Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ripple by Mandy Hubbard

By Mandy Hubbard 
Available Now
260 pages

Lexi is cursed with a dark secret. Each day she goes to school like a normal teenager, and each night she must swim, or the pain will be unbearable. She is a siren - a deadly mermaid destined to lure men to their watery deaths. After a terrible tragedy, Lexi shut herself off from the world, vowing to protect the ones she loves. But she soon finds herself caught between a new boy at school who may have the power to melt her icy exterior, and a handsome water spirit who says he can break Lexi's curse if she gives up everything else. Lexi is faced with the hardest decision she's ever had to make: the life she's always longed for - or the love she can't live without?

Ripple was a fantastic surprise to me!  I was expecting a good read, Mandy Hubbard is a seasoned author.  But I wasn't expecting anything like this.  From the beginning the book is tragic telling us of Lexie, the siren, who killed her first boyfriend, Steven, on her sixteenth birthday, accidentally.  She didn't know she was a siren.  Her father left she and her mother and his mother when she was little.  Then her mother died.  There was no one around to tell her.  She still doesn't really understand.  All she knows is that she has to swim all night every night since her sixteenth birthday and sing her song.  She never sleeps, she has no need for it, not anymore.

Lexie has pushed everyone away so that she doesn't accidentally hurt anyone with her curse.  She goes to school and comes home to fix dinner for she and her diabetic grandmother.  Then, when the sun goes down, she takes her clunker car and drives the mountain roads to a hidden lake to swim in, secluded from anyone, sure that no one will find her.
But somebody is at the lake one night when she walks up, just staring at the water and when he doesn't leave, she has to. But she's betting that tomorrow will be painful, like walking on glass and stomach cramps like the flu and if he's there tomorrow.....she'll swim with or without him there.

The perpetrator from the night before is Cole, Steven's best friend.  When he tries to talk to her she snubs him, keeping her walls up.  That's not new.  "So you're sticking with the ice-queen thing again this year, huh?" (p.8) he asks her.  But he continues his attempts to talk to her and then they are thrown together along with Sienna, Lexie's ex-bff and Steven's sister, for a group project.  Sienna is nasty to her but Cole still attempts to be nice.  And as much as Lexie craves human contact, she tries to keep her walls up.  Car won't start, Cole offers to fix it and loans Lexie his SUV.  Walls come down.  It's the beginning of a new day for Lexie.  For the last two years the only friend she's had is a gravestone, Steven's, to talk to which she visits nightly before her swim.

Now to me, there seemed to be just a few characters that were important.  Cole who seems like a genuinely nice guy and is interested in a relationship with Lexie.  Sienna, who is stuck in the past.  And Erik the new guy who claims he can help Lexie break her curse, but at high cost.  Everyone else are just the sheep, following Sienna and whatever she says.  As soon as she says go they run. And Sienna blames Lexie for Steven's death.  So, everyone does and they whisper behind her back even two years later.

The entire story is told through Lexie's point of view, first person so we know what she's thinking and feeling.  Some of it is so far beyond the typical teenage angst because of her curse it really hurts to read.  And some of it is typical teenage hijinks.  But as we begin to question things, so does she. Actually she started asking questions before I did, so I'm not smarter than this particular teenager.  But I knew something was off.

The ending is absolutely spectacular!  I did not see that coming at all.  I thought there would be some something (trying not to spoil anything) but I did not go that far in my imagination!  This was a great summer read and a great Siren story to add to your list!

I don't recall any language but there is some sexual content. So you make the judgement call on that.  Not explicit at all.  You just know it happens.  Teenage drinking.


Too bad someone didn't do a Siren/Mermaid challenge this year.  I think we have enough books to cover it!


  1. OOOH I need to pick up Ripple when I get home from vacation. =) I love stories about Sirens and I am glad that you enjoyed it so much. Great review!

  2. I actually have only read one of the mermaid/siren stories so far, I haven't even heard of this one or Hubbard. I'll have to give her a try.

  3. Yay! I had really high hopes for this one so I'm so glad to know you enjoyed it Heather! Definitely going to be buying this one, and I love a good surprise ending:)

  4. Oh this sounds so good. Oh and a mermaid challenge sounds so good! Iove mer books! :)

  5. Yay! I fell in love with this cover ages ago. I'm really happy to hear the story inside lives up to that pretty cover. I wouldn't have guessed at the sadness.

  6. Oh yes to all of you! I'll eat the cover if you aren't surprised by the ending! And if you don't love it. (I do get indigestion pretty easy so please love it!) But the author covered up the ending very well. Of course, now you all know to look for it, but still, you'll never guess. I just loved it. Yeah, Small, you can feel how her life is just day to day and sad. And the guilt!

    Thanks for the comments! I can't wait to hear what you guys think!


  7. Oh, Bailey- I hope you're somewhere fun! Maybe where you can see a merman??? But don't listen to him sing or get you near the water! You'll know what I mean.


  8. LOL Heather. No mermen up here in the mountains of Colorado! =P I wish!!!!

  9. Great review Heather! I love the cover for this one as well. I already like the sound of Cole's character. He seems like a great male lead.

  10. P.S: Pst! If the story is told through Lexie's point of view, it would be 1st person silly goose. :P

  11. Hey Heather - Another great review.

    Gotta say - this book looks cool, though my goodness, it's expensive! I'm a bit tight when it comes to paying for books. I only read e-books since I moved to Dubai and won't pay more than a fiver for one, unless I'm really convinced or its a series I'm hooked on. But even then I tend to wait for a special offer or something.

    I actually have a book tour YA author over at mine this weekend - Shea Berkeley: The Marked Son. You could win the e-book! http://wordsinsync.blogspot.com/2011/07/weekend-creation-blog-hop-guest-post-by_29.html

    Hope you're well, Shah. X

  12. Hey Shah- I only post the actually book price, not the Kindle price. I don't do e-books because they give me migraines. Yep, fine getting ready to post my creative attempt on my writing blog.

    Bailey-Maybe some big mountain men?? Woodsmen like from Sisters Red?? You still need to be wary of rivers!

    Kelsa- First person is I, third person is Lexie looked at the stars. That's what I learned anyway. (From studying other languages) I think it's actually (in proper terms)Third Person Limited in that she's limited to telling her own thoughts and feelings.

    Someone please correct us both if we're wrong!

  13. Okay- Looked at Ripple again and it is told from I point of view so I was completely wrong! It's told from Lexie's point of view first person narrative. There!


  14. This sounds like a really interesting read, and not what I'm used to! I like the idea of how she has to swim every night, and has learned to avoid everyone in a sense. I'm excited to see where this one goes. Great review!


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