secret, meeting nightly on a secluded beach to spend time together. For a time, Meredith is content. Then, Wyatt appears. This strange, mouthy, handsome boy from Texas with a huge personality washes ashore (literally) and turns Meredith's life upside down, introducing a new level of excitement and joy that she has not experienced before. Slowly, Meredith begins to realize that she might just be developing feelings for this handsome, arrogant boy. As their relationship deepens, Wyatt discovers that Meredith has a past that doesn't want to stay hidden, and once revealed, will change all of their lives forever. Can Meredith deal with the consequences of her secrets? Which boy will she choose? The plot twists in this enjoyable novel are unexpected, and the characters are just quirky enough to be endearing, although Wyatt gets a bit annoying at times. Readers will appreciate the supporting characters who help guide and direct Meredith as she comes to grips with some difficult realities. Give to fans of Jennifer Niven and Marieke Nijkamp.
VERDICT A first purchase for YA collections, especially where mystery and realistic fiction are popular.

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