Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Lifeguard by Deborah Blumenthal

The Lifeguard
It's an unsettled summer for Sirena. Back in Texas, her family's splitting apart, but here in Rhode Island, at the cottage of her aunt, it's a different world. There are long days at the beach and intriguing encounters with Pilot, the lifeguard with shamanic skills. Sirena explores her obsession with Pilot and discovers his mysterious--almost magical--gifts.

I hate to say this, but I didn't enjoy The Lifeguard at all. It didn't work for me in any way. 

The story is about a girl, Sirena, who visits her aunt in Rhode Island because of her parents' impending divorce. She meets a lifeguard named Pilot and some strange occurrences begin.

Okay, let me begin with the characters. I couldn't connect with them on any level for some reason. I didn't dislike them but I didn't particularly like them either. I just couldn't get myself to really care about what happened to them. Even when Sirena is injured, I wasn't particularly interested in what happened to her. 

Another thing that bothered me was the title. It made it seem like the lifeguard, Pilot, was going to be a major player in the events, but he had few appearances. And the ones he did make were brief and seemed...impersonal. As if he was just a vague supporting character than the major character that I thought he would be. 

The events of the story seemed...vague at best. I was never entirely sure what was going on. It just felt underdeveloped, almost. Especially when the whole magic thing came into play (more on that later). I could never quite grasp what exactly the whole story was about in the first place. I can't put the sense I got from the book into words, but the entire plot felt... insubstantial. Besides that, the story was bizarre. It felt barely strung together; I just didn't get it at all. It seemed like random events were thrown together without a sense of connection in the plot.

Then, there's the magic. I didn't feel like it was mixed into the story very well. It felt like the magic was just thrown in as an afterthought, rather than woven in as a central part of the story. It featured once, maybe twice, then nobody ever mentioned it again. 

The ending was okay, but, since I didn't get anything that came before it, it doesn't say much for the book. I think it was supposed to tie everything together neatly, but I still had a million and one questions. Most importantly: What exactly is going on in this book? 

I really hate to write a bad review, but I didn't like this book at all. As much as I would love to say that this was great, it really wasn't. Maybe it's just not my type of book. But, overall, I would hesitate to recommend this to anyone.

Sorry, but: 2/5

Thanks to Netgalley for a copy

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