The synopsis explains the book pretty well, so I’ll just jump right in to my review.
- The Forever chasing. So, this book is all about how Haley meets this mysterious guy who she really connects with and who she believes can somehow teach her how to throw off the chains of her parents’ expectations and chase her forever down. She makes numerous references to this forever chasing and its symbolic meaning (a few too many references in the beginning, in my opinion) and then she decides that the only way to truly succeed at escaping her life is to track this guy down (who she finds out is a legendary surfer). So, she goes after him. My problem was that, by the time I was well over halfway into the book and she still hadn’t gotten to him, I was starting to worry. I felt like Haley had fallen for this guy she’d barely met and I was supposed to be too – but he wasn’t even really in the book. His presence was definitely there, overshadowing everything, but he was not. It wasn’t until somewhere past three quarters of the way in that I realized that Godwin was going a different direction with the book (thank goodness!) and it was all redeemed. In the end, the book wasn’t about Colby Taylor and his ability to chase forever at all – it was about Haley’s journey of self-discovery and some of the hard truths she had to learn along the way.
- Surfing. I don’t know much about surfing and have never been all that terribly interested in it, but Godwin really captured the joy and the heart of the sport in a way that made me become interested. Not to mention the interest she sparked in the surfers. 🙂
- The friendships. In Haley’s quest to get close to Colby, she actually finds herself becoming a part of the lives of the people around him – the people who are protecting his secret. In fact, she finds a family of sorts with this group of surfers and a type of acceptance she’s never really felt before. I loved each and every one of these guys, but I especially loved AJ, who Haley seemed to understand better than anyone, even though she hadn’t known him all that long. Godwin did a fantastic job of creating three-dimensional characters who I couldn’t help but love!
- Haley’s personal journey. As I said before, this book is really about Haley’s personal journey of self-discovery. I loved her character arc and how much she grew throughout the book. It was really this journey that made the book successful – even more than the actual plot in some ways. Like I mentioned, this book is introspective.
- The suspense. Godwin also did a great job of building up suspense and creating mysteries surrounding Colby and the people who surround him. There were quite a few secrets for Haley to untangle, which kept you guessing throughout the book.
About the Author
Nikki Godwin is a YA/NA/LGBT author. She can’t live without Mountain Dew, black eyeliner, and music by Hawthorne Heights. When not writing, she internet-stalks her favorite bands and keeps tabs on surf competitions. She adores pro surfer John John Florence and has made it her life goal to meet David Desrosiers of Simple Plan.