Book Review: “The Girl The Sea Gave Back”

The Girl The Sea Gave Back” by Adrienne Young

Source: Book of the Month YA

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy


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.

Also by Adrienne Young: Sky In the Deep

Sky in the Deep was a very pleasant surprise. I was ready to fall in love with The Girl the Sea Gave Back but it was lacking something.

The book was only 327 pages but it felt like those pages dragged on. This is a companion book to Sky so you don’t technically have to have previous knowledge of this world/characters to pick it up. I had some background knowledge and still felt lost. Only towards the end did things get more exciting.

The story was just so boring. Normally, I like political strategy in fantasy books but it didn’t work for me here. I felt like I knew nothing about anyone and anything so I couldn’t bring myself to care about the characters. It took me about half the book before I figured out who Halvard was. I just felt lost in the world.

The book wasn’t poorly written, it was just….poorly paced? Second book syndrome? I don’t know.

Basically if you want to read a book by Young, snag yourself a copy of Sky in the Deep ASAP.

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