Where Sea Meets Sky

Where Sea Meets Sky

A Novel

Paperback - 2015
Average Rating:
3
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"Joshua Miles has spent his early twenties spinning his wheels. Working dead-end jobs and living at home has left him exhausted and uninspired, with little energy to pursue his passion for graphic art. Until he meets Gemma Henare, a vivacious out-of-towner from New Zealand. What begins as a one-night stand soon becomes a turning point for Josh. He can't get Gemma out of his head, even after she has left for home, and finds himself throwing caution to the wind for the first time in his life. It's not long before Josh is headed to New Zealand with only a backpack, some cash, and Gemma's name to go on. But when he finally tracks her down, he finds his adventure is only just beginning. Equally infatuated, Gemma leads him on a whirlwind tour across the beautiful country, opening Josh up to life, lust, love, and all the messy heartache in between. Because, when love drags you somewhere, it might never let go--even when you know you have to say goodbye"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Atria Books,, 2015
Edition: First Atria Paperback edition
ISBN: 9781476796406
Branch Call Number: ROM HAL
Characteristics: 363 pages : map ; 21 cm

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miraellie
Dec 11, 2016

It's amazing what a difference a good editor can make.

Karina Halle's Artists Trilogy was good, if a little melodramatic at times. Writing flawed, morally bankrupt characters in dark settings seems to be her skillset -- one that did not mesh well with a road trip setting. Yes, the characters are broken in some ways, but not in the way that Halle seems to write best.

Whereas The Artists Trilogy was tightly plotted and well written, Where Sea Meets Sky was badly edited. I try not to judge Atria for pulling the most popular self-pubbed works and publishing them traditionally for an easy buck, but when they clearly put so little effort into their books, it's hard not to think a little poorly of them.

There were so many mistakes in this novel, easy mistakes that a copy editor should have found. Grammatical errors and confusing, unclear writing, as well as some sentences that just shouldn't have been included.

She stands across from me, flipping through the book of sample tattoos and I take the time to admire her ass. You can bounce quarters off that thing. One of my favorite things to do is slap it with my dick. It's like a cock trampoline.

That happens late in the book, but it killed any chance I had of taking the book seriously afterwards. Not only that, but I just didn't root for Josh and Gemma as a couple. Maybe it's a personal taste thing but when a book is trying to convince me that two people belong together by having them have a whole lot of ridiculous sex, I don't buy into it. Lust is one thing and at first Halle was upfront about them being in lust with each other. Then it devolved into love even when she hadn't really shown me why they worked together. In fact, I sort of actively wished they wouldn't get together.

I love that she's more broken than me, because I think I can put her back together again.

Protip, kids: Don't ever give yourself the responsibility of "fixing" your partner. Not only is it a bad idea, but when your partner doesn't "get better" as quickly as you think they should, you're inevitably going to get angry at them. And then they'll get angry at you because they didn't ask for you to take on that role. You should support your partner through their own attempts to fixing themselves.

While the description of New Zealand was pretty at times, I found it marred by the treatment of Maori culture. While Halle says she lived in NZ for a year, it wasn't long enough to really understand the culture and the intricacies of it. (No surprise, as she's a white woman.) The second Josh learns that Gemma is 1/4th Maori, he immediately calls her "exotic" and she doesn't even reprimand him past saying "Some people would say that's not a PC term anymore." But of course she's flattered! A white guy finding her "exotic". Bet that's never happened before. The whole thing was just a racist trainwreck.

So give this a pass. Halle is better than this novel might suggest.

IMolina3 May 28, 2015

Totally sucks!! First of all they got intimate too soon.. Them the author puts the character to think abou chistmas and is not even summer in the story even though i know christmas is aroun the corner. Who thinks abou christmas in summer i mean come on.. I just skipin the pages to see what happens in the end it might be christmas already..;

chicobonbon Apr 16, 2015

This starts off running. Josh and Gemma meet and have a profound one-night stand that neither of them can quite get out of their minds. From there, Josh makes some pivotal life changing decisions and decides to act on his lingering emotions. Things don't go quite as simply as he might have hoped. Gemma has some issues that she needs to address and both of them find themselves at crossroads not exactly clear in which direction to turn.

The story is told in alternating points of view. Josh is a pretty good guy. He comes across as being a little shallow early in the book, but as I got to know him, he seemed to be more unsure of what he really wanted to do in his life and wasn't ready to commit to anything. Gemma was a little harder to embrace. When it was her time to speak (in her chapter, that is), her inner dialogue indicated that her feelings were pretty strong but her actions and her words didn't show it. It was frustrating. Each time I thought there was going to be a break through, there was a set back.

The bulk of the story has Josh and Gemma travelling around New Zealand and as a result, the country could almost be said to be another character in the story. I'll admit to something here. As a reader, I tend to skim over descriptions of landscapes and surroundings. Do I care about the colour of drapes or how the flower petals are moving in the breeze--um, no. If it matters to the story, I'll back up and read the parts that I missed. Otherwise, I skip to the next paragraph that involves the characters. It's clear that KH is in love with New Zealand and wanted to share that or reminisce in her writing because she spends a lot of time describing the landscape and which towns the characters visited. It got to be a little repetitive. I'm sure I'd have a different opinion if I was familiar with the country, but I'm not, so I skimmed.

One of KH's real talents is being able to write scenes with tension. She does this extremely well in Love, In English, and in her Artist's Trilogy. This book has its moments of tension, which are well written, but there just aren't that many of them. I was hoping that since Josh is Vera's brother that I might be treated to another juicy, tension-filled book but this doesn't quite get there. It is still well written with its moments of humour, passionate love scenes and angsty self-discovery and worth the read.

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