May 5, 2014

Review: Pulled Under

Pulled Under by Michelle Dalton
Grade: B+
This e-galley was provided by Edelweiss and Simon Pulse in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: In the small town of Pearl Beach, Florida, Izzy Lucas needs only her surfboard and the water to be completely happy. She wants nothing to do with parties, popularity contests, or showing her face around the clich├ęd touristy hangouts. Izzy’s tight group of coworkers at the local surf shop have tried relentlessly to break shy Izzy out of her (sea)shell. But Izzy isn’t interested…until the day Ben Barker walks into the store.

Ben’s from the city. He’s cute, charming, and wants her help adjusting to beach town culture. As the weeks of surfing lessons and pizza shack visits fly by, Izzy and Ben realize their attraction goes beyond mere friendship. But Ben is only in town for three months, and Izzy wonders if this amazing guy is worth stepping out of her comfort zone for what might be the perfect summer romance—or her first heartbreak.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: I loved Sixteenth Summer and Fifteenth Summer.  So when I found out Michelle Dalton had another summer romance releasing soon, I was very excited. (And imagine my excitement when I was approved for it on Edelweiss.) One of my favorite things about the book is the friendship dynamics between Izzy, Sophie, and Nicole.  They support each other, tease each other, and treat each other like my best friends and I do.  Although, I have to note that I kept getting Sophie and Nicole mixed up.  I related to Izzy the Introvert a lot and how she pushed herself to do things outside her comfort zone.  Another great thing about Pulled Under is the surfing.  Izzy is a die-hard surfer, and it shows.  Dalton used several surfing terms, but all were explained, and there was even a glossary at the end.  I enjoyed the fact that Izzy got along well with her parents.  They're goofy and portrayed totally how teenagers see their parents (not like most TV parents, thank goodness), and I loved the family dynamics.  The romance was fairly nice; however, it seemed to start as insta-attraction (which I'm totally okay with), but later, Ben said he'd loved her from the first moment, which was a bit off-putting.  It was romantic, but totally inaccurate.  I also felt there was a bit too much telling instead of showing in the book.  Also, my one problem with all three books is that each continually emphasizes that each couple will be separated at the end of the summer.  However, there was a nice twist at the end of Pulled Under that made this one much better.
Language was mild, and romance was definitely tame.

The Verdict: Definitely a good read.  Pulled Under didn't quite live up to Fifteenth Summer and Sixteenth Summer, but Izzy and Ben's story is just as enjoyable as Chelsea and Josh's and Anna and Will's.

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