• Booktastically Amazing

The Girl the Sea Gave Back

by Adrienne Young

Spoiler-Free Synopsis:

The new gut-wrenching epic from the New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep.

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.

I am extremely disappointed. To say the least. My expectations were skyscraper level and what they gave me was a small sandcastle. Whom the waves swept away. Aaaaallll this waiting, aaalllll this nail-biting. And this is what they give me? Sorry, but no. I think I got the parody of the real thing. Please give me the real one. This was good, don't get me wrong, but with the massive looming shadow of Sky in the Deep, I expected a bit more.

RATING: 🌟🌟🌟⭐⭐ 3.5


Okay, um this book was something else. And I don't mean it in the greatest sense of the word. The expectation the previous book brought into the mix is what probably pooped on this for me. One of the many things that kind of annoyed my bookish soul was the time jump *ahem* TEN YEARS?!?! WHY WOULD YOU SKIP AHEAD TEN YEARS?!? Ugh, that angered me to extreme measures. I wanted them to grow up with time, I wanted to see their love flourish, I wanted to cry from Fiske's perfection. But noooo, none of that was made possible because of TOVA . Sadly, we didn't get a lot (more like not even a speck of ) Eelyn's beautiful self or her brother's manly charisma *hits my head with a pillow*. And still, my expectations continued to rise *ahem* Sky in the Deep is at fault for that. Every time I search for an action-filled book with warrior AKA a similar book to this one, I look for all the Viking books (which hello? I can't see any of y'all! Are you hiding?) searching for a speck of uniqueness and warriorness without finding anything. And by way of this, I judge (too harshly sometimes) other books from this genre. Here is where this *scoff* story comes in. It had SUCH a good premise, the world was getting better, the clans were being their awesome selves I always hoped for them to be (But 10 years? Seriously? I'm angry) the tattooed girl had an amazing backstory but then, BUT THEN, they introduced the romance. So unnecessary, so...dumb. I think I just disliked Tova above everything. Halvard was adorable (though I still saw him as a child in my eyes), he was extremely caring and kind. But Tova, TOVA, was a nuisance, she did nothing apart from regret and cry and regret some more. On the other hand, she claimed to have survived so much and claimed to be so strong, regardless of the fact that 2 pages later she would make herself feel as miserable as possible. She did not deserve the privilege of being a Truthtongue, let's delve into the romance part a bit more (which was very THERE, it was PRESENT). From the moment they saw each other she was intrigued by him (which I don't reprimand at all, any relative of Fisk is bound to attract some attention. *Call me*)and Halvard was somehow 'intrigued' by her too. I cannot express the anger I felt at how quickly the romance part flourished. They completely skipped the 'get to know each other' part and totally flew into (headfirst, mind you) the *deep inhale* IloveyouIwoulddieforyoupleasetakemeandmakemeyours *deep exhale* Phew! That was something, exactly how the romance made me feel. There was the little speck of chemistry I will mention because this review is making me relieve all the bad emotions I felt whilst reading this book. One of the main things about the previous masterpiece *subtly throwing shade* was the violence, the warrior women, the strong men, and all the clan's capabilities. In this one? Um...those things weren't present enough. Yes, these things were present but not as vivid as I would've liked. This in no means is a rant against the author (she resides too closely to my heart for me to insult any part of her writing life) it's just that I had a different idea of how this book should've been shaped is all. Of course, there are obviously some good points (duh, we're talking about Adrienne Young, how could there not be?!) the clans were amazingly crafted, the warrior men were on point, I would've wished to have more of Halvard instead of the leech-I mean um...Tova. I would've adored if my previous book babies would've barged in like the heroes they are and had taught this kids a lesson. And also would like to mention...HOW DARE YOU HAVE KILLED EELYN'S FATHER?!? THAT LEGIT BROKE MY HEART! *Sobbing* Why? He did NOT need to die, at all. He had so much potential, without forgetting the fact that he and Fiske's mother were getting to KNOW each other *wink, wink* Ugh, once again I will mention that this book had SO much to give. Especially in creating a spectacular ending which did not happen as horribly as I had thought, the real ending being that one of the most powerful women in the other clan *tries super mega hard to remember the name of it* K something, turned out to be frail Tova's mother. *Ahem,* moment of silence please for all the groans and tantrums that took turn during this (supposed) plot twist. Ugh, whyyyyyyy... I had hoped with all my sulfur filled existence that Tova would grow up, and I guess she kind of did. She knew how to use a bow and arrow at least, and was not completely useless in the face of battle. Unless that counts feeling guilty every which way and crying herself to sleep because her life was so extremely difficult. Um...earth to selfish mongrel? Fiske? Eelyn? Halvard? They went through so much more than YOU. Eelyn survived being turned a slave, survived almost being killed (1028230 times, approximately) and through all of THAT (as if it wasn't enough) she found out her brother dearest had betrayed her. And you feel guilty of supposedly naming the deathly fate of a young child. If it was meant to happen, it was MEANT TO HAPPEN. There is nothing you could've done to prevent it. The Fates are mysterious and cunning (as you so helpfully repeated throughout the story). I deeply apologize to the readers who loved it but I just couldn't find it in me and for that I feel awfuuuulllll. I'm so sorry Adrienne Young for having judges your baby so harshly but I only did it because I know your magnificent potential as a writer. And also know that this is probably the parody of the real thing, I'm still going with that excuse, LET ME LIVE. *Tearful shrieking*


  • Fiske's and Eelyn's scenes in which my heart promptly combusted of jealousy.

  • The old gang fighting in battle, *dabs away tears* That was, absolutely wonderful.

  • Halvard's beautiful self.

  • The warrior's friendship, overall.

  • The end.

  • Tova's death.

  • Oh, wait. That didn't happen. Ugh.

P.S: I want to apologize once again because I was a bit harsh but that's because I KNEW it's significant potential of awesomness. I'm sowwwyyyyy.