Friday, February 28, 2014

{ARC Review} Learning to Swim By: Annie Cosby

Title: Learning to Swim (Hearts Out of Water #1)
Author: Annie Cosby
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Shelves: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publication Date: March 1st, 2014
Source: Annie Cosby for review
Format: Physical ARC


Summary from Goodreads: When Cora’s mother whisks the family away for the summer, Cora must decide between forging her future in the glimmering world of second homes where her parents belong, or getting lost in the bewitching world of the locals and the mystery surrounding a lonely old woman who claims to be a selkie creature—and who probably needs Cora more than anyone else.

Through the fantastical tales and anguished stories of the batty Mrs. O’Leary, as well as the company of a particularly gorgeous local boy called Ronan, Cora finds an escape from the reality of planning her life after high school. But will it come at the cost of alienating Cora’s mother, who struggles with her own tragic memories?

As the summer wanes, it becomes apparent that Ronan just may hold the answer to Mrs. O’Leary’s tragic past—and Cora’s future.

Review: First, a HUGE THANK YOU to the lovely Annie Cosby for providing me with this ARC for review. 

Characters: I went back and forth with how I felt towards the main character, Cora. Sometimes I liked her, and then at other times, she really annoyed me. The moments where Cora annoyed me were generally under circumstances where her stereotypical rich-girl characteristics came out. Cora grew up not with complete and total wealth, but she never did have to worry about money. I felt like her problems were a lot more petty compared to say, conflicts that her friend Rory encountered. However, there were times when I found Cora to be a logical and respectable teenage girl. For someone who had just graduated from high school, Cora wasn't a big party girl, and she didn't fool around with guys. For this, I gave Cora a lot of respect. She is a protagonist that you will (mostly) root for. And then there's Rory, Cora's love interest in this novel. 
Sweet, handsome, athletic, smart and hardworking? YES PLEASE. I adored Rory! I definitely want to see more of his story in the books in the Hearts Out of Water series.

Storyline/Plot: Learning to Swim moved at a pretty good pace. I really enjoyed reading about Cora's new life on the small island, and while some parts were in danger of being mundane, it never did reach that point. Unlike many other novels, I did not find myself skimming through the pages, and at one point, I just couldn't put it down! I only wish that Annie could have added MORE of this Irish-folklore aspect! There were hints of it throughout, but at the end.. BAM. Watch out, you won't know what's coming for you! Learning to Swim ends on a great cliffhanger, and I have high expectations for the next book.

Writing: The writing and dialogue in this book is just adorable! Annie did a really good job with the descriptions, and making the dialogue sound realistic. I think Annie is definitely a very talented writer, and I look forward to seeing her talent grow as she writes more and more.

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